On your mark…

The first sign I may have been out of my league was when I saw a colleague about an hour before the event.

“Bare-legged?” he said, incredulously. “Crazy.”

There have been 35 Tulsa Runs. My first had to be a bone-chiller, about 32 degrees with a slight wind, pure sock cap-and-gloves weather.

I wore shorts and, as it turns out, had plenty of company.

The start of a 5K is like the beginning of anything — pregnant with hope.

And so it was Saturday.

I commenced briskly, mindful of a pace that would enable me to post a personal best. Then, the real work settled in, the pounding of pavement, the drudgery of the course, itself.

All manner of humanity is seen and heard on the route. Racers clear their throat, burp, spit. Legs churn. Lungs burn.

Everyone wages a personal battle with fatigue.

And just when your body’s on the brink, the finish line comes into view.

Sprinting, I cross it, satisfied.

Like thousands of others.

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