Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Years Past

There is or was a New Years race in Washington, DC, called The Hangover Classic. Back in the 1980s when I ran in it, it was at first a 10 kilometer race on the usual West Potomac Park and Hains Point course, then a 5 mile race that went past the Reflecting Pool. I haven't run in the race for almost 30 years, and I seldom think of it. But last Sunday we drove back from Reagan National over Memorial Bridge and past the Watergate (the steps down from the level of  the Lincoln Memorial to Rock Creek Parkway, that is), and that recalled those days.

It was probably 1983 when I rose more or less early on January 1, breakfasted, and got into running gear. I put regular clothes into into my backpack, and set off through Rock Creek Park toward the race. When nearly there, I ran carefully down the steps of the Watergate. About a quarter of the way down, I saw a champagne cork. I was and am sure that some reveler had discharged it from the top of the steps, hoping to put it into the Potomac. Well, people notoriously underestimate distance when looking downhill. I hope that the reveler's other ambitions for 1983 worked out better.

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