Many of those nonrelative readers were active with the Rockford Road Runners, whose ranks I joined in 2011 but left the following year, knowing a move was on the horizon. Once a Road Runner, always a Road Runner: I received an email from a member named Ed recently, saying our mutual friend Coach Mike had suggested that he invite me to join a Road Runner committee.
After I emailed Ed back saying thanks for the thought, but I'm 300 miles away in Iowa now, he surprised me with his response:
"Good luck in your new endeavor. I am the old guy that passed you in one of the races you wrote about. Guess I can relax in my future races now and not need to push myself to beat the young girls."The race to which he's referring? My very first one, in September 2009: the On the Waterfront 5K.
My then-co-worker Mike DeDoncker, knowing I was training for a half marathon, recommended doing a local race to get all the newbie jitters/mishaps out of the way before the real deal.
So we signed up for the Labor Day weekend 5K, and as DeDoncker also had suggested, I ran with him until I grew tired of his pace and stepped it up. (I'm not being mean. He had told me that he was easing back into running after a hiatus and would be going slower than me, so I should pass him whenever I wanted.)
I was actually picking off runners during the final stretch — and that's when Ed blew through. To be honest, I believe my first thought was "are you freakin' kidding me, dude?" but my second thought was "props to you, sir; you're older than my parents and you left this spring chicken in the dust."
Nothing like having your pompous balloon burst. It was funny (and self-deprecating) enough to me to include it in my race report, which later ran in the health section. Ed recognized it, probably patted himself on the back, and told DeDoncker about it — earning himself another mention in the Rockford media folk blogosphere.
Ed, you've earned your claim to Rockford health blogger fame, and I'm assuming that you remember your time in the spotlight fondly. Thanks for finding such amusement in it!