I couldn’t run this inaugural event, so I got up early, headed down to the corner of Sunset & Logan in Echo Park, took photos (a gallery of which can be seen here) and cheered.
It was fun. The course surrounded my neighborhood, I’ve run almost all of it and run significant chunks of it frequently. A lot of friends were running it. It felt like my race, and I was excited just to be down there watching.
I never get to see the front runners in these races, ’cause I’m not one of them. Watching these guys charge past made me feel like running fast myself. I feel as thought I’ve forgotten how. The truth is I just hold back way too much, in part because I’m afraid I can’t do it anymore.
The women’s winner (with a time of 1:14:45) was 49 year old (!) Linda Somers Smith A full 4 minutes (and 19 years) behind was second place Cheryl Smith, an unlikely Olympic hopeful and single mother of two, who was recently homeless and supplements her income as a substitute teacher with her winnings from smaller races.
A friend talks about how democratic running is, and in a way, Janelle Ralph, tiny, fragile looking girl with such an awkward form I almost feared for her safety; she looked like her bones might snap with every pigeon toed heel strike; her arms crossed in front of her, and her eyes closed. And yet she took second place in the women’s 25-29 division, with a time much faster than I’ve ever run.