One of the benefits of living in a college town is the surprising activities that pop up. For a runner, this means some small race on most weekends of the school year. Many are forgettable but this one caught my eye. It was on a Friday afternoon at 5:30, I had already decided to take the day off to finish off our taxes and what better reward for slogging through Form 1040 than running a race?
And even better, this race was a fund raiser for the Purdue Engineering Student Association. As a Purdue Engineer myself, it made perfect sense, even if I graduated in 1975. This photo could have been me back in the mid 70s.
We confirmed we were all engineers as the Race Director gave us directions. She made a statement that included the phrase "The loop is about 1.5 miles" and she was booed!! This was a collection of engineers and, instinctively, we all knew engineers never use the word "about"!!! I've never seen that in any race!
The hilarity continued. In a very engineering way. Standing around in the start pack, we spontaneously wondered just how the various engineering disciplines would measure a 5K race, to wit:
- Civil Engineers would identify waypoints via GPS
- Mechanical Engineers would use laser markers
- Industrial Engineers would attach RFID tags to all the runners
- Electrical Engineers would rig complete wireless connectivity
- Agricultural Engineers would just put a shock collar on each of us
Knee-slapping, rip-snorting humor. Seriously, it really is. Engineers are like this when they get together. We didn't have enough time to tell the best engineering joke ever, the one about the poles on the right-hand side of the plane, but you get the idea.
What was also fun was when Ross walked up and greeted me. We've been good friend with his parents since before he was even an idea for them. He's now an engineering student. A great kid, we had a wonderful talk and had our photo in front of the famous Purdue Engineering Fountain right before the race.
Oh yes, the race. We did get started on time. The organizers were not entirely sure just where the start or finish line but we seemed to get it "about" right. We ran two laps around the heart of the Purdue academic campus, which was a treat in and of itself. I ran pretty much by feel, having left my Garmin at home. Just tried to run smooth and steady. I was very pleased to finish with a sub 8 minute pace.
My funny bone intact, I was home promptly for Friday night enchiladas. Nothing quite like hanging out with some fun-loving engineers, unless it is engineers who also run.
Tomorrow, we rejoin our regularly scheduled distance running pattern.