Last year our families ran the Drumstick Dash 5k in Roanoke. It was a fun race, but this year we decided to skip the crowds and traffic and spend Thanksgiving morning like most Americans; sitting on the couch saving all our energy for the exhaustion of digesting turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.
We spent Thanksgiving day with my family, then had Thanksgiving with Tom’s family Friday.
Sometime in the lead-up to Thanksgiving, Tom’s brother, Steve, suggested we put on our very own Krieger 5k on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
We were all excited; we started stretching and talking trash. But then when race day rolled around, it was easier to get excited about forgetting the whole thing. A cold front moved through Friday night, leaving Saturday morning cold, windy, and cold and windy and freezing.
We persevered. Every Krieger present participated, those who didn’t run made it possible for others to run by watching the babies.
We started the race at 10:30 a.m. with the wind at our backs, fronts, sides and bottoms.
The course started uphill and continued uphill for most of the first half, until the very end when we ran down a steep hill. The natural order of things says that if you run uphill one way, it will be downhill the other way, but somehow our race course defied that principle. The whole way back was uphill, too. We cursed the scenery and spit into the frigid wind.
For most of the race Tom and I ran together while he pushed David in the stroller. I ran a few times after the half-marathon, but then I took more than a week off because David got sick and I didn’t want to take him out. Despite the cold, wind, and hills, it sort of felt good to be running.
We all had a good time, too. We did a little walking, mooed at the cows, and at one point my dad happened to drive by so we stopped to chat.
At some point Tom and Steve switched stroller duty and at some point Steve passed me.
Maybe it was when I took a walking break. It doesn’t matter, because now we have a photo montage of me running Steve down.
In Steve’s defense, he’s pushing my baby in a stroller. Furthermore, he didn’t exactly know I was trying to pass him. I was strategic about not letting him know I was being competitive; when I caught up to him we chatted for a bit and tried to be nonchalant about pulling ahead. I knew that if he knew we were racing, he could have probably out-kicked me. And guess what? All that strategizing worked.
The finish line photo doesn’t lie:
Neither does the finish line video, which we watched in slow motion for hours trying to determine fourth and fifth place. You get a good peek at Tom’s personality when he scoffs at Lindsay and Peggy’s arm-in-arm finish, “NO! Someone HAS to win!”
We didn’t have a formal start/finish time, but my time — which included all the walking, talking and even a little double-backing — was 32:18. Not bad. Tom set the course record, somewhere around 30 minutes.
I’m hoping the Krieger Klassic becomes a tradition. In a few years, our kids will be able to participate in some version of the race.
Or at least not sleep through it.