One Last Point: In the wee small hours
Written by Jef Hatch, Pilot staff writer   
May 08, 2012 11:04 pm

 

In just 15 days, 4 hours, 36 minutes and 12 seconds  –  give or take a few seconds  –  I’ll be huffing and puffing my way to the finish of a 10K run.

Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll be huffing and puffing my way to the finish of a 6.2 mile walk with a few feet of running thrown in to satisfy the requirement that it be run.

I’ve been training as much as I can, and I figure at the worst I’ll be able to finish in two hours. I’m hoping for 90 minutes. Doesn’t it sound so much better when you say 90 minutes?

For those of you reading this on Wednesday, you’ll notice that my days and hours don’t equate to Sunday, May 27, which is the official date of the Azalea Festival Half Marathon and 10K Fun Run  –  oh yeah, event organizer Brittany Jenkins would cut the tongues out of my running shoes if I didn’t remind everyone of the 1-mile kids dash, too  –  but there is a good reason for the numbers not adding up.

Actually there are two reasons.

First and foremost, my religion. 

I didn’t know when I committed to running it that the race would be on Sunday, and being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I don’t think that running in a competitive race, or even a fun run, is something that is appropriate for me to do on the Sabbath. 

I try to reserve the day for rest and worship, and this doesn’t quite fall into either of those categories. I’m not going to judge anyone for the choice that they make and I’m sure there a more than a few people who disagree or even think me nuts for my beliefs, but so it goes.

Second, I wasn’t going to be in town for any of the Azalea Festival. I’ll be at the OSAA State Track and Field meet in Eugene on Friday and Saturday and then I’ll be leaving the West Coast for North Carolina for a little over a week to attend the wedding of my best friend from college.

Brittany wasn’t about to let me out of the commitment I made a year ago though, and she and her husband offered to set up the race and run it with me on Thursday before I leave. 

I’ve got to tell you it means a lot to me that she and Charlie would do that for me, and, truth be told, it gives me just a little more willpower to be ready. 

There are 62,736 feet in 6.2 miles, and I figure I’ll be striding a little over 1.5 feet with each step I take. That figures to be 41,824 strides I’ll have to take before I can claim I’m done. Whew, I’m tired just writing the numbers.

In preparation for the event, I’ve talked with a few runners. Almost all of them talk about a runner’s high that comes after you’ve been on the road for a while. 

I’ve not gotten high yet, and I’m beginning to go back to my original thought about runners: They’re crazy. I mean, I talked to one student who ran 10 miles, just because. He wasn’t going anywhere, or chasing anyone, or fleeing for his life. He was just running.

I don’t think that I’ll ever run for the sake of running; it’s too much torture. But hey! Maybe my endorphins will finally kick in and instead of huffing and puffing, I’ll be singing a happy song.