It would be good enough just to finish. It didn’t bother me at all that the winner, Josiah Biles, zipped by like a gazelle with its tail on fire to finish both loops well before I had trudged around once. Josiah almost seemed to vanish in a puff of smoke as he flew by, like the roadrunner upon tiring of the coyote tailing him.
This year’s Fireball Classic forced an attitude adjustment regarding walking. Those in my general vicinity whose strategy combined walking and running also beat me.
The Air Force finally retired the F-111, and at some point aging runners must face a similar reality. But something happened at this year’s Fireball Classic that has never been in my power to envision. My slow pace was good enough to place third in my gender’s age group.
It is a small victory but offers enough encouragement not to follow the F-111 into mothballs just yet. At least not yet.