"Let's Roll, Sugarbowl"
The Broad Street Run is an odd road race. It's one street, point to point with almost no turns. It's pretty much downhill - there are some rises at the beginning. You run straight for 4 1/2 miles turn right for 100 yards, turn left 200 yards, turn left for another 100 yards, turn right and run 5 more miles straight.
Annabelle was concerned about what to wear on race day
"What to wear though - maybe my black running shorts, blue top and another layer in case it is cold?"
"That's good thinking, but let me tell you this. We will be running due south, with the sun to our left. If it's chilly at the start (and it will be) that's because the houses and trees at the beginning will offer plenty of shade. After 4 or five miles or so, we will be downtown; the trees will be gone, replaced by office buildings. But in that hour the sun will have climbed over all but the tallest. After mile six, the torture begins. The sun is right up, the tall buildings have been replaced by 3-4 story homes and condos. There are no trees by the street in South Philly."
It was a beautiful day, no clouds. As I predicted, it was chilly at the start. She wore a dark grey long-sleeved shirt (tossed away at mile 2), a black top and multicolored shorts. She also defied "runner common sense" and wore relatively new shoes. I braved the chill and started with a tank top. I had borrowed a bit of her sunscreen, since mine was left over form last September - yeah, remember when I hurt my knee??? That same weekend. I was not giving karma a second chance.
After taking forever to get to the line and having our chips start the clock, we settled into a comfortable rythym. I felt we were close to the 9:00 pace I had been training at. When we passed the mile one clock in 20 minutes and change, my only question was 'How far back are we?'
We got to mile two around 30 minutes. From then on we collected the miles at nearly exactly 10:00 per.
Not feeling any need for speed, I entertained her by "showing" her local landmarks.
"I used to lived 6 blocks down there"
"There's a very old, very haunted prison down there."
"There's the strip joint where I used to work."
And so on.
One story that completely slipped my mind occured to me later.
It must have been 1998.
I wore a home made tank top with the "Screaming Tortise" logo on the back. As we came back around the last turn at City Hall, a guy asked me (and I quote) "Are you with La Tortuga?"
I gave him a "Huh?" look.
"La Tortuga. The Turtle." and he pointed at the back of my shirt. "Are you with her?"
"Sorry, bud. No, I'm not. Is she here?"
"Oh, you'll find her," the guy said, like from this point on I'd be searching for some mysterious Turtle Girl.
We only walked through the water stops, I only took Gatorade once. The last two miles were something of a blur. A very quiet blur. At a certain point all the chit chat and loose comradery fades into a general agony of "when will this be over?"
After we passed the photgraphers and entered the Navy Yard - sorry, Philadelphia Naval Business District - we felt the rush of accomplishment.
Broad Street Run 2006
Last name: del mar
First name: raoul
Chip time: 01:38:55
Last name: de La Tortuga
First name: Annabelle
Chip time: 01:38:56
I didn't mean to imply that I beat her by ONE second. Our clock times were exactly the same, as it should be. I think that her foot crossed the starting mat one second after mine ... like, I had my right foot forward, and she had her right foot back ... in the computer's mind, it took her one second longer.
Maybe I got that backwards ... maybe she started ahead of me, and because I ran :01 faster, I caught up to her, right at the finish line???
Either way, ONE OF US ran the last mile in a blistering 8:55.
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