Sit back boys and girls, and let me tell you the infamous tale of the Gypsy Runner (a.k.a., my boyfriend TC).
It was a beautiful, sunny October morning in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The annual Big Sur River Run was being held the same weekend that a group of us went camping. Tim and his trusty housemate JS, being the, ur, economical men that they are, decided to crash the race without paying.
(Sidenote: I have never been an advocate for banditing (a.k.a., not paying) for races, since I believe that races cost money to organize, especially those that require road closures and extra security. Plus, I’d feel super guilty about it and would be afraid to get caught. That being said, this particular race did not appear to be very expensive to put on, plus the route ran through the campground twice (where we were paying to stay) and not along the river, as the name implies. So, I guess my point is that if there’s to be any banditing going on, this race would be the one I’d pick.)
Being the anxious person that I am, I worried for the entire race whether they would get caught. After all, it was a fairly small race and they stuck out (to me) as being the only two without bibs. What made matters worse was that there was a long chute at the end, next to which they had set up a microphone to announce each finisher at they came in. I waited with CA, JS’s girlfriend, for the guys to cross the finish line, wondering what the lady behind the microphone was going to say about our bib-less boyfriends. CA seemed relaxed, whereas I was pretty nervous. I was imagining that once the organizers saw that they didn’t have bibs, they’d tackle them to the ground and scream, “This is what you get for banditing. BIG SHAME!!!!”
The first few finishers started coming in, and as I had feared, there was a lady announcing each person’s name and hometown. Next thing I knew, I saw TC sprinting down the trail towards us. I could tell it was him because he was the only person wearing bright orange shorts, a t-shirt with the sleeves cut-off (don’t ask), and huaraches (i.e., running sandals). I guess the lady announcer was so mesmerized by his get-up that she ignored his bib-less-ness and said, in a low, dramatic tone, “And now coming across the finish line: the gypsy runner.”
CA and I cracked up instantly at the announcement. TC was so busy concentrating on finishing the race that he didn’t hear her, but after we told him, he was pretty proud of his new moniker. And henceforth, especially on this blog, he shall be called, “The Gypsy Runner!”