June 21, 2010

Good Mon. Nice morning here after some rain in the night and earlier yesterday afternoon. The robin couple have been hopping around the grass looking for breakfast. They appear to find something yummy every so often, order it for take-out, and fly back to the nest.

Saturday evening we participated in the Midnight Sun Run, an annual event here. It’s a 10K run from UAF to Pioneer Park that winds through local neighborhoods. All the cops in town are out to hold back traffic while approximately 4,000 runners and walkers and several dogs on leashes and parents pushing baby strollers—while all these people and animals, I say, cross a couple of major streets. Some people wear costumes (for some typical photos see

), and neighbors line up along the route to watch the proceedings, often with beers in hand. We were about 2/3 back in the throng. The first two miles were fun, the second two miles were less so (Pam and I appear at 1:12 in the YouTube video somebody posted at

–if you look at the earlier segments, you can actually see some people running), and the last two were a test of pistil and stamina. We crossed the finish line just under two hours from starting, for an average of 3 mph. I thought that was pretty good, though there were some who completed the run in 30 minutes or less. Each runner who registered got a racing bib with a bar code strip with name and DOB (for the medics to use in the event of a systems failure). On crossing the finish line, we had our bar codes read, which I would imagine might yield some interesting statistics. Among the participants were people ranging from kids to certified elders.

Costumes included two people who were dressed as Star Wars star troopers, a variety of computer game characters, groups with letters on their backs that spelled out something when they lined up in order, people with funny wigs, goth outfits, you name it. One woman had her hair in a waxed Mohawk and her dog’s fur done likewise, which was amusing (maybe not to the dog). Along the way there was quite a bit of drinking. One guy had a daiquiri blender hooked up to motorcycle handlebars and a loud motor—har, har—while another guy who was filling a lawn chair and holding a beer wore a shirt with the Nike slogan, “Just do It.” The closer we got to the finish line, the rowdier the watchers got. One whole neighborhood was having a block party. I can report that there are many Lisa M yard signs in the affluent neighborhood we passed through. Sen. Joe Thomas was waving at the runners and walkers as they passed his house. At the end, we got a shuttle ride from Princess Tours back to UAF where our car was parked, and we made it home by about 12:45 am, just as the northern sky was pink with sunset. My legs and feet were tired, but I seem not to have developed any blisters while pounding the pavement.

Gary Larson cartoon

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