Despite the messy weather, tens of thousands of runners, many of them in costume, joined me at the Bay to Breakers starting line just before eight o’clock this morning. Included in the throng was a shirtless older gentleman who stood directly in front of me during the national anthem and then oh-so-casually slipped out of his tiny green shorts as the go gun sounded, granting me an unavoidable view of his bouncing, pasty white tush for the first few minutes of the race. Remember when Sunday mornings were for church?
Two weekends ago I got invited by a friend of a friend to join a group of eleven Iowans in a running relay from San Francisco to Napa. Although I didn’t know anyone on the team prior to the race, spending twenty-eight consecutive hours together in a rental van whilst wearing sweat-soaked running clothes changed all that. By the end of the two-hundred-mile journey my van mates and I had become family.
On Wednesday of last week, four days after the aforementioned relay ended, I found myself back in Napa for a work retreat and the hotel that my company put me up in happened to be across the street from the stretch of highway on which I’d finished my third and final leg of the relay. Needless to say, the familiar surroundings socked me right in the gut parts, so I stuck those feelings in an email to my running kin.
Dearest darlingest Van 2 mates,
I’ve been back to my normal life for the better part of a week now yet I can’t stop thinking about the special 28-hour journey the six of us shared last weekend.
Thank you for your warmth and your kindness and your humor and your support and for being so very generous in sharing the most wonderful parts of yourselves and for teaching me new things about myself and for making my first Ragnar relay an unforgettable experience.
There are moments, all magical in ways that my words won't do justice, from the back of the van and from grapevine-flanked checkpoints and from restaurants and starlit parking lots and the sides of busy highways that I very well may never travel again that I know will stay with me always, and it's for those moments, and more-so for each of you, that I will forever be grateful.
Thanks again, and keep on running.
P.S. Attached to this email is the picture I snapped as we parted ways on Saturday. Aside from my unfortunate facial hair situation which has since been remedied, I think it’s quite perfect.
P.P.S. Only a toilet is a toilet.
Some friends and I ran a half marathon through a vineyard in Cloverdale over the weekend and the top three finishers got wine. I finished fourth.
I went for a run this morning and after fifteen miles I found myself in Daly City so I took a Lyft back to my house where I ate two homemade waffles and started reading a new book (Interpreter of Maladies). Then B and I walked to the AMC Kabuki 8 to see Bo Burnham's Eighth Grade, consumed the Fry-Fecta at Roam Burgers and took Buddy, Ellie and The Dude to the dog park on State Street. Now we're watching Dirty Grandpa which Bevan was flabbergasted to learn received an 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
I am now certain that Kari hides in the park for hours on end waiting for me to run by.
Also spotted on this evening's jog: Sidney. On a skateboard. Out of doors. By himself.
Um, remember yesterday when you were six?