The Kentucky Derby Marathon was held today, and our company fielded a small team of runners and walkers. I was a member of the team, but I wasn’t perambulating the course – I was one of the support team, cheering on the others. I stood by the course ringing a cowbell for an hour and a half (I wore earplugs).
The morning started out cold and rainy. I went to the designated spot where the race organizers had said that there would be bleachers and noisemakers and maybe even snacks. But when I arrived, there were no bleachers or noisemakers and certainly no snacks. And there were only about six of us.
The sun finally came out and it turned into a pretty, if humid, morning for running. So I walked down further toward where the runners were coming from and was amazed at what fifteen thousand people coming down Fourth Street looked like. I was reminded of the old remark about if all the Chinese started walking by four abreast, they would never stop coming.
There weren’t many people in costume; apparently that’s not as popular as it used to be or the rain discouraged the use of such elaborations. There was a cute SpongeBob SquarePants, a couple of Elvises, a race horse (last year’s Derby winner Mine That Bird), and what I think was a nineteenth century riverboat gambler or gentleman – it was hard to tell which.
At my corner there was also a guy who showed up in his car and argued with the policeman about letting him drive across the course. I wonder why he engaged in such counterproductive behaviour; the cop a couple of blocks down was letting people across, but once he decided to argue, well, that was it for him.
Our team leaders both finished the half-marathon in under two hours, and one team member came in 23rd in their division! I rang them on, as well as the rest of our team. Eventually the last walker of our team came by, and I holstered my cowbell.