7th February 2020

A day late and a dollar short I report of the continuation of the twenty-twenty remake of ‘Noah’ that is at present showing to sodden audiences throughout the Pacific North West. As with all truly excellent productions advertising appeared in a ‘red for danger’ banner astride the Weather Channel website. I am inclined to take such warnings of gloom and doom with a very large pinch of salt but decided purely for research purposes to saunter forth in the early afternoon and see any evidence for myself.

As I have previously reported on the blogosphere Orcas and particularly Moran park has for a week of so been diligently attempting to absorb what can only be described as an unheralded downpour of precipitation. The streams running from Mount Constitution to Mountain and Cascade lakes were already at capacity when the second full deposit of snow and subsequent melt created bank breaching quantities of speeding water, combined with a web of secondary but equally invasive capillaries wherever channeling and gravity allowed.

Such is the severity of the additional surge that on three separate occasions I have noted water flowing uphill for some considerable distance.

Quite by chance, or perhaps more evilly by some great design, today is the annual Moran long distance running event. Competitors will no doubt be girding their loins in the best and most psychedelic colored lycra, slipping their feet into extremely expensive racing shoes, and with sinewy muscles and stout hearts set forth on a journey as spiritually rewarding as it is physically testing.

As an interested observer of such events I was delighted to strike up a conversation with one of the young men setting up the facilities necessary for such a very well attended enterprise. I am always gratified that such valiant organizers can be bothered to pass a few moment in discussion with an obviously old fogey like myself, and will, if given the opportunity, reward their patience with beguiling tales of times so past as to be quite beyond their experience or easy belief.

The appalling weather conditions were an obvious entry point into our exchange. Athletes do not like precipitation, runners, swimmers and cyclists will avoid rain, sleet or snow whenever possible. Moran is presently sodden, even the driest seeming ground gives underfoot and will over a very short period of time turn into nothing more that oozing slime. This is not a surface suited to or enjoyed by the long-distance runner.

I found myself sharing the recollection that in my youth I had owned a pair running spikes, shoes with very thin tight lacing leather uppers, the soles fashioned with shaped pieces of wood. Wood soles were required to accept the seven sharply pointed metal spikes that enabled grip on a variety of surfaces, from cinder and dirt running tracks to general grassed areas.  Whilst excellent for short races, for long or triple jump, even for hurdling, they could prove extremely uncomfortable over longer distances, many competitors preferring instead to fall back on the ever-dependable ubiquitous rubber soled canvas gym shoe.

My companion seemed to find this reminiscence interesting, in fact going as far as too ask pertinent and sound questions regarding the safety of having such wicked weapons laced upon one’s feet whilst running amongst a group of similarly armed opponents. I had to admit that ‘spiking’s’ were a common occurrence, mainly accidental and unfortunate but sometimes, in the height of competitive zeal, a short cut to advantage or victory.

Our conversation, started simply as a polite nod and greeting, lasted five or six minutes and could quite easily have continued an hour or more.  Such exchanges are meat and drink for my soul, long may they continue.

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