Showdown at Dawn | Posted: 2004-09-27 06:09:08 | 14163 hits | View in Hi-Fi Mode

All summer long, I've been doing my runs super early in the morning. While this has started to change a little bit now that the temperature has dropped below 100 in the evenings, on the weekends I still drag myself out before the crack of dawn for my serious distance training. (Evenings are mostly reserved for shorter dog runs and other adventures through Papago park.)

As a consequence, I've gotten used to kind of having the place to myself. Sure, there's the crew of old women walking their yappy little dogs on the Indian Bend Wash trails, but I only see the occasional runner. When we do pass each other, we give each other the secret morning runner sign and keep going. Contact is minimal.

So, Sunday morning I'm doing my 15 mile run -- I've been continuing to pile on the miles -- and some dude comes up on me from behind. I said to myself, "There's no way that guy is going to pass me" and the race was on.

Now, neither one of us was exactly burning up the trail. At this point, I'd already run about 10 miles at a comfortable pace and who knows how many miles he'd put in before we converged, but we both picked up our speeds considerably. I may not be the fastest runner in the world, but darn it, I hate it when people pass me.

Two random strangers who have never met before and probably won't ever meet again, dueling it out as the sun comes up over the Valley -- that's some epic stuff. We ran together, pretty much neck 'n' neck, for about four miles. Neither one of us could get the advantage and still retain enough energy to drag ourselves all the way back to our respective homes. After several hours alone with my thoughts out there in the morning, it was nice to have some stimulation -- I haven't raced anyone, really, since I was member of my highschool's Cross Country team over a decade ago.

When it was all over, we thanked each other and went about our separate ways. It was a tie, but in the end, we were both winners... (*cough* *cough* cheezy, I know.)


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