Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Cheering Crowd

The deafening sound of the enormous crowd cheering me on is amazing even if it is just my imagination.

I am planning a race pace run this afternoon and it seems to me that if I use a positive approach, there is no way it will be a bad run. You see my plan is to write about the run first and then allow it to unfold properly when I arrive.

 The first thing I notice as I drive through the gate at Bradbury, is how full the parking lot is. Usually it is fairly full of bikers, but this is different, these are spectators cars and they are everywhere.

 A tall lanky man with a yellow vest  is frantically waving an orange flag, he motions for me to stop and it appears he is going to send me back out as the lot is so full. Immediately upon opening the window a smile spreads across his face.

 "Hey, I know you" he says with a hint of excitement.  "You  better get going, the run is about to start."
He ushers me out of my truck and motions to another volunteer to park it for me. What great service! I wonder to myself if all the yearly pass holders get this type of special treatment.

 As I head toward the trail, the crowd spreads like a wave of water in front of me creating a wall of people on both side and a walkway to the start.  It is a little intimidating to say the least and I find myself wondering if they have mistaken me for someone important.

 Surely some celebrity was scheduled to show up here, perhaps training for the Bruiser now that the Bradbury series is so popular.....or maybe the Bradbury Big Bad Ultra. I know I should set the people strait and fess up to being just an everyday runner out for some training, but the electricity of the crowd somehow made me feel special and basking in the attention just seemed right at the moment.

 I could hear comments in the crowd saying things like, have a good run, good luck, knock em dead out there......I reach the edge of the woods and wave in all directions as I hit start on my watch and head up the trail. The loud cheering started fading away as I ran deeper into the woods until the silence of the single track finally engulfed me completely.

 I had no definite plans other than shoot for a race pace type run that would continue until I felt tired and ready to stop running.  The woods were tranquil and it was amazing to notice some leaves had started changing color already and due to some heavy rains lately, there were even some random leaves on the trail.

 Images of fall running filtered through my brain as I seemingly floated along with miles just clicking by like a second hand on a watch. I felt rested and calm, only pleasant thoughts and cool images were present and my brain felt like it was laying in a hammock on a warm fall day just swinging slightly in the light breeze.

 I was lost in thought for hours or maybe even days when suddenly the single track opened up and I was back where I started. The crowds were gone now and I assumed they had responsibilities and just couldn't hang around for days waiting for me to finally emerge.

 It was fine with me though as I really didn't need a cheering crowd to make me feel good after a wonderful relaxing run like this one. I shut down my watch as I slowed to a walk and headed back to the parking lot. It was almost empty and the few people who were there didn't even look up as I walked by. I suspected perhaps they were having their own dream.

 This was such a great run........I can't wait to get there.

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