race, running

Ice Cold Lager Jogger

My training buddy called early Saturday morning. I knew why. “Are you still running?” he asked. We were right on the line where rain turns to snow; it was 32 degrees, windy, and raining. “Yep,” I said. “I’ve actually trained for this one, and I’m not skipping for anything.” “I thought you’d say that,” he said.

I ran the first annual Red Gap Brewing Company Lager Jogger last year after only having trained a few weeks, and my time showed it. This year I started training in September. I considered the other three 5k’s I ran this fall to be preparation for the Red Gap. I felt ready, and I wasn’t going to let cold rain, or even snow, stop me.

After I picked up my packet, I stayed inside the warm brewery as other runners began to trickle in, bundled up and shivering. Despite the holiday atmosphere and the horrible weather, I couldn’t wait to get started. A minute seemed like ten.

I planned to run some strides to warm up, but after only three or four I retreated into the brewery and opted for jumping jacks and arm circles. Finally, the announcer called the runners to line up. I took off my wind pants and jacket and walked out into the rain in shorts and a long-sleeved T-shirt, which made me the most under dressed runner of the day. By the time the prayer, pledge, and national anthem were over, I was shivering all over.

Another buddy, Garrett, asked, “What’s the pace today, John?” “Whatever you set,” I answered. Garrett runs the local gym and is in great shape. I knew he’d be the main competition and probably win. When the announcer asked the faster runners to move closest to the starting line, Garrett said, “Let’s start in the middle; it’s more fun to pass people than to get passed.”

The horn went off with the normal small group of people who started sprinting. Garrett started a comfortable pace, so I stuck with him. Soon, the only thing in front of us was the lead car as we climbed the hill on 5th street. Before we got to the mile mark, I realized the comfortable pace was no longer comfortable, but Garrett was smiling and chatting. I let him slip ahead, hoping to catch him in the last mile.

Around mile two, I heard splashing behind me, so I looked back. I saw a bearded man 100 yards or so behind; he looked old enough to be in my age group, so I knew I needed to discourage him from trying to pass. I flew down the hill just after mile two (flew like a hippo), which is also where Garrett picked up his pace.

One last, long hill to go. Mr. possible age group was, I assumed, watching for his chance, so I ran as hard as I could up the hill, which used up most of what I had left. Luckily, there was only about a half mile left, and it was downhill to the end.

I ended up finishing 2nd behind Garrett, which was alright considering he is 13 years younger. The guy behind me turned out to be two age-groups younger than me, too, but I was grateful to him for the motivation. We high-fived and had a laugh.

Our entry came with two free lagers in cans, which I saved for later. I knew the prize for winning my age group was a pint of the beer of my choice, and nothing sounded better than a porter, which I enjoyed more than any beer I’ve had in a long time.

After the race, everyone enjoyed the food truck, live music, strong brew, and happy faces. Regardless of placing or times, we all made the decision to race on a wet, cold morning rather than sit by the fire and drink coffee, and that made us all winners.

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About Nowhere Tribune

A husband and daddy, striving to love his neighbors and be kind to his pets. I love good food, good beer, and a few good friends. My other interests are hiking, taking walks, lifting weights, reading books by manly authors like Hemmingway and Twain, and splitting fire wood with my bare hands.

Discussion

12 thoughts on “Ice Cold Lager Jogger

  1. Nice work John. Thats pretty cool. Sounds like Rocky and Apollo at the beach. Que the music… 🎶

    Posted by jim- | December 14, 2018, 7:55 am
  2. Congrats on the win (for your age group). Sounds exhilarating, to be running in cold, wet weather.

    Posted by Tippy Gnu | December 14, 2018, 8:40 am
  3. I need to get back into running again. I did the insanity programs and p90x3 for awhile. My wife does the liift4 program. This is inspiring me to get back in it. Thanks

    Posted by truthfortheday | December 14, 2018, 10:02 am
  4. Great post 😁

    Posted by the #1 Itinerary | December 14, 2018, 10:57 am
  5. Any time you toe the line, you win. But gross… I never, ever understand drinking beer after a run. I don’t even want food. And yes, running in cold and snowy conditions is definitely not for the faint heart! Good work!

    Posted by Sassyfitnesschick | December 30, 2018, 8:13 am

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