Two years ago, soon after Jenn and I met, we ran a road race. It was my first 5K race and her first 10K race. Since then, our interest in running had ebbed and flowed over time, and we've done a few 5Ks together. It has gotten to the point that I've lost all interest in running (not that I had ever been that much of an enthusiast), whereas Jenn has picked it up again recently. She decided that she was ready for her next 10K, so she signed up for the Chili Pepper Run.
She said that she would sign me up for a 5K. I didn't know if I was in enough shape to do one, but I figured I'd be able to walk some of it if I got tired. They didn't have a 5K, but they did have a 1-mile fun run. I, for the record, see nothing fun about running a mile; but since all participants got a meal after the race and Jenn was doing her race, I figured I could do the mile run and wait for Jenn to finish her race.
The really exciting news was that since I was doing a different race then Jenn, there was a different numbering system. My tag number was 1. Pretty exciting right?
I felt less important when I found out that everyone doing the fun run had the same number.
I can say with great certainty that I finished first in my gender and age group. As an added bonus, I was able to boast that I was the tallest participant in the race.
I know all of this because I was one of about twenty or so runners. A vast majority of them were kids. There were two other adults, and they appeared to be mothers of children in the race. One of the moms looked like she wasn't taking part in the 10K because she had just taken part in the Ironman the previous week, plus someone had to watch her kids while her husband ran the 10K.
It turns out that children who enter one-mile fun runs fall into one category. They're athletic children who enjoy running and/or live in an athletic family, so running a mile isn't that big of a deal to them. While this adult signed up to pass time while his wife did the 10K, kids sign up because they like to run and they're good at it.
On the plus side, these athletic kids have a sense of sportsmanship, so not a single one laughed at the sad man who finished dead last in a race among children.
At least, not to his face.