Last weekend I ran in a relay race called the Teen Closet 50. I’ll give readers a few moments to genuflect (genuine reflection) to figure out why teen closet is in the race name. I’ll also give details about the meltdown in a bit.
The 50-mile relay has ten legs that start and end at the large, public high schools in my hometown of Spokane, Washington. A ten-member team is ideal, but teams can have fewer runners.
My team, the Classic Cruizers, has finished first every year since the race’s inception three years ago. Our outstanding streak of first-place finishes is easy to understand if you analyze this year’s top finishing teams in our division:
- Classic Cruizers – 6 hrs. 19 min. 42 sec.
- (no 2nd place finisher)
- (no 3rd place finisher)
One of the highlights is the post-race freebies – pizza, ice cream and plenty of swag. The entry fee proceeds funds clothing needs of teen-aged foster children, which you should have figured out after your allotted time for genuflecting.
Despite our first-place masters division finish, I was miffed at the Manito Runners Club team that finished just ahead of us and won the open coed division. I could have gotten two first-place medals. It gnawed at me until the awards ceremony when I had my meltdown. I charged the podium and yelled obscenities and slurs at the Manito team. I got into a scuffle with a couple race officials who tried to pull me away.
After my outburst, I was told my conduct was a violation of race standards. I don’t understand that, but I agreed to undergo sensitivity training. If there’s any reader who’d like to be a low-cost provider, please let me know by commenting.
I believe my behavior was appropriate, yet I continued to overhear runners talking disdainfully about the “unfortunate incident” they had to witness. Then a Manito Runners Club team member asked, “Jim, why did you yell at us? You’re in our club, and we’re friends with you.”
Sure, friendship is neat, but winning medals is better. If someone on the MRC team would just hand over a medal, this riff would be healed.