Photo: TheG-Forcers(it's 5oclock somewhere) awaysomewhere, Flickr Creative Commons
Turns out it may not happen. For the first time since I started running, I failed to win the lottery for a race number. Surprisingly, I'm only a little upset. I'll admit that for some strange reason, the Peachtree is really important to me. Well, it's not that strange now. It was my first running goal, the thing that kept me running in the early months when I didn't really like running so much. It's the reason I'm a runner. It makes sense why I'd have a sentimental attachment now. What's strange is why this one particular race was such a big deal that first year. I really can't explain why this was the motivator that finally got me to stick with an exercise plan.
I'm not really that upset partly because there's still a chance I'll get a race number. I can't afford the guaranteed charity slots they offer to people who didn't make the cut. $150 is excessive for me, even if $115 is tax deductible. I can find better uses for my charitable donations. I'm hoping to find someone who isn't running and get them to officially transfer it to me before the official transfer deadline in May. If I can't get a number that way, I'm just not running. I get a number off the black market (pretty easy to do) and I don't run as myself. It's important to me that my time be mine.
But that's the thing. The idea of not running no longer feels like a failure. That first year during the few weeks between the time I realized I'd missed the sign up and while I waited for the results of the supplemental lottery, it felt like I'd potentially wasted a month's worth of running for nothing. This time, well, I'd have been running anyway, so what do I care?
But like I said, it does bug me a little, so if you have a number you won't be using, leave a comment with a way to get in touch. I'd like to be one of the streakers in a few years and be guaranteed a spot because I've run at least 10 of these consecutively.