On Friday, I was certain that I would need my Wonder Woman bracelets to get me through today’s Acura 10 miler in Toronto. When I mentionned this to my superhero-loving dude, his face lit up wanting to see them. It looks like it will take a few more years before my four year old understands symbolism.
As it turned out, today’s race was one for Superheroes. As soon as we got to the start area, I stood in line for the dreaded porta-potties just to make sure my bladder was empty. Daddy and Skipper left to sit in the shade, leaving me with our 4 year old. We stood holding hands and waited and waited; it was a long line.
“Hey, there’s a phone booth,” I pointed out.
“A what?” he asked.
“A phone booth.” I quickly remembered he is only four. “You don’t see them much any more. Do you see the box with the word Bell, B-E-L-L, on it? It’s like the one Clark Kent jumps into, quickly changes his clothes and comes out dressed like Superman.”
“Is Superman going to be here?”
I can only imagine what the people around us were thinking.
The race was one of the most boring routes that I have ever run. But, the organization, water stations (one every 2 kilometres, due to our recent heatwave and cautious organizers) and support from volunteers (well, perhaps not the Iron Bib-Keeper) made up for it.
Initially, I was placed in the first corral. However, I changed that to the second one because I didn’t want to be in some speedy guy’s way and I was worried that I would go out too fast. I ended up further back than I wanted, which meant I had more people to weave through during the first three kilometres than I would have liked.
But my strategy worked. During the course of the race, I caught up to and passed friends – one whom I expected to finish ahead of, one whom I thought I might finish ahead of, and one whom I never imagined that I’d finish ahead of. At 13K, I was on pace for finishing in under 1:17 , picked off the women that I wanted to chase down and went after them one by one. And, then I saw her.
A woman ahead of me was walking and she seemed to be stretching out a cramp in her calf. She started to run again and I saw her stumble. A man grabbed her, and she motioned him away. I saw the man look behind; obviously, he was concerned about her. But I saw her stumble again. This time, I grabbed her. I yelled at her to sit down and tried to force her onto the curb.
“I’m okay,” she slurred.
“No, you’re not. You need to sit down.” Again, I tried to get her to sit. Meanwhile, I’m cursing under my breath because runners (and I counted three ladies – yes, teachers really do have eyes on the back of their heads) that I fought to catch up to were passing me.
“I’m okay, I’m okay,” she slurred again. And she pushed me away.
So, I ran away – but faster. I was ticked about the women who passed me but I was more worried about this lady. At the turn, I spotted a police officer and a race volunteer and picked up my pace again. There was less than a kilometre to go but I needed to stop again.
“Hey, there’s a lady back there under the bridge who needs help. She’s passing out. She’s wearing a white tank and she’s incoherent. She needs medical attention now.”
The police officer grabbed his two-way and the volunteer ran off.
With Super Speed, I was able to catch two of the three women, and I gave everything I had left to catch the third; she finished two seconds ahead of me. One of my buddies finished ten minutes behind me and he said that he saw an ambulance back at the bridge so the woman did get the help she needed. My Wonder Woman bracelets did come in handy after all.