America, March 15, 2004
Do you ever follow a pink ass?
Wow! This is so beautiful. Here I am, in a crowd of 5,000, all of us running down Pennsylvania Avenue, and I am doing what I do best. I am following the pink ass.
Past the running juggler (or is he a juggling runner?), past the 'Be like a tiger' guy listening to Eye of the Tiger over and over again, past the 'International Pimp Association' crew who aren't really pimping it, past them all. I am focused. I am following the pink ass.
And I have to say it's a nice ass to follow too. Lauren knows this, which is why she wears her hot pink running shorts to big races. Just so guys like me will power out personal best times following her pink ass.
And I follow that pink ass; telling all those we pass to watch out for it. Girls stare, men drool, and I follow. Or at least till we passed the new American Indian Museum, when Nicole, my usual running buddy, and I passed Lauren. We left her to with her own visuals, a crew of Marines, as we looked for new inspiration.
Nicole found hers, several times, and would sprint up to say 'Hi', leaving me to huff & puff my way up to her. Or at least until we passed the Asian Art Museum, when I passed Nicole. I left her when I felt the need. The need to motivate us all to a faster and funnier race.
Overcoming my usual quiet and demure self, I started the shout-outs. Telling random Japanese tourists, 'We do this every Sunday.' Encouraging those that were fading, 'Look, there is the finish line!' And to the silent spectators, 'We run, you cheer!'
So many and so loud, that my Peace Corps friend Stetson caught up to me with a great line of 'I though I heard a Wayan'. Or at least he tried to, cuz when I saw that finish line myself, it was all turbo. Turbo I didn't know I had. Turbo that took me across the line in 51 minutes. Yeah, you do better!
Oh, wait. That's not the end of the day, mind you, for the real physical challenge came next. Next we rolled over to Fado's Irish bar and spent the afternoon drinking back all those calories. Five shouts later, make that five shouts of Guinness pints later, Nicole (52 min), Lauren (54 min), Lisa (67 min), Mark (79 min) and I (51 min) finally had enough. We called it a race, a finish, a great Sixteenth Annual St Patrick's Day 10K.