Kevin is not a runner, although he would like to be. The opening minutes of the race on Sunday were at a walking pace for both of us, due to the huge number of other people. But once we got past the starting line, we could move to a slow jog, still dodging all the other people but now spread out enough to give us room, he in runner’s shorts and Nike Shox, me in my kilt and Brooks Adrenalines.
But it still was a bit fast for him, and I’ve been training half-way decently; before even a quarter-mile, he needed to walk and I was ready to go.
“Go, go!” he said. “I’ll be OK.”
“I’ll be on the left-hand side as you cross the finish line,” I said, and then I moved forward and didn’t look back.
Even when I heard giggly girl voices behind me a few minutes later.
Girl 1: I just want to find a hot guy, and follow him.
Girl 2: There’s one! In the kilt!
My immediate reaction was Oh, they’re mocking me. I am short, pudgy, balding, and I’ve got esteem issues to boot1. But they didn’t sound like they were mocking me; they were giving me props for being brave enough to wear a kilt today. So I was able to talk my negative voice down from the mental ledge and take it as a compliment.
Especially as they continued:
Girl 1: Him? That’s hot!
Girl 2: (shouted) I love your kilt!
I didn’t turn around. I just smiled and held up my hand, making the circular OK sign, and waved.
I could still hear them talking, though.
Girl 1: That kilt’s really cute.
Girl 2: We should have worn kilts!
Girl 1: Next year, we should totally wear mini kilts!
I immediately pictured hot runner girls in tiny mini kilts and tied-off white t-shirts, running behind me.
I then pictured myself next year (in much better shape) running the Shamrock Run with an entourage of hot runner girls all dressed in matching mini-kilts. That might even be enough motivation for Kevin to keep up with me for the whole race… Or get my other friends to join me.
How do I make that happen next year?2 I’ll even spring for the kilts…
1 That’s a joke. At my own expense, but still meant for humor.
2 No, I didn’t talk to them again after that, or try to find them after the race. I’m kinda single-focused like that.