Below is chapter 1 of my race debriefing of the Go For The Gold 10K here in Austin this past Saturday. But first, a word on the SXSW interactive and film festivals, the reason I'm here in Tejas.
Demographic: The folks here are a mixture of techno uber-geeks and film producers, directors and their hangers-on. Almost all are in the 20-35 year old range. Black t-shirts and jeans are de rigeur, as are strategically-placed tattoos.
"Certain jokes don't fly in some countries. But farts are international."
- Chris Gore, Film Threat, giving advice in a panel on how studios in foreign countries bid on American films.
"Never until recently did I have more than $100 in my bank account. I always had under $100 to negative $500." - Eric Byler, director of new feaure film, Americanese and Charlotte Sometimes, on bankrolling his movies until a movie studio purchased them.
"I'm really a Cylon." - Sticker on a "man-purse," held by a balding hipster at the SXSW interactive opening party, 3/12/06
Pre-race: After a week of little sleep and a day of flying halfway across the country, I slept fitfully on Friday night, waking every hour from 2 a.m. until my alarm buzzed at 5:45 a.m. I felt as if a truck had run over me.
I poured myself a cup of coffee and tried to wake up. The caffeine did perk me up, but there was only the thinnest veneer of wakefulness over a thick layer of exhaustion.
But dang it, I was going to run this race. It's just an issue of mind over matter. Right?! Because I am strong! I am an Amazon! (Well, in the figurative sense. In the 5' 2" sense.) Because I am not a quitter! (Just a very weary competitor.)
E. came with me on the trip, and I roused him at 6:30 a.m., 15 minutes before we had to head downtown, to the race start. The course actually wound through Austin's east end, south of downtown, in the city's lower-middle class Hispanic neighborhoods.
At 7 a.m. it was already close to 80 degrees, and humid. Sweat trickled down my neck. Dark clouds threatening rain cast a pall over the event, but folks seemed enthusiastic. There were about 325 runners, and about 100 kids who were running the race's 5K.
Ach, gotta run to an interview. More later this afternoon or tonight ...