To those of you who don’t know me, my name is Oscar and I did this challenge last year. I’m also a dog.
This morning I got to kick of 2017 with a real live race! Not a virtual race, but an in-person (or in-poochson) race with hundreds of other Friends. I’ve run one in-poochson race before, and I won a bone. So I like in poochson races a lot better than virtual races where all I get is a dumb medal. At first I was a little confused when Mom put me in the car and kept driving and driving for much longer than it usually takes us to get to our usual trails. Then, when she finally let me out we were just in a parking lot. I couldn’t quite figure out what we were supposed to be doing there, so I checked all the bushes and light poles to see if there were any messages with instructions. She kept telling me to “go potty,” but I didn’t have to go so eventually we got back in the car and just… sat there. It was very strange indeed.
Just when I thought that we were going to spending the day sitting in a car in a parking lot, Mom let me out and walked me over to where hundreds and hundreds of runners were standing. There were mostly two-legged runners, but there were also a lot of four-legged runners too. “Should we start at the front?” Mom asked.
“Yeah! Then I can chase those skinny guys in their underwear!” I said.
“Errr… maybe we shouldn’t run with them, they look a little fast,” Mom said. “Maybe we should start in the back.”
“Yeah! Then I can chase everyone and we can run through real tight places between the walkers! If we’re lucky, maybe we can even go runner-bowling where I’m the ball and the old people and children are the pins!”
“Maybe that’s not such a good idea either…” Mom said. You just can’t please some people.
Suddenly everyone started moving en masse. It was the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. It was like when a flock of birds all changes direction at once or something. Everyone was standing still, and then they were all running, and then they all turned in exactly the same place. Mom and I jumped into the group and held on to my leash real tight. I think she thought that I was going to run away and she was going to get lost, but I kept looking back to check on her every time I felt her tug on the leash. Instead of trying to chase down all the Friends at once, I would pick one Friend and chase them. Once I pulled up alongside, I would look at them and say, “Happy New Y—” but then I would see another Friend up ahead that I wanted to wish a happy New Year, so we would chase them.
We started going uphill and some guy said to Mom, “Hey, that dog’s pulling you!”
“It’s true,” she admitted. “We’re totally cheating.” Mom could speak for herself! I was dragging a 120-lb anvil behind me up that hill!
Eventually Mom let my leash go full length and it took longer and longer for us to catch up to people to wish them a happy new year. We were running next to the beach now, and I could feel the sea breeze blowing through my ears. Then Mom made me stop and ordered me to sit. I hate it when she does this, but I especially hated it today because I was watching all our Friends go by and have fun without us. She wanted me to look at her, but I just stood there and sulked. Then a man offered to take our picture together. Mom gave me lovins and told me what a good job I was doing, and I kissed her big, dumb face. It would have been a sweet picture, but instead the Man just got Mom smiling like a dufus and me staring at her shoulder.
I could tell that Mom was starting to get tired because she was starting to run next to me rather than behind me. I know that this means that she’s tired because it usually happens toward the end of a run. I don’t know why Mom runs faster when she’s tired, because when I’m tired running gets harder. But I know I’m running at the same pace, so she must be speeding up. All of a sudden she said, “On your mark, get set, go!” and we sprinted toward this giant doorway to nowhere. We raced neck-in-neck to the doorway, and then Mom quit running. I guess I was the one who could run for longer, so I won!
This lady handed Mom a water bottle, and she opened it up and poured it directly on my nose! What a jerk! I was pretty thirsty, so I drank some of the water, but then I wouldn’t get near that water bottle again. Psycho!
Happy New Year!
-Oscar the Champion