Today your girthy scribe is slogging his way through a once-a-year experience.
Thank goodness because, for me, once-annual is about all I can manage.
The state cross country championship at Kearney Country Club is that to which I refer. Sports Editor Ken Kush and I left early this morning to shoot photos (both of us) and get interviews (Ken) with our area runners and their coaches.
Sounds easy enough, right? Sure it does. Just stroll around a pooh-bah golf course, acres of lush grass beneath my feet and manicured trees overhead, shooting photos as the kids run by.
Here’s the rub. I cannot make myself shoot the meet the way some others of my profession do it, which is to set up at the finish line and never move during any of the eight races (Classes A, B, C and D x 2 for boys and girls).
Oh no, I have three or four different places that have been hand selected over the years to provide different backgrounds, different light and, as a result, different looks. The finish line is fine, but I just can’t get excited about this photo looking the same as the last one and the next one. Plus everything is back-lit from that spot anyway.
So I bounce around. Have you ever been deep into the Kearney Country Club golf course? No.? Then perhaps you do not appreciate the continually rolling up-and-down of the terrain.
Two of my chosen lurking spots are up on top, another is at the finish line which is basically way down in a hole.
Most years we have kids in six of the eight races and that adds up to a whole lot of up and down, round and round for these old legs which are, by the way, 130 years old. Don’t laugh ‘til you do the math. I’m 65 years old. I have two legs. Sixty-five x 2 = 130 any way you figure.
This year, as it turns out, our runners are all concentrated in Class B and Class D. That means four races instead of six. This is good for two reasons … (1) less wear and tear on a used-up old carcass and (2) we can hit the road for home much earlier this year than normal. That, in turn, is good for two reasons … (1) we have a bit more time to process all those cross country photos and stories before Ken and I (2) race off to a football game apiece.
But pooped out of not, this still beats the h-e-double-toothpicks out of all the real jobs I’ve had.