Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Hunted

I’m not one for purchasing race photos anymore. For the first couple of marathons, I bought a few of the official photos and now they’ve disappeared into a drawer next to the race medals never to be seen again. When I’m 80 and dealing with bad knees and blood in my urine, I’ll probably take a look at them and sigh wistfully. Then, I’ll look at my withered testes and sigh wistfully again.

Besides, as some of you have pointed out, I wear pretty much the same outfit in every race. It’s awfully hard to distinguish one race from the next when I’m wearing either my red race shirt or blue race shirt and dark blue shorts, with a back drop of bucolic Midwestern charm, in every single photo over the past four years.

I understand the desire to buy the photos – as I said, I have a few myself – because it captures a moment in time and helps to illustrate a story or refresh a memory. It’s your own little souvenir, or monument, of the accomplishment. Or, you might think you just look really cool Schooling Some Fools and want to submit it as evidence for doubtful friends.

Instead of sinking money into race pictures, I’ve erected an actual monument to, well, me. I had a full size statue commissioned to stand at my front door. It’s me wearing my traditional race clothes, with my left foot on a basketball, my left arm flexing skyward displaying my 22 inch gun, my right hand holds a book (The Collected Works of James Joyce), and I’m viewing the book with a sorta bemused, contemplative scholarly stare as if James Joyce couldn’t possible write anything I couldn’t decipher. Mrs. Nitmos and the kids are groveling on the ground and clutching my powerful right leg, arms extended, reaching up towards me as if a simple glance from me would carry their souls to heaven. It’s simple, powerful, classy and understated. It was very expensive but I think it really spruces up the outside of my mobile home. My neighbors, ten feet to my right and left, are extremely jealous. I hear them mocking it every night through their paper thin walls (unless there is a tornado in progress drowning out their envy.)

However, the recent Bayshore 10k photos are a little different than most. They revealed an actual story to tell. I was surprised to see a series of photos showing me locked in a Duel in the Mid Morning Partly Cloudy Sky with a fellow age grouper. I spent all day* working away in MS Paint to bring you this pictorial tour of my last race. Enjoy.

We pick up our tale somewhere after mile marker 5. It’s time for the finishing kick! Though I did not know it at the time, the person in the photo below is in my age group. He stands between me and First Loser (I would ultimately finish second in my age group.)

Note: He did not have a circular purple painted face. His image has been modified to protect his shame.

Notice the intimidation at play here. Could I possibly get any closer? Are we Siamese runners joined by the…well, never mind. I like to play an asshole on this blog but – could it be – am I actually a real life asshole on the race course also? Jeez Louise, give this guy some room. There’s a whole open road here…

I am hunting him down. I, the lion, am tracking my antelope. The flinging sweat that almost certainly is landing in my gaping mouth obviously does not dissuade me. (Remember, I had copious amounts of nose mucous that day so I was forced to be a 100% Mouth Breather for the race.) Can you hear my foot steps? That’s the sound of second place getting ready to pass you by.

What’s the deal? Take a closer look at these three preceding pictures. Note the positions of our arms and legs. Are we…synchronized running? Or am I mocking him by copying his exact movements directly behind him? Look carefully at my expression in the picture above. Looks like some mocking going on doesn’t it? I seem to be saying “Der, der look at me running too slow to hold on to second place, dum di di der der.”

And I was.

Unfortunately, we left the view of the cameras before my glory/his shame could be recorded as I devoured my antelope. I imagine it looked something like this:


Stomach full of prey, I bounded to the finish searching…searching for the first place and fastest, antelope. I could not find him amongst the thicket of runners. His race shirt and sweat patterns allowed him to blend in with other age groups. So I growled to the finish content with only one race day kill.

Those were some cool race photos. In comparison, they almost make my lawn statue seem needlessly braggadocios.

Almost.

Happy trails.

* If you define “all day” as “20 minutes.”

________________________________________

Good night and good luck to Marcy at I Signed Up For This?!?

22 comments:

Turi said...

Your copying of his running style is uncanny. You need to track him down and form a team - I hear synchronized running will be in the next Olympics. Just exhibition, though - don't get your medal hopes up...

Lily on the Road said...

They say copying someone's style is the highest form of flattery!

Hope the statue is under cover, just so the winged society won't roost nor poop on you...

tfh said...

I would definitely buy my race photos if they could touch them up so that I had blood caked around my mouth. (Or foam. Foam would be good, too.)

Viper said...

If you're not an asshole, then it sure looks like you're trying to be this guy's asshole.

Congrats on the kill.

Jess said...

Haha what a great series of pictures! Nice job in paint lol!

Spike said...

I'm not sold on your story: first, by covering up the race bib and face, we can't know for sure whether that guy was in your ag and not some 80 year-old out for a stroll; second, we can't confirm you did pass the guy, he could have been two feet in front of you in that last picture, or photoshopped out.

Photoshop suspicious

Blyfinn said...

Great kill. I bet the Mrs. is so proud.

Sarah said...

As a fellow enthusiast for using MS Paint to alter photographs in ridiculous ways, I salute you.

But you get -1 for making me think about 80-year old "withered testes" before lunch. :)

nwgdc said...

That is absolutely hilarious! You seriously ARE running 'N SYNC style. He is most likely J. C. or Justin Timberlake, and I imagine, from what I know of you, that you're Lance Bass.

Beth said...

The blood running down your chin is priceless. Congrats on your second place finish dispite your copious mucous. Maybe you and your synchronized running friend can wear matching outfits next time?

Vanilla said...

I think he was trying to block the camera man from getting a picture of you, it's too bad he failed.

Good job on the kill. You ought to get antelope horns tattooed on your calf for each kill, kind of like a WWII aircraft.

Ace said...

“Your battles inspired me - not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead.”

Roisin said...

That's amazing. Seriously. Made me smile...I do love random competition! I'm glad you beat Random Purple-Faced Man. His outfit was rather toolish anyway.

Kristina said...

I'm sorry, did you say something? I was looking at that guy's biceps.

Word ver = "expol"--totally benign (phew)

Lauren said...

You seriously followed a guys footsteps for over a mile with loud mucus-y mouth breathing? No wonder he dropped back and let you beat him... :P

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Copycat - Donald Trump already had that statue made of himself.

Nice job on the running kill. Did you allow the vultures to peck away at the carcass, or did you keep it all for yourself?

Vava said...

That's awesome! I love the blood on your lips as you near the finish. Though I do wonder how you measure your arms? You do know that it's not supposed to be from shoulder to wrist, right?

The Laminator said...

Great job on the kill! Did you bring home the carcass to feed the Mrs. and the kids too?

RunMom said...

Ahh...now I see why you are not fond of my handcrafted trophy for joggers life. Next time I need one, I'll give you a call.

PS I'll buy your kill story. I bet he didn't train properly for THE HILLS! ;-)

Irish Cream said...

How are we supposed to believe that the last photo isn't taken from a completely different race when you set the post up by stating that you wear the same thing to every race? eh?

I kid, I kid. Great job mauling Mr. Biceps and snagging 2nd!

theloosemoose said...

I'm glad you poned Mr.Barney Biceps.

I don't like the look of his purple, featureless face. He definitely deserved a beat down.

sRod said...

I'm glad you went to town on Mr. Bicep McBicepson, I don't much like his pretty boy looks.

You, on the other hand, are scrappy and, dare I say, gaunt. Feast meerily friend.