So it’s Saturday the 6th of June and I just finished the virtual Race across America. It was a 5K race. Let me set the scene.

When I got up and looked outside, of course it was raining. After all it’s early June in Washington state. What else would it be doing? But I’d made a commitment to this race and to my team leader, Lorinda. Also I’d committed $30 to this. This $30 will go towards Feeding America. Alright I’m prepared to walk in the rain. Yes it’s a race but since I don’t run (tried it once and no), I figured it would just be a walk in the park, literally. Whatcom Falls Park is just outside my back door and I walk there all the time. I decide though to take an umbrella or as I like to call them, bumbershoots. In Washington you don’t see them very often. As I’ve said somewhere else they are kinda a pain in the ass. Now normally I don’t do outside activities in the rain so I figured taking a bumbershoot was a good idea. You may be saying, Al, what about some rain gear? I’ve lived in Washington since I was eight years old and in that time I’ve never owned any official rain gear, okay. Why would I need rain gear for the drizzle we Washingtonians call rain? It’s not like we get the torrential downpours you quite often see in the Midwest or really any weather that the rest of the US experiences. Don’t worry though we are not jealous of your weather.

Okay so here I go in my hoodie, sweatpants, and baseball cap. Along with my MP3 player rocking out and carrying the bumbershoot. It is drizzling (see above) but then it starts to increase in intensity (again see above) so, yay, I unfurl the bumbershoot. I’ve now been in the “rain” for about 120 seconds and I’m getting wet. This does not bode well for the entirety of the 5K. Not many people out but as I pass one group, of which none have an umbrella, I realize how silly I must look. Why, you ask? The rain has already started to slack off. Stupid Washington weather! By the time I’ve re-furled the umbrella it’s stopped except for the occasional single drop or two. Typical. Alright now I’m stuck with carrying the bumbershoot. For 5K. No it’s not heavy but just an annoyance as I continue walking.

At the 1K mark I hear a voice behind me. I move over to the far right of the trail, Corona, to let the person who’s probably running get by me, but I keep walking. After a few seconds of no one passing me I’m thinking they were actually walking and I turn around to look to see if I’m impeding them in some way. Well there’s no one there. Alright I know I heard a voice, I’m not crazy, contrary to popular belief (insert frowny face here). I suddenly think to look at my phone, to some of you this will be shocking as I normally don’t carry my phone (at least not when I’m on a walk), remembering that I’d started the app for this Run across America race. It keeps track of your speed and distance. It also tells you when you’ve made it to each kilometre of the race. Heh, my phone talked to me. I didn’t know the app would do that.

Great, I’ve gotten through my first kilometre and I’m feeling good. Not wet in case you’re wondering. My route is firmly mapped out in my head and I’m sure I’ll be doing this 5K with no worries. Stop smiling, just because I’m walking doesn’t make it any less of an accomplishment, dammit. And the rain has stopped completely. Now I just need to avoid any puddles that have appeared on the trail.

Suddenly I jump as a voice announces “Two Kilometres”. Dammit, I’d forgotten about my phone, again. If I can be honest here, and why not, it scared the crap out of me. Seriously startled me. I switch hands with the umbrella, cursing my falling prey to the pressure of “getting wet” during this excursion. Still I’m making good time. I’m averaging around 11 minutes a kilometre. Damn I’m good.

“Three Kilometres”. CRAP! I almost peed my pants that time. Jiminey christmas! I forgot again! Now I’m annoyed with myself. My brain is now pushing the idea of Not Forgetting about the declaration of the passing kilometres. Good thing I’ve got a whole kilometre to work on not forgetting. The bumbershoot is now switched back to the other hand and I’m really regretting falling for the trick the rain played on me. I absolutely did not need this stupid umbrella. I’m quite sure that if John Steed was carrying a green umbrella with a huge Big 5 logo on it, Mrs. Peel would have never answered the door when Steed would say “Mrs Peel we’re needed”. No matter how handsome and well dressed he was. She would have looked out the security spy-hole and went, “No way” tip-toeing away to pretend she was in the shower or even better, out shopping.

Yes! Four kilometres and I didn’t jump or startle when “Four Kilometres” was announced. Good job brain. This is also exciting as it means I’m almost at the end of my “race”. I feel good and am glad I made the decision to participate. At least I made one good decision during this. I can now head home with the assurance I will complete the 5K by the time I walk up to my back door.

Yes! First and foremost I didn’t jump or scream like a girl (sorry ladies but you know what I mean) when my phone announced “Five Kilometres. Congratulations you’ve completed the Run across America. You should be so proud, except for bringing that umbrella.” Okay I added that last part.

So there we go. I just walked 5K in the “rain”. I want to thank all the little people who made this possible…..umm sorry there were no little people who were a part of this. It was all me with a bit of encouragement and possibly some peer pressure to participate. Not that I’m sorry I felt that pressure as it’s for a good cause and in today’s world you gotta pick your battles. There are people out there who are hungry and have no recourse to relieve that hunger. Feeding America is doing that.

Okay there you go. That’s how I spent my Saturday morning. You’re welcome. 😉

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