You could smell fall in the air last night as the dark red sunset loomed over the horizon. In the distance blackened images of high school goal posts rose from the field. It is that time of the year when fans fill the grandstands showing support to the hometown team, the lure of the Friday night lights can’t keep them away.
Now I am not a huge football fan but I understand the need for my Cougars to beat the Huskies and the Beavers to beat the Ducks. I go to local games if I can but that is not the highlight for me…last night running around the track with Maizy in the jogger stroller,(a tradition among my kids – Joash logged 300 plus miles when he was two) now that was a highlight. It was the perfect evening for keeping us coming back for more. We are runners, we don’t need the lights on Friday or the applause of the crowd just a pair of shoes and an open road or trail. Deep down however we have a competitive spirit driving each step – a drive to beat clock, the pain or person in front of us. The same drive to qualify for Boston is driving the high school and college cross country teams of the fall. There is not Olympic event to strive for in the future just the pure thrill of doing your best to pass the guy in front. There are no pads, no back ups, no trick plays just guts and the satisfaction of knowing you would still run if it was just you and your daughter on a cool night in September. If you have never seen a XC race in person find one around you and see pure competition at its best.