I wasn't aiming for a PR or a place — not in late August, when I'd only been running again for a few weeks — and I wasn't even going to dress up, let alone compete for the costume prizes.
Yet look what I came home with:
I'll keep being honest: I don't care how much that might water down my victories; I've spent enough of my life being costume- and sport-challenged where anything beyond a participation trophy is going to be displayed proudly and boasted about.
Here's the winning costume, with the event's unofficial Des Moines marketing coordinator:
|Marco was able to correctly identify my costume on the first try. That in and of itself was almost enough of a victory for me.|
Oh, and about the run: Yeah, it was hot, and it would've been without the toga. I started out too fast, of course, and made it all of 0.36 miles before safety pins started giving out. Oops.
When I wasn't clutching the bottom half of my toga, I was adjusting my sash or pulling up my tank top straps. Basically every part of my costume began falling apart except for the part I was most convinced would — the wreath, made of a sweatband, safety pins and shipping tape.
All of this tucking and bunching and grabbing, plus the overambitious first half-mile, meant I was certainly able to admire the historical site signs. As we learned on RAGBRAI, I get a kick out of small-town tourism; here, I passed Mamie Eisenhower's birthplace and saw where Boone's only female funeral-home director ran her business.
I declared to the race director that I was looking forward to defending my two titles next year, but I think I'd be perfectly OK letting some other woman come in second — it's the costume contest I hope to win again, this time against more competition.