Saturday, March 22, 2008

So, there are these hand painted eggs.....and people run for them.

The scene is Easter Lake Beach area, about 8:30 a.m., somewhere around 35 degrees. About 100 (?) runners show up to the lightly promoted 2nd annual Run for the Egg. It was a nice little event sponsored by Polk County Conservation, Fitness Sports and 97.3 the Hawk. Among the sites to be seen at the start were boxes of free Casey's doughnuts set out by the registration booth. Strangely, they had been lightly abused. It seems the runners would rather not have a sugary, fried stone sitting in their gullet for 5 miles. Even given the circumstances, it is truly odd to see boxes of free doughnuts go mostly undisturbed in a large group of people.

It was Joe and I first-ever race. Here's our game faces. The Third Musketeer, Sarah, is not pictured as she wandered of to the bathroom.....we thought she might be trying to not been seen with the newbies.

Everyone was competing for one of these bad boys. Ostrich (1st), Emu (2nd) and Rhea (3rd). For those of you that actually don't know what a Rhea is - its a little Emu-like bird (thanks Wiki). I think it tastes like chicken.

I had no delusions of Egg grandeur, so I thought I'd better get some pictures. Next year, my year (yeah, except probably not).

Speaking of chickens, yep there was a big chicken on-site with a life-size egg companion. My wife was trying to determine which one came first. We thought this was a great chance to answer one of the traditional riddles of life. I proposed a 1 on 1 race but alas, this mystery was not to be solved.

Here's the route. I'm very familiar with the course because I spend a lot of time on my mountain bike out there. That was to be my secret weapon.

I actually saw a snow flurry or two float by right at the start. Jackie caught the starting gun. She's such an action photographer.

I took off a little faster than I originally thought I would. I figured the more people I could pass before we got to the sloppy, icy dirt (mud) trail the better. This turned out to be a good idea as Sarah later said she lost her shoe, twice, in the well-trampled mud bog. I told Jackie and the kids to expect me back at the finish somewhere around the 1-1.5 hour mark, so they headed back to our nearby home. Things went pretty well out on the course, knowing the route really was a huge help. There were a couple of hills that were killer, but plenty of downhills mixed in too. I thought my tendency to push the envelope on my bike might lead me into actually wiping out in a muddy corner somewhere, but I made it around without incident. Jackie said she saw me starting the last mile or-so from our deck. She rushed the kids into the car and booked to the finish line. Apparently my substantial speed was still too much to handle because she had to dispatch Katie with the camera to capture my finish while she parked the car.

Good job on the shutter Katie. If it looks like I'm tired its because I am. In my eggcitement (yes, I went there) to be done I forgot to look at the clock. Later I was able to determine my time was about 52 minutes. The starting gun picture was taken at 9:03 and the finish picture was snapped at 9:55, how's that for some forensic timing? Fitness Sports lists 3rd place in my age group was 48 minutes, so I'm pretty happy with my result. It was nice that Jackie made the extra effort to be there at the finish, I really appreciated seeing the friendly faces and getting the congratulations.
A scant few minutes later Joe comes rolling up. He said he turned it up a notch when he saw the clock nearing the 1 hour mark. Although I didn't notice the speed boost, he did come in under an hour. Apparently he got passed by the chick-in-the-skirt you can see running in his slipstream, but he punched up some freaky-fresh Timbaland on the MP3 player and that was all she wrote for skirt chick, good job Joe. Sarah came rolling along a little while later. She wasn't happy. Getting squished in the mud, losing a shoe and having trouble with her feet going numb didn't make for a good run. I definitely think she is going to take it out on me during the Dam to Dam (why did I agree to do that again?)

After the race we all headed back to mi casa for burgers, dogs and chicken on the grill. We watched the Twister Sisters eek out a close one down at Wells Fargo. It was a great end to a great day.

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