We gathered at noon, and made our way over to Hagan Stone Park. I used to run there two and three times a week, but that was some 30 years ago. Still, it was like meeting an old friend. The trails are certainly better marked now.
Lily and I were in the 2 P.M. heat, and the organizers wasted no time introducing us to mud. Lots of mud. Not the specialized proprietary red stuff. Oh no. Pond mud. Creek mud. Smelly, black, sticky mud. We crossed that pond and creek over and over in many evil ways. Lil stepped on a turtle. I fell in a hole. Snakes were everywhere. I saw them. Trust me.
An hour and three miles later, we crawled down the 15-foot wall and skipped hand-in-hand across the finish line. (I had earlier explained how the law required just this sort a finish.) I doubt this dad has smiled so in years. Lil hit the slip and slide for her Grand Finale, and we both headed for the beer stand.
I have not had a better Saturday afternoon in a very long time, and yeah, that beer was excellent.