Slouching toward Infineon Raceway?
In 1974, Sonoma's own Maryetta Boitano Blanchard sprinted across San Francisco's Bay to Breakers finish line into Bay Area history, becoming the youngest runner to win the race at a mere 10 years old. Now 48, she's once again running the lauded annual footrace where she will be wearing bib number 1974 to commemorate her prior victory.
Though, theoretically, Blanchard is up for a repeat, it's highly unlikely that she will break her previous record. If the space-time continuum bends in her favor, however, and she crosses the finish line having shed 38 years en route, she will have faced some stiff competition from the others in the 10-year-old category, let alone the quantum physicists who will also be running this year. And that's just some of the excitement we can anticipate at this year's race. That and sobriety. Apparently, booze is now verboten at the race, which will make it all the more challenging to break the record of taking the most amount of time to cross the finish line. Some analysts say that the laggard division could see several hours if not whole days fall off their run times.
Now, so far as I can recall, a few entrepreneurial running enthusiasts have endeavored to establish annual footraces of one kind or other in Sonoma, but seeing as I can't bring to mind any of their names I'm left with a couple of possibilities. A) Clearly they're not targeting me with their promotion so why would I know about them - in fact, if I did know about them, something must have gone terribly wrong, like choosing big tobacco as a sponsor; or B) There aren't any whacky costumes involved.
I'm going to surmise it's a bit of both.
To brave the streets of Sonoma after our transient tourist population has spent the day in tasting rooms takes a certain kind of courage best reserved for mortal combat or childbirth. This tells me our past running events have thusly been staid, serious affairs to have attracted such brave participants.
If, however, Sonoma had a race that was an invitation to lunacy like the Bay to Breakers, replete with madcap, Dada-themed costumes (truly the only place one might see a centipede trying to outpace a pantomime horse), we might be on to something. What that is, I'm not entirely sure but I bet some corporately-owned winery would put a logo on it. Or we could think outside the box and use some circular reasoning, as in our local raceway, which scored a corporate sponsor for a bunch of cars driving in a circle. Does anyone know what an "infineon" is anyway? It sounds like something Lex Luther would use to drug Superman (which means it's far more potent that anything you can get in the Springs - you've been warned).
Like a lot of men of my admittedly louche disposition, I can't recall either the last time I ran or cried but I suspect that one likely preceded the other. OK, it was yesterday, but the circumstances are too embarrassing to detail here (suffice it to say, a certain bus driver better watch his back).
It occurs to me that for a certain segment of my readership, I should define what a footrace actually is. Contrary to my iPhone's autocorrect, it's not a "foo trace" which sounds like something the FBI would do with a warrant and a lunch special. A footrace is a competitive run, on foot, between other runners with a predetermined terminus whilst wearing arbitrarily-numbered bibs. Mine, of course, would probably be a negative.
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Daedalus Howell smokes infineons at SonomaReporter.com.