In the Rudolph Dash while running down Sunset, Chris and I uttered breathless irritation over the fact we were trailing a pack of kids. Ever determined to beat age, I surged away from Chris and yelled back over my shoulder that I was going to take them. That might not sound too tough considering they were about middle school age – not even teenagers – but from my perspective it was bold talk from a one-eyed fat man. They still had 20 to 30 yards on me and there was no guarantee I wouldn’t seize up trying to overtake them.
I flew by the pack of kids with the graceful stride of experience. That is until I caught up with their leader, this little blonde girl with braided pigtails. Within half a step of gaining even with her, she surged. I couldn’t believe it. And when I caught up to her the second time she surged again. Unbelievable! This little bruja refused to yield to my overwhelming experience. But I was ready for her this second time and held her pace. I was close to failing to her tactics when she finally relented and fell to the rear. Whew! She almost had me.
But I was spent from that exercise and couldn’t fend off Chris as he passed me a quarter mile later. I quipped to Chris as he ran by that I had paced him. Smack talk in vain from a fallen fighter. My smooth surge had stalled, my legs heavy with lactic acid – cursed by my blonde encounter. If you race locally, beware the bruja.