Today’s blog is a departure from the series of motorcycle stories.
Judy and I met up with our friend Laurie Saturday morning as we and hundreds of others gathered in downtown Coos Bay for the start of the 35th annual Prefontaine Memorial Run. It was already hot in this little coastal town.
It was Laurie’s 34th consecutive year to run. Now, that deserves a trophy right there.
“Well, are you ready?” she asked, pink hat in hand and a smile on her face.
“Sure,” I said. “I’ve got my chewing gum and my orthotics. My toe spacers are in place, and I’m wearing my knee compression sleeve.” Dang, I thought, I forgot to take my ibuprofen!
The two-mile “Fun Walk” (up and down a hilly downtown course, I might add) was my event. Laurie and Judy would participate in the 10K run/walk that retraced hometown track star Steve Prefontaine’s training route.
|Judy, Laurie, me, and Patti|
|Jan, me, and Mary M.|
We met up with our buddies in front of the Coos Bay Art Museum for our usual pre-race photo shoot. Many of them had trained the last ten weeks at Downtown Health & Fitness, our friendly combination social club and fitness center. I could feel the energy as they moved around, and I listened to their talk.
“I’m going to jog more this year,” one said as she walked back and forth.
“I just want to finish and be upright,” came from another.
Steve Prefontaine’s sister squeezed the starter gun’s trigger to begin the race, and we were off. Judy and I parted as we two-milers hung at the rear to give way to the serious 10K runners.
The sight from the back of the pack as we turned up Central Avenue was spectacular. As far as we could see, a flood of florescent yellow dotted with bright pink filled the entire roadway and climbed the hill toward where the street curved. It was like a lava flow in reverse.
As I made the turn onto 11th, which leads into the Marshfield High stadium, it was lined with people of all ages urging all of us on. And in the stadium bleachers, more friends waited to cheer as we crossed the finish line.
I rested a bit then waited near the finish line to try to get photos of our friends as they came in.
|Jan and Mary P|
Laurie was with me as we watched for Judy to come in. Red-faced and drenched from sweat and water that kind bystanders sprayed on the runners as they passed, Judy jogged down the stretch and into the chute.
Her time of 1:24:55 earned her a 1st Place trophy in the senior division, or as she said, "the old lady group."
Downtown Coos Bay -- where the Prefontaine is followed by a big parade with marching bands, an evening rolling car show, and a sock hop. All part of the Bay Area Fun Festival.
~ xoA ~