I think my favorite part of the Lewis and Clark Half Marathon today came toward the end, when I was running down the street before getting to the Foundry Art Centre. Before that, there had been people on the side of the road here and there, but honestly there weren’t a lot of spectators along the route overall. (This does not go down as one of the most scenic runs. Part of it goes through a suburban office park, and another part goes over a highway bridge, which at least gives some views of the Missouri River. After that, there was a long stretch of nothing but corn.) It always helps (me, at least) when people on the sidelines are yelling things like, “Way to go!” or “Good job!” or “Keep running, you worn out old git!” Clever people that they are, the organizers of the race had our names printed on our bib numbers—even if they did misspell mine—so that anyone who wanted to encourage us by name could do so (and also, I suspect, so that they could identify us if we passed out and so that we could identify ourselves at the end in our dazed and confused condition).

Toward the end of the race, I really needed the encouragement. And as I approached the spot where this ten-year-old girl was standing, I could hear her mother prompting her with the names from the runners bibs.

“Jeffery,” her mom said.

“Go, Jeffery!”

Luckily, whichever way you spell it, the name sounds the same.

*2:01:32 is about 15 minutes better than my last half-marathon, which is even more amazing to me considering that I didn’t have a drop of coffee before the race this morning.

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