Calgary’s avid cross country racers often feel a little sad at the end of the Grand Prix season. We realize how much fun we’ve been having, crazily romping through various parks and warming up with soup together every couple of weeks, so we hold a pot luck banquet to console ourselves at the end.
Pot luck, in the sense that everyone contributes to the food menu, but we contribute in other ways, too. Some folks came early to set up tables, others helped set out dishes and food, presented awards, set up a slideshow, drew for door prizes, and cleaned up. We also brought our memories of the season and happily shared them along with the food.
In a sense, races are a lot like pot luck dinners. Everybody brings what they’ve got and everyone takes something home with them, one way or another. Sometimes one takes home a new recipe or a new running strategy. Sometimes participants are inspired or challenged to try something different, and there is always something learned in the process (which reminds me, I have to find out who brought the amazing pork tenderloin with chutney last night).
The luck part of these kinds of dinners shows through at races, in that the awards often involve a little luck. Racers bring their own best efforts, but they don’t control who else shows up or what speed their competitors bring that day. Grand prix series are complex versions of pot luck races, with the added depth of points systems covering multiple races.
Still with me? ‘Cause now we can get to the fun part; my bragging. Remember way back in ’05, when I came in fourth in this series in my age group? and I didn’t think I would do any better anytime soon? This year I came in THIRD. Say what you want about luck, but this year I brought it consistently when others didn’t. It counts, and I’ll enjoy my status while it lasts.