Most of the runners, especially those early ones, were young men, followed eventually by a few women and a half dozen wheelchair participants.
A heavy-set, elderly man, his sweater stretched tightly across his ample waist, stood on the curb with the other fans and cheered loudly for every runner who passed, but his attention always returned to watching the corner of Tigertail where the runners made the turn on to
Mary Street. I found myself waiting anxiously for whoever he was waiting for. Every runner got his full attention before he'd leaned to look up the street again. The ranks were thinning, and it seemed the last of the runners were passing, but he continued to clap and whistle. When he turned from cheering for the next series of stragglers, a young man in the wheelchair was nearly abreast of him.
“All right, Billy,“ he shouted, and leapt into the air like a man half his weight and age. “All right, son,” he said, softly.
For a short distance, he ran along the sidewalk, dodging spectators, shouting encouragement as his boy rounded the corner on to
Grand Avenue. Unable to keep up, he pounded to a stop, raised his hand in the air, then made a fist, the downward momentum of which spun him around. He was panting and laughing.
I couldn’t see where the race ended from my apartment, but I doubt a big deal was made of Billy crossing the finish line. I also can’t imagine that it mattered to him or his dad.
Oscar the Cat
I'll be offline for about 10 days, so
here's wishing you cool breezes.