I won a race once.
A fun run to be more exact.
Not an achievement I am ever likely to repeat, except in a different universe.
It was at a friend’s old school and we had a choice between 4 km or 8 km routes.
I opted for the 8 km while my friends, like most people opted for the shorter one. My two friends said I had a good chance to win the 8 km, but I wasn’t so sure. After all, one of them was consistently faster than me and regularly pocketed silver medals.
A few folk entered the 8 km and we set off through the early morning, jacaranda lined streets.
I was unaware that I was in first place until I looked around me and find myself surrounded by traffic cops on motorcycles in front and behind. I hadn’t noticed all this activity before as I was too focused on putting one foot ahead of the other in a rhythmic stride.
It’s an incredible feeling to see uniformed officials in sunglasses and helmets around you and supporting your every step.
My first thought was that I must have taken a wrong turning and landed up in front by accident, since I have always been aware I’m no Usain Bolt or Roger Bannister. I even briefly stopped at the final water point to clear my mind and dispel the dream. The officers slowed down too, and seemed to be silently cheering me on and willing me to start running again before someone else pipped me at the post. So having finished a sachet of water and still find myself in the real world I threw myself into the home stretch and was soon crossing the finish line. This was the only time I ever got paid to run:
I’ve had many other running adventures both good and bad (mostly very good) but this stands out as one of the very best tar tramping memories in the repertoire!