Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I did it. I held up my end of the bargain and completed five out of the six races in the Gone Loco race series.

That's right -- five races and 36.4 miles, to be exact. Did I mention that the series included a bone-chilling race on New Year's Day and two half marathons -- one in the rain and snow along Hampton Beach in February and a much-too-hilly course at Great Bay.

So imagine my disappointment when I went to pick up my jacket at the final race of the series -- and I wasn't on the list.

That's right. The woman behind the table scanned through the list. No Robinson. No jacket for me. I couldn't believe it.

She asked, Maybe you didn't run all of the races?

No, I was sure. I remember every step of them. The woman assured me that they'd clear up the mix-up this week and get me my jacket soon.

I spent the next couple of hours at the race, watching the other series finishers with their coveted jackets. My emotions ranged from disappointment to disbelief and then, well, to humor. I had to admit it was kind of funny.

I'd spent the last six months talking about this stupid jacket, spending more money than I should on race entries and driving to the races -- not to mention actually running all of them -- all with my sights set on completing this challenge and receiving the prize at the end.

After recovering from my initial shock of not being on the list, I realized that it really wasn't about the jacket at all. It don't even care what what the jacket looks like or even if it fits. Who knows if I'll ever even wear it.

It was about pushing myself to do something I'd never thought I could do -- and doing it.

I should be happy with that, right? I should take pride in my accomplishment. I shouldn't need a jacket to prove that I did it. Yeah right, I still want that jacket.

Luckily, my worry was short-lived. I was pleasantly surprised Monday morning when I received an email from Mike at Loco asking me to verify, somehow, that I had run the April Fool's 4-miler in Salisbury. Apparently, I wasn't on his list.

I did a quick search on the race site and found my finishing time and place. I emailed it off to him and the mix-up was cleared. My jacket will arrive shortly.

Unfortunately, he only had a men's medium left, so the jacket might not fit after all. It might never come out of my closet or I might look ridiculous wearing it. Either way, I'll still have it and know that I earned it.

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