Four years may have gone by, but the climbs make old memories rush out front. Denton is not flat. Run uphill from Quakertown Park to Texas Woman’s University to hear a volunteer tell you “it’s all downhill from here.”
But you tell the kids running alongside, who are wondering aloud, are there are more hills? yes, yes there are. There’s another short climb in Pioneer Woman Circle and a big climb up to and around the Square at the end.
And you tell your inner voice that it’s not the Horsetooth Half, so quit complaining and keep running.
It’s a misty, rainy morning and some people wear gear and some don’t. If we were in the Keys, I wouldn’t wear gear. I don’t know how to make that decision. Except to shed mine after the first climb because it’s warm and it stopped raining.
People run together. People pass each other. People watch and cheer for friends and family at the finish line. People mix and mingle around the tent with the bananas, mandarins, granola bars and bottles of Ozarka, taking pictures and waiting for race results. Maybe we are starting to figure out how to commune with each other again. This is my first race since the pandemic. I feel as if I’m still watching through the glass. But I’ll sign up for another race soon to help that feeling pass.
And there’s Sam, crossing the finish line. He’s not a runner, so he walked the trot. But last week, he and his brother rode 30 miles in the Denton Turkey Roll. They’re communing too.