Our runners assembled at 10:30 in the Wild Colonial parking lot to ride down to the Mews Tavern race in Wakefield, RI. Our group had high spirits and lofty expectations as we piled into Rita’s car for the ride down to the race.
A curious thing happened about thirty minutes into the ride. A fire engine had its lights on and sirens blaring, approaching the highway from a perpendicular street. We slowed down and stopped to let the fire truck pass on through to the emergency where it was heading.
It should not have been a surprise when the car slammed into us from behind. But it was a surprise.
The other car full of runners who got hit in the other lane in a separate accident, were probably just as surprised as we were.
Luckily, none of us were injured in the collision. An accident on a high speed highway like this could have far more serious consequences. The driver of the other car, who was following too closely was quite a character. Clearly, the most effective course of action would be to blame the driver of the vehicle that he had just hit from behind. A great sigh of relief should have fallen over all of us when he boldly announced that he was a firefighter. Being such a professional one would expect an inquiry into the physical condition of those involved, yet nothing of the sort. IJust fits of anger and blame. He did let us know several times that he was late for his “championship” rugby game. I was thinking that all he needed was his bottle warmed up and someone to pick his binky up.
But he was, and is, at fault. Moreover, his girlfriend’s car is more or less totaled as the engine was pushed into the interior of the car. Radiator fluid was gushing over the roadway. His hood was a jumbled mess. The officer would not let him drive it away, insisting on a tow. He missed his game that he was in a such a hurry to get to. His initially quiet girlfriend was slowly becoming more and more disturbed and angry.
Rita’s car, the Suburu simply needed the bumper pushed back into place. Off to the race
We made it to the race right as it was starting. The gun had gone off a few minutes earlier, and the back end of the nearly 2,000 participants lumbered slowly up the road. Brien, Nate and I ran up the road to join them. Snow had to pull double duty to pick up her race packet. Rita was gracious enough to let us out of the car while she parked the car. Since this race started in a narrow neighborhood street the first few tenths were crowded and slow. Like gridlock slow. We ran over lawns, hay bales, around cones, over the hills, and through the woods in an effort to get somewhat ahead of the 36:00 pace set. All of us were able to run the race – although Snow ran a very fast time which she was not credited for because they turned off the starting gate.
After a hectic and confusing start, it ended up being a solid race day. The Mews Tavern puts on an outstanding party after this race. Its not too often you drink free beer in shorts and a t-shirt five days from Thanksgiving. It is not often either that well meaning individuals “saw you standing on the side of the highway.” Next up is an exciting and informative post about running for transportation.