I had logged 32 km. One final kilometre to go and I would call it a day.
And then out of nowhere There They Were.
Like a scene out of a National Geographic documentary on the great wildebeest migration. A seismic mass of taut bodies and sinewy legs impelled by instinct toward their destination.
But these wildebeest were bipeds.
And they sported race bibs.
In my attempt to avoid the Toronto Yonge Street 10k race, the final stages of my training run had now unwittingly led me smack into the middle of the Mountain Equipment Co-Op Toronto Race One.
With a devious glint in my eye and a salivating smile greedily perched upon my lips I surveyed the unfolding drama.
In my mind I was a hungry lion observing the great herd.
Waiting for my opportunity.
Paws at the ready.
I leaped into action.
In my mind there was a mighty cry of fright — panic set in as the race bib toting wildebeest became aware of my presence. Dust clouds erupted as frantic Nike clad hooves tried in vain to speed away from the powerful interloper in Kinvara 4’s.
Despite the toll the previous 32 km had taken my race instincts were percolating.
I picked off the unsuspecting racers one by one as I launched my attack.
My adrenaline surged.
My pulse raced.
My feet clawed the ground beneath me.
Driving me forward.
And then it happened.
My watch beeped.
Calling an end to my efforts.
33 km done.
In a time over 16 minutes faster than I was 52 weeks ago.
3 weeks until The Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon.
As a sporting ad from the 1980’s once exhorted:
If You’re Not The Predator,
You’re The Prey.
(A special note: No animals — be they wildebeest, lion, or human, quadriped or biped, were hurt in the making of this post. I dutifully made sure that my efforts during and after my run in no way impeded those of my racing cohorts.)