ITS A WONDERFUL RACE
with apologies to Frank Capra
Scene 1: The runguru, despondent over the state of long distance running, finds himself in a midtown bar. On his fourth, two over his limit, he sees his primary antagonist, the one that has been trying for years to wrest everything dear from him. A sneer, a beer, and all hell breaks loose.
Scene 2: Runguru is headed back to Waterloo, approaching the Elkhorn River when a deer runs in front of his truck. Big swerve to avoid and a crash into the deep ditch. Driver stumbles out of cab, deciding to hoof the remaining couple of miles. Gets half way across the bridge, stops to take a leak, slips and falls into the water.
Scene 3: Underwater. A life quickly flashing before eyes. Voice over “Save yourself!” But the water is cold and numbing and the lack of pain is sweet. Again, “Save yourself!” Now dreamily drifting off. The voice again. “You will lose Everything! A life and a life’s work!” Still, so sleepy…
Scene 4: A body now to the voice, a winged Dooling. Sitting next to the runguru, once again up on the bridge. The archangel warns that giving up is the worst thing. The cost will be dear. At once the pair are at the finish line of the 2016 UnOmaha Apathy Marathon. A single runner is confused, none are angry, the course cut short a full 4 miles because the race director (our antagonist) didn’t bother to put out a cone. Woots abound.
Scene 5: Dooling and his charge are at the 2020 Trans Mississippi International 8K. The 3 top USATF Nebraska Clubs are in casual reverie. Team Aksarben, Lethargic Racing Club, and Not Really Good Either. No one figures or cares for results because they all sport the same drab grey kit and all ran 35:30. Amazeballs abound.
Scene 6: The pair are seated in the rear of the 2025 USATF Nebraska annual meetings. Perfect teeth everywhere. Our antagonist’s first order of business is dittos on naming BetterYou, Omaha’s premiere Botox/Testosterone/Augment/Removal/Enhancement clinic as title sponsor with their offer of 20% Tuesday discount cards to all! Awesome Sauces abound!
Scene 7: General Mills, 2032. Mike Morgan supervising the night shift, a position earned after only two years, covering the 16 block long warehouse like nobody’s business. Thirty years on the production line. Looks at the Wheaties Box, the Chicago Olympic Games 10000 Meter winner hailing from Anywhere Else, USA beaming with joy!
Scene 8: The runguru and his saving grace are back on the bridge. Runguru is lamenting “Not Mike! He deserves everything he worked so hard for!” “And what about David? And Peter? And James? What of them?”
Scene 9: The runguru is alone again. Standing, and zipping his fly.
Scene 10: At the Bar None. Nebraska Run Guru Elite, Inc. mates are celebrating their 2016 Christmas party and top 5 finish at the Club XC National Championships in Tallahassee.