Wednesday, July 30, 2008
In the meantime I have a tri story that has been knocking around in my skull since I heard it, pinging back and forth, looking for an exit. Maybe if I share it with the inkernet it will shoot out my ear and leave me be. Take that as your final warning.
This past May we were in Spokane to run Bloomsday (it rocked). I got to talking to a group of guys and running came up. One of them is the manager of a nearby grocery and told us that his store sponsors an aid station every year at the regional triathlon event. They have big galvanized tubs of water and grapefruit sized natural sponges so the competitors can wipe their faces and necks.
It seems, he told us, that due to the extreme exertion, it is not unusual for the athletes to lose control of their bowels. The aid station is at mile seven of the run and it was obvious that a runner coming in had lost control of his somewhere around mile three. He grabbed a sponge, went down the back, down and around the front a couple of times and thoroughly cleaned himself before throwing the sponge down and running off. One of the kids working the aid station had gloves on and ran over to pick it up. He was holding it out at arm’s length with just the tips of his fingers and had to rotate at the waist and bend a little to turn around to his boss to ask, “What do I do with it?”
You know what is coming… you just don’t want to admit it to yourself yet. The next guy ran in, and seeing the outstretched arm with the sponge, grabbed it up before anyone knew what was happening.
…and squeezed it into his mouth…..
The man telling the store said it was like they were all frozen in time, yelling, “Nooooooooo!” and then it was like the air in everybody’s chest froze up as well and nobody moved as runner number two threw the sponge down and ran on, apparently unaware.
After he was gone, the manager said, it was like a bomb went off and everybody just dropped to the ground. “Oh!!! That didn’t just happen!”
So there it is. I’ve passed it on. Now the image can be burned into your mind as well.