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<i>This an old report I wrote a few years ago and only recent thought about it because Raisingarizona mentioned it...for those of you that have already read this one, I apologise. For those that haven't, I hope you enjoy it.</i><br><br>
I couldn?t believe that I was here?at the starting line of the Banff Springs Hotel Brunch Marathon. This is a prestigious race that I had qualified for at a lesser-known brunch last spring. I was nervous but in peak condition. My wife, son, and daughter were also racing with me and we had been looking forward to this all year. As we jockeyed for last minute position, I noticed another competitor sizing me up. I was pretty sure he was an ?elite? judging by his size and his clothing. I knew then that it was going to be a tough race and he was going to be my main competition.<br><br>
Finally, the dinner bell rang and we were off and running. My wife and daughter made the mistake of going out too fast too soon and disappeared from my sight. My son was at my side and looked as if he was going to keep pace with the old man. Mr. ?Elite? was just ahead of me so I picked up the pace to get along side of him. When I reached him, I started making small talk and offered to pace with him. To my dismay, he gave me a sidelong glance and without a word, left me in his dust.<br><br>
The course was beautifully laid out with thought given to the preparation. I passed the eggs benedict with salmon and the bacon and sausages knowing that these would fill me up too quickly. I felt good. Everything seemed right on track. I cruised past the selections of gourmet pizza and made my way straight to the clams in cream sauce garnished with saut?ed vegetables. I heaped these on my plate and rounded a corner where custom omelettes were being made. I took advantage of the lack of competitors here and ordered one with the works. As I watched the chef deftly mix the concoction together, a few competitors placed their orders but promptly left to find other delectables while their order was simmering. I used this time to find my groove.<br><br>
From there, I picked up the pace and cruised past numerous others to find myself in front of the smoked salmon and shellfish. I heaped a generous portion of lemon soaked peel and eat shrimp onto my plate. I glanced to my left and saw an assortment of fresh fruit, items rich in natural sugars, but I decided to hold off on these for the moment. I rounded another corner and saw Mr. ?Elite? slowing to look at the desserts. ?A-ha!? I thought, he had a weakness for desserts. This was good information to know.<br><br>
With my plate full, I headed back to the table where my family was already seated. My son had lost his desire to keep up with me at the pizza table and had returned with a plate full of gourmet pizza, scrambled eggs and bacon. I knew that he probably would not be able to continue on after that, and I was right. I finished my omelette and peeled the last of my shrimp and was off again before the shell hit the plate. Everything was falling into place nicely; all the training was paying off. I was approaching the half way mark and I didn?t feel the least bit fatigued. I was glad that I wore my extra stretchy pants and a loose shirt.<br><br>
Once again, I caught up to Mr. ?Elite? who seemed surprised to see me. He picked up the pace and left me at the salads. Salads! No way! I was in this for the big money. I was soon looking at the peppered jumbo shrimp, hunter?s stew, caribou in some kind of sauce, and roast lamb. All of a sudden I felt a twinge in my side. ?Oh no!? I thought, ?This shouldn?t be happening now!? I tried to put it out of my mind and continue on. Mr. ?Elite? must have sensed something because he smirked at me as he passed me by. I knew this was the time to take advantage of the dessert ploy. ?Hey? I struggled to call out between breaths. ?Did you..get a load..of that..Tiramisu?? He faltered a little and his face grew ashen. He knew I had his number. This was a mental chess game as well as a physical one.<br><br>
I took the peppered shrimp along with the caribou and the hunter?s stew back to our table. When I got there, both my wife and my daughter had tanked out. No matter how much I encourage them to continue, they couldn?t do it. My wife looked at me and told me to go on without them, they would be waiting for me at the end. She hadn?t put in the distance training like she should have and had concentrated more on the speed work. You should have seen her in the winter of 1997; she was awesome, definitely in her prime. I took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze and realized that I was now on my own.<br><br>
It took a little longer to eat this time because of the pain in my side but I knew what I had to do. I had trained to long for this day and I was not about to give up now. I gathered myself up and pushed my plate aside and was off again, licking my fingers clean. I sped past a group of people that had been together from the start of the race and looked as if they were fading. I passed them and offered some encouraging advice. I?m not sure what I said to them but I think it was something about the sushi and wasabi. I spotted the smoked salmon and made for it. I was saving this for near the end of the race hoping that I could count on it to give me a little push. I decided that now was the time for fresh fruits too. I loaded my plate with strawberries, watermelon, grapes and honeydew melon.<br><br>
I passed the desserts and saw Mr. ?Elite? looking over the chocolate mousse. He started when he saw me and ran in the opposite direction. He was sweating profusely and I wondered if he had been properly hydrating. I kept my fluid intake to a science. I alternated between orange juice, water, and coffee. My waiter was awesome. He must have seen the determination in my eyes when I arrived because his timing was impeccable. It was obvious that he had done this before. He was a real pro. There was going to be a nice tip waiting for him at the end of this.<br><br>
I went back to my table and looked to see where Mr. ?Elite? was. He was back at the desserts! My ploy was working! He was slowing down and starting to weave. I slid into my seat with a renewed sense of purpose. I confidently cleaned off my plate, drew on my orange juice and settled for a moment to gather my wits. I knew I had to keep it together and bring this in in an intelligent manner.<br><br>
I left the table and headed for the desserts. I was starting to feel a little fuzzy and my mouth was getting dry. I could feel I was nearing the ?wall?. I grabbed a maple mousse with a chocolate maple leaf embedded in the top for a cheap sugar boost. I looked around to see if Mr. ?Elite had packed it in. I couldn?t see him! Great! I?m going to bring this one in on my own! I could see the finish line now and it looked wonderful! I grabbed a raspberry sorbet with a whipped cream center topped with blackberries along with some Jell-O. I again looked around for Mr. ?Elite? but couldn?t see him anywhere. I ran back to our table to savor the victory.<br><br>
I looked at my watch for the first time. ?HOLY COW!!!!! 1 Hour and 38 minutes!!!!? A full 20 minutes better then my best. I was done though; I had nothing left in me as I approached the finish line.<br><br>
Then it happened. Everything went into slow motion. My daughter couldn?t finish her chocolate cake. This in it?s own right was truly bizarre. What was she doing?! She was slowly sliding the unfinished portion over to me! I felt my heart pounding and I broke out in a noticeable sweat. I looked at the cake and then up to my family who was cheering me on. My legs turned to jelly and I struggled to hang onto the table. I looked up and was met with Mr. ?Elite?s? gaze from across the room. He knew I was in trouble and grinned but I could see that he was hurting too...a piece of parsley was stuck between his teeth; I?ll always remember that. He got up from his table and slowly made his way to the desserts. I picked up my fork and stopped, hand poised over the remnants of the chocolate cake, but I couldn?t find the energy to take the plunge. I looked back at Mr. ?Elite? who, by that time, had reached the dessert table and was slowly pushing a fruit tart into his mouth. He knew I was finished, and what was worse, I knew that I was finished too. I dropped my fork and pushed back from the table in defeat. As he ran past me towards the finish line, he gave me a nod of respect and I reached up and gave him a ?high five?. It was the most awesome display of athleticism that I had ever witnessed. The waiter came over and slipped the bill onto the table. I couldn?t be sure, but I think I saw a tear in his eye as he turned quickly away.<br><br>
In review, it was a good day. I set a personal record and nearly kept an even pace with an amazing athlete. I feel there are many things that I could have done differently. I don?t think I should have had that second serving of shrimp, but hindsight is 20/20. I?ll settle for the personal record and the knowledge that maybe one day, I?ll take one of these home. If I do make it back next year, I?ll be better prepared. I?ll throw a cr?me Brule kick in at the last moment, and if Mr. ?Elite? is there, he won?t be expecting it because?I know his weakness.
 

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I loved that post!!!! I remember laughing a lot when you first posted it!
 

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I love this story, funny stuff!!! <img alt="icon_compress.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/icon_compress.gif">
 

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bump for the day crew! <img alt="icon_colors.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/icon_colors.gif">
 

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FYI, I am saving torques stories in the shoe box (archive ) on this site. They are just too good to lose track of! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 
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