GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Breaking News

Fiesta 2010

June 27, 2009

Cherishing one little piece of feast of St. Peter

At first, I thought I had a chance.

A chance for glory. A chance to be the first runner, the first reporter to cross the finish line of the St. Peter's Fiesta 5K road race.

I peered at last year's results, saw the winning time of 15:51 and stepped out my apartment for a training run, determined to match it.

I ran flat out. My lungs screamed for me to stop but my legs sped forward. I'd been training for months, when a New Year's resolution got me running again. This 5K was going to be cake.

I snuck a peek at my watch. The analog letters read 16:12, 2.2 miles. Wait — 5 kilometers is 3.1 miles. I was a mile behind. Already, if this were the real race, I'd be toast.

A week later, when I stepped to the starting line behind hundreds of others, I felt relaxed. There was no reason to push forward; I could run comfortably.

This was my first St. Peter's Fiesta, my first summer in Gloucester and the first road race of my life. Why not enjoy it?

The horn sounded; I didn't move. I couldn't. Sweating bodies were packed like sardines into Commercial Street, slowly filtering down the road like sand crystals in a hourglass. The crawling start gave me time to scan our surroundings. Hey, it's not everyday you start a race packed at the edge of a carnival.

Finally, after several stalled seconds, my feet started moving. I saw an opening up ahead and went for it, desperate to reinflate my personal space bubble.

I squeezed between runners and cars and spectators and barely saw the upcoming stroller out of the corner of my eye. I twisted left to avoid it, but I felt my heel clip the wheel. An infant's cry rang out in the background. Bad start. I kept moving.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Fiesta 2010

NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man