We could hear him coming at least a block away. His breathing was awe-inspiring, regular and rhythmic but heavy and powerful, more like a beast than a human.
Then he pulled up beside us: It was Michael Myers, the mass murderer from the Halloween movies.
Happily, he must’ve had his eyes on some other victim in the River City Rat Race, because he lumbered off in his cover-alls, much to our relief.
Last year my sister and I ran the Rat Race on Day 2 of our 90in9 Challenge, in which we marked the anniversary of my weight loss by running 90 miles in 9 days. We did the 10K the day after a 10-mile run and added a 4-mile run later that same day to stay on track.
This year we ran the 5K just for fun. (And the cool long-sleeved Brooks running shirts they give out.) Our big test comes later this week, either Friday or Sunday, when Traci and I attempt to ride 90 miles in 9 hours. We may try to ride the whole thing with the wind at our backs, if we can, and we may need to strap pillows to our seats before it‘s over.
But that‘s another day. This day was about having fun, and so we took off at a fairly leisurely pace, scanning the crowd for costumes and familiar faces while trying to stay warm in the chilly wind.
After a mile or so, though, we couldn’t resist the urge to start up a game of “pace or pass.” We passed the first pair after a few blocks, couldn’t stick with our next target, then finally found someone to follow who was just right. We had to work to stay with her, but it felt good to pick up the pace. Right about the time Michael Myers showed up, we thought we might lose her. They both began to pull away as we crossed the St. Joe River.
But then we saw the Old Fort come into view, and we poured it on, knowing the finish was just ahead. We wound up passing both our pacer and the costumed mass murderer in a highly satisfying if not very speedy time of 30:20.
Ben, of course, was already done, having set up camp outside the Fort with a small pile of snacks from the food line. He said he’d “just jogged it,” finishing in a time of 24 minutes and some change.