I live in Nashville and my morning run plan was canceled by snow. It wasn’t so much the running as it was the driving to the other side of town.
I’ve actually never run with “K” (no relation to Racer K) and this time we were going to make it happen. We actually made PLANS to meet at Percy Warner park at 9am and run the 5.8 mile loop.
I was really looking forward to it because K has been a runner for years and I’ve always loved his story about running the first Country Music Marathon in Nashville. He was a pretty good runner, so his projected time landed him in the first corral.
Back then, the race welcomed and paid elite runners, so K found himself loosening up with the Kenyans. It’s so funny to hear him tell the story because he is really humble, observant, and a tad bit paranoid.
“So, I’m this tall lanky white guy with a shaved head standing there in New Balance shoes and all these Kenyans are looking at me like, “who the fuck is this guy?” They are whispering to each other and giving me the stink eye as I do my stretches and run in place and I’m really thinking they are out to get me, but I have no idea why I’m in the first corral and certainly no challenge to the Kenyans. So I get nervous because I think these guys are gonna take me out on the run. But seriously, I am just gonna run this race and have no intention on trying to stay with the Kenyans. So, dude, I’m standing on the starting line with these guys and looking over at them and they’re looking at me and I think, man, what am I doing here, I just like to run. My TOE is ON the starting line in the first corral and there are TV news cameras on us and I know people at home are saying the same thing, “Who the fuck is THAT guy?” I was really thinking about going back to the second corral, but I couldn’t move. I was pushed to the front and then I was afraid I’d get a false start and get disqualified or hold up the race. I was just trying to keep my balance and getting a little dizzy just standing there. Then they counted down to the gun and when it shot, the Kenyans left me in the dust and everything was cool then, you know? I just ran.”
Damn, I love hearing that story and was looking forward to it again today, but we’re gonna try again tomorrow.