The very first race I ever ran was the Dana Point Turkey Trot 10K in Dana Point, California on Thanksgiving Day. I've run it almost every year for the past 6 years. It's a special race for me because it marks the beginning of my love for running. Each year, people arrive in a variety of costumes. There were reindeer, Santas jogging with boom boxes blaring Jingle Bell Rock, turkeys, pilgrims, a large chicken, and one beer drinking Elvis. It's a festive crowd, the route follows the coastline, and the air smells like the sea.
This year, my family decided to join in the fun. My mom, dad, 2 sisters, brother -in-law, husband, cousin, and I all awakened at 5:30am and piled in the car, hoping against hope that the dark, foreboding clouds above would hold off dumping down rain until after the race. We also hoped that we would get to the race in time to do some dumping of our own. Especially my cousin who asked to remain nameless. We'll call her "Annie." "Annie" had battled some food poisoning in the form of fish tacos and for a solid 24 hours before the race, polluted the atmosphere with her rot gut gas. I am happy to report that our suffering ended just before the race started in a Jack in the Box restroom.
Every runner understands the need to find a bathroom just before a race starts. Nerves kick in and bowels need evacuating.
The race started and I felt great. I passed the 1 mile marker and the heavens opened and a relentless storm instantly soaked every runner from head to toe. But, you say, "you're FROM SEATTLE. Aren't you used to the rain?" My answer is yes. I'm used to drizzly Seattle rain that comes and goes. This was my first experience running in a monsoon. No amount of rain proof running gear could have kept me dry.
The runners had a choice. Quit and run next year in the sunshine, or put one foot in front of the other and cross the finish line. I didn't see anyone drop out. I made it to the finish line slower than I did last year, but last year I wasn't tramping through standing water up to my calves.
We all drove home, one big freezing, wet mess and jumped in my parents' jacuzzi with our clothes on as soon as we got home. I've never been so thankful for hot water. We laughed about the race all day, telling the story to each new relative that showed up.
Here's hoping that it rains again next year....