The Addictiveness of Finish-Line Crossing Takes Another Victim

The headiness of race day is enough, but add to that the enslaving, ephemeral moment of crossing the finish line, and suddenly you’re a race junkie. You don’t have to be fast. You don’t have to be any good at all. Trust me. My first marathon is the perfect example: the more challenges you face, the more intoxicating the effect. The more complete the euphoria.

All of which is why I’m delighted to report that yesterday I got to watch as some of my very favorite people in all of the world took their first hit.

It was a 5K, and I was supposed to run it too, but my foot injury is still hanging in there and a race is no place to try to take it easy. That’s just silly. On race day, your body does things you would never guess it could do. Sometimes things you would never think it should do. So a race is really and truly the precise incorrect place to jump back into running after an injury. But just as spending hours strapped into the stationary bike is teaching me a new kind of patience, being a spectator at a race has its own rewards. It was easy, really, because, as I said, I ADORE these people, and I was so happy to see them enjoying themselves so much. And even before they were enjoying themselves, in those uneasy minutes before the race begins, I already knew how good they would feel at the finish. So I grinned at them like a maniac and frightened them, but now they understand. I think. Besides, they’re very accustomed to my maniacal behavior, and they love me anyway.

Anyway, here are some photos from the day:

The Incomparable Evan

He wasn't even afraid I would stab him with the safety pins. And he should have been. I'd had a lot of coffee.

The Daddies.

The Chia Pet on race day.

I just wish I still had my boom box from 6th grade. I would have blasted "Born to Run."

And here: "We are the Champions." Evan KICKED ASS. 3.1 in 26 minutes.

I cheer for Evan's mom because I love her. Not because of her t-shirt.

I yelled at him to dash across the finish, but in typical form, Evan's dad ignored me. He's had a lot of practice at that over the years.

My mom, however, leapt into a sprint the moment I started yelling. Gotta love that woman.

And though she threatened never to hug Evan again for getting her into this race, it looks Evan's mom has forgiven him. For now.

Congratulations, my favorite second family. I love you guys!

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