As anticipated the 2015 TZ Trail Races/ TATUR Christmas Party did not disappoint. Our Trail Running Family and significant others were in high sprits and happy to share the annual gathering with old timers and new faces alike.
Trail running is a unique breed of runner. Sure we have the super fast folks who can run a race and consistently take home trophies, we also have the folks who are middle of the pack, and many who are back of the packers. Not only are they all welcomed but they are all treated as equals. The most important thing in trail running as I see it is heart. The folks who finish first don’t jump in the car and head home when the race is over. They stick around and cheer for the runners still coming in to finish. If anything a bigger deal is made over the person to finish last than there is of the person to finish first.
Trail races as I have often bragged also come with some unique features (particularly if it happens to be a TZ Trail Races / TATUR Race).
- The aid stations are stocked with all kinds of goodies, bacon, beer, waffles, m&m’s, and anything else the aid station workers deem necessary.
- The aid station workers are all experienced trail runners who know what to look for in runners needs and how to help the runner have the best race possible.
- Heart. I have seen runners allow a possible PR to fall to the wayside to assist another runner in need. I have seen a runner who is fighting thru pain / injury / the loss of a loved one allow the race to help them overcome this obstacle and better prepare them to face the next one.
- The sense of community in this group is unparalleled.
This year we had a new mascot come on the scene. A little guy by the name of Meego (follow this link to learn the story of Meego). Meego attended the party in his Kilt, Pumpkin Holler Shirt and Race Bib. Based on this you would think that Meego stole the show.
But no, the Silver Spuds were awarded and then the big surprise came. Philip announced a last minute additional award was to be given, for the most enthusiastic cow bell ringer, supporter of runners, crazy dancing cheerleader. An award he said was 5 years in the making. This award crossed states from Georgia to Oklahoma. He then called Sarah up to the front, got down on one knee and asked the girl in the Santa hat that very special question. “Sarah, will you marry me?”
It was clear Sarah was not expecting this and then got down on her knees to answer. I am not sure the response was even audible. Our trail running family was going nuts cheering and congratulating the couple immediately.
I have cheered at races with Philip and Sarah – the thing that most impressed me is that they understand the need to stay to the very last runner. That every runner is important and deserves the same level of enthusiasm. Anyone who understands this is truly a wonderful human being in my book.
Once the excitement was contained to a dull roar I was able to capture a few photos of the couple. My favorite is the one of them laughing. This is how I always picture the two of them. Happy, laughing, and blissfully in love. (The only thing missing here is dogs.)
Not to be left out the trail running family then called for a proposal portrait with as many of the gang as we could fit into the shot. This photo contains approximately one quarter of our running community. As you can see we range in age and style, but one thing we all have is a love of the sport, one another and absolute joy at seeing one another succeed.
Happy Holidays, from the Tulsa Trail Running Community and Beyond Ordinary Life Photography.