May 3, 2007

another kind of race report ....

the 'run for the roaches' to be exact.

unbelievable as it is, i have a life beyond running. i have 3 children & i go to their school to volunteer for various activities ... this one in particular, i couldn't miss. and it seemed fairly blog-worthy ... since technically, there were stopwatches involved & there was running. i figured it qualifies.

a flyer came home yesterday announcing the need for adult timers for the "run for the roaches" ... a little play on "run for the roses" ... all things derby are taken very seriously around here with WEEKS of festivities leading up to the most exciting two minutes in sports.

but i digress. back to the run for the roaches. the gym is lined up with about 20 teams of 5 kids each. each team of "trainers" has a cockroach & a box maze ... the head trainer gets the lucky job of holding the small beast. this is serious stuff .. some boxes have little christmas light strewn all over the top ... some kids are shining a flashlight on their roaches (that whole thing about roaches scurrying when you put the lights on? -clearly, the kids are using this as some sort of performance enhancing drug).

there are all kinds of announcements & chaos in getting organized ... we couldn't time our own childs' team (clearly, a conflict of interest), and if a child nudged their cockroach or left their box to look at another race, their roach would be scratched. "it's heartbreaking, but it happens" - the librarians exact words.

and then - and i am dead serious - this is the next announcement: "children, now we will face our state flag, put our hands on our hearts & sing 'my old kentucky home'" ... proper derby etiquette - even with roaches. the parents & teachers are getitng a huge kick out of this, the kids are VERY serious.

the boombox starts & we sing ... "the sun shines bright on my old kentucky home ..." now - at the derby - the real derby - this is where i get all verklempt. but i was just hoping all roaches were safe in someones' hand & their was no chance of any one getting loose.

then - the roaches take their places - i guess this was the equivalent of getting into the gate - librarian blares the 'call to post' tune ... AND THEY'RE OFF!!!! only thing missing was that quintessential race announcer ... but there was all kinds of screaming & even other classes sitting in the stands watching ... it was all very official - they had categories for win, place or show ... the team i timed got second place. 21 seconds. they had a stellar course. really. smart kids.

in case you were wondering, (even if you weren't - i'm gonna tell ya) yes - the winning roach did indeed get a garland of roses.
i kid you not. tiny bits of rose petals strung onto thread ...
the principal had the honor of tying it on. her squished up horrified face was absolutley priceless.

there. just a little tidbit of what i do when i'm not the one running.
i go to watch huge, madagascar hissing cockroaches run.


Anonymous said...

OMG. If they did this at our school, I would NOT be volunteering for that.

zanne said...

haha! it did give me the heebie jeebies & i totally screamed like a girl (exactly what my husband warned me not to do - bad for son's image) when someone came a little too close for comfort holding one of those things ... but curiosity just got the best of me ... i HAD to see it!