1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


You Go Girl

Alex McLaughlin - September 13, 2011

Less than two weeks ago the Charleston distance race was held in Charleston on September 3rd. Two of the long time participants Rick Hughes, my friend and I signed up for the race and trained our little bottoms off to once again hold the title of Alderson's best. Probably one of the best parts of the race is the dinner that Rick Allan Galloway and I have at the Fifth Quarter restaurant in Charleston. It is one of the best events of the year. With all of the boys from Alderson there was still something very different about this year's race. I couldn't put my finger on it. There was still an eerie almost out of body feeling about the race. Well I ran the race anyway. I stayed up late the night before to see the United States' men soccer team play Costa Rica in Los Angeles. I didn't get but four hours sleep. My time was just not as good as I wanted.
I woke up the next morning with the gnawing feeling that something still just wasn't right. I picked up the Charleston Gazette to check up on the sports and the race results from the previous date. Then it hit me like a sledgehammer. In the results of the 5K race, it said the winner of the 65-70 age group for women was Alex McLaughlin from Charleston, West Virginia. Bam. The source of my unease. While I was extremely proud of being a winner, I had not planned on going this far to win. I might not beat Rick as a man because neither one of us won our age category as a man. But I sure beat him as a woman. What would I wear at the awards ceremony? Would I have to wear high heels? My head was swimming as I tried to get my bearings on now being a woman. 
My first reaction was to run to the mall and see how I reacted. As soon as I got to the mall nothing had changed I couldn't wait to get out of that maddening place. I had absolutely no interest in the sales in the women's department or coupons at the grocery store. What a relief! Maybe I had been transformed into a woman over the week preceding the race, became a woman the day of the race and was changing back. Or maybe I just entered the wrong gender on my entry form. Rick is now convinced that I will do anything to be the Champion of Alderson but though I tell him that I think that it was a clerical error he still looks at me real strange and is even more leery than ever of my tactics to win.
EPILOGUE I am not sure that I will ever be the same. I know some would say that would be an improvement. Maybe this racing stuff has gone too far. I went out running one day last week and there were a bunch of guys and gals out running as well.  As we ran by someone hollered, "you go girl". I just turned my head and smiled.

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