My mom used to say, “Don’t follow the crowd.”
Well, this past weekend I think she would have made an exception.
The Run Fast, Run Hills, Run Duvall! is a 5K race — or 10K race for serious runners — on the west side of the state. My friend, Catherine, and I who are rarely serious about much besides a good menu, crossed the finish line behind the crowd — way behind the crowd.
We neither ran fast nor went up a hill quickly. We did, however, successfully dine Duvall, starting at the finish line.
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“Look at all the food they have for the runners!” I chattered enthusiastically as I scanned the row of tables. “And look, no one is in line!”
Catherine and I exchanged a knowing smile. We’d started the race at the very back of the pack on purpose and within a few minutes, we were outdistanced. I had a cranky knee, and she’d pulled a muscle lifting a fully packed suitcase — most likely full of shoes — so we’d planned to walk the race.
For us, it was more of a stroll.
“Wow!” I exclaimed while devouring the breath-taking feast of greenery, “We need to get another picture so it shows how beautiful this route is along the river.”
One couple, which wasn't in a hurry either, stopped to snap a photo of us in the scene.
Afterward, we chewed the fat and then ate up the track with a finish time of more than an hour. Although we weren’t too happy with what the race clock noted, we did make exceptional strides on our way to the snacks.
As I reached for the packaged fruit strips, oatmeal breakfast cookies and fresh bagels, the volunteer at the table caught my eye.
“Help yourself to as many as you can carry,” the vivacious gal said with encouragement. “And take a bag of bagels. We’ve got tons of food left over."
Hmmm… following the crowd certainly had its advantages, I thought to myself. And from the spread that was leftover, I could see that the majority of runners didn’t "carb-up" AFTER the race.
In this instance, I would definitely be in the lead. I wonder if Mother would be proud.