Gawking Neighbor: Say Parker, what is that?
Old Man Parker: Not now, can't you see I'm busy?
Gawking Neighbor: Yeah, but what is it?
Old Man Parker: It's a major award.
Gawking Neighbor: Gee, I wouldn'ta know'd dat. It looks like a lamp.
Old Man Parker: Well, it is a lamp, you nincompoop. But it's a major award... I won it.
Gawking Neighbor: Sam hell, you say you won it?
Friday evening was the Second Wind Running Club annual banquet. Melissa & I attended, as we have in previous years. We ate food, shared injury stories with friends (runners have a lot of injury stories), and watched an awards presentation. The club awards prizes for participating in the most club functions or succeeding in a circuit of local races. I finished the year leading the race circuit standings for my age group. I competed in many of the circuit races and did quite well in each of them. For this I received a nice pair of gloves (something I can always use).
The club also hands out runner of the year awards for males and females in the following categories: high school, masters (40+ years), ultra-marathon, new runner, and overall. Once or twice in the past I thought I might have a chance to win one of the runner of the year awards, but even when I had good years, there was always someone who had a better year. Since recovering from my knee injury I had never even given them a second thought.
I was curious to know which of my friends would receive these awards. I listened intently as the winners of each category were announced until they reached the final award, male runner of the year. I found it a bit strange that Melissa chose this moment to get out her camera and turn it on. Before announcing the winner, the club president started listing the winner's 2008 racing accomplishments. They sounded all too familiar, for you see, they were my 2008 racing accomplishments. Indeed, I was honored by the club as the 2008 male runner of the year.
I can honestly say that I was quite surprised by this. Don't get me wrong, I had a good year, but the list sounded much more impressive with somebody else reading it...
It turns out that Melissa knew about it beforehand. It was her duty to make sure I showed up to the banquet. I was actually just as surprised that she was able to keep this a secret from me. I wonder what else she could be hiding...