Tangled up in Blue: Showing up

The competition is constantly changing, wherever you go.

A few weeks ago at the Exit Glacier Race, I came in second during the 5-kilometer race. I had looked at last year’s results and figured I had first place locked in since 2018’s winner was a 12-year-old with a fast, but beatable, time.

This year, I was the leading woman for the majority of my 23-minute race, until I wasn’t. In the last mile, or so, a woman sped past me and to the finish line first.

Where did she come from?

Anchorage, actually. She was down visiting Seward for the Mermaid Festival Weekend and took part in the road race, and won! The competition is constantly changing, with no guarantee year after year — it’s all about who shows up.

By the time this column runs in Friday’s paper I will have ran in a Thursday night race down and around the Tonsina Point trail near Lowell Point. It’s my go-to trail run and a great place for an informal race.

On Thanksgiving Day, I took home first place for women in the Tonsina Turkey Trot on the same trail. It was a small group of maybe 10 runners and three women that I often run with, so the competition was informal. But, hey, a win is a win, right?

Tonight, I don’t really stand a chance of a double Tonsina trophy. I’m carpooling to the trail head with a few women I know will beat me.

Like I said, it’s all about who shows up. For this race, I’m hoping to beat my own race time from last year. A benefit of showing up two years in a row, you can be your own competition.

In Seward, one of the few things more competitive than running is the real estate market. So, when four empty lots in town went up for bid, it was time to talk strategy.

I decided to sit this competition out (I’m still in financial training for home ownership) but watched the bidding process from the cheering section.

A couple dozen sealed envelopes with secret bids were opened on a Thursday morning in city hall, with bids and names being read aloud. The bids started at $17,500, with all four lots going for something in the $30,000 range.

As each lot sold, it was exciting to see the different bids people put in, to hear the names of those interested in plopping onto a First Avenue lot, and to see the reaction of the small crowd gathered to hear the results. Some people only bid on one lot, while others put a bid on all four. With each piece of 30 by 100 property, the names and prices changed.

No one in the crowd, made up of a younger generation of would-be property owners, ended up taking home a lot. One lot went to a local business owner, the other to a retired principal and the last two to someone from Anchorage.

Sometimes it doesn’t even matter who shows up, it’s about who throws their name in the ring.

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