Monday, February 13, 2012

Guest Blog: Thawed at the Frostbite 5

Cluck! Hi, I’m Dayton’s Charity Chicken, and I’m acting as a guest blogger on Enjoy the Journey. I’m a walker: strictly short distances. Hey, I’m a chicken. Chickens aren’t exacly known for embarking on long distance journeys. Crossing roads? Pecking the ground? Sure. Ultramarathons? Migrating to the equator? Not so much.

I normally walk for health charities, but this past Sunday I was going to walk strictly for my own health, and for fun, at the Ohio River Road Runners’ Club’s Frostbite 5 at Centerville H.S. It’s your choice of a 5 mile run or 4 mile walk. I’ve completed the 4 mile walk twice before and that was my goal this year: complete the four mile course. Nothing fancy, but a big step after struggling through back and lower leg difficulties at the Jingle Bell 5k for Arthritis in December. I trained seriously for the Frostbite since it is my longest event. As the day approached, my confidence was high.

The Frostbite is always on Super Bowl Sunday. Aptly named, it’s always frigidly cold, well below freezing. But not this year. Sunday it was a balmy 44 degrees Farenheit. The sky was perfectly clear and the sun was strong.

I joined the throng of racegoers entering the high school’s gym and proceeded to engage in my typical pre-race routine of registering, posing for some photos, waving at lots of people who call out to me, drinking lots of fluids, holding up my sign so people could read it easily, stretching, socializing, and accepting compliments for my accessories (this time it was my stylish Yoda backpack that caught everyone’s attention). I tried to hang out in the gym for a while, since I do enjoy hanging with my peeps, but it was getting too hot for me.

I had been worried about the warm temperature before I arrived, but I was feeling okay when I was lining up at the starting line. There was a cool breeze.

There were a number of dogs also lining up at the starting line, but one particular one stood out. I heard this doberman pinscher vocalizing to my left. It wasn’t barking, it was whining, moaning, and declaring “Ahr ahr AHRRRRR!” I should have heeded that doggy’s words of warning!

The gun fired, the runners burst forth, and I started clucking along okay, but by the time of the first big left turn something wasn’t right. As I continued up the east side of the high school I was hyperventilating, wheezing something awful, and fighting to push ahead. I was getting passed by all the other walkers. I fell to last place. I was struggling to keep up and was failing miserably as the last of the walkers pulled further and further away. I was circling around the front of the school and the gaping hole between me and the walkers ahead had grown considerably. The hole was big enough for me to know I would end up on the course with no one in sight and only a vague idea of how to get to the finish line.

As I was about to leave the high school grounds, the very nice course marshall at the high school’s entrance was starting to move the cones from the start of race position to the end of race position (the course is a big loop through residential streets that returns everyone to the high school). He looked up as I approached and said “Chicken, you’re not going as fast as you usually do. Are you okay?” I slowed down to a stop and said “I don’t think I’m used to this heat and I don’t think I can make it.”

To be continued …

Will the chicken dance its way to glory, collapse in feathery despair, or be abducted by a horde of chicken wing loving Super Bowl fans? Come back tomorrow for the dramatic conclusion!

1 comment:

  1. Oh No! How will Chicken get across the finish line?