Monday, July 21, 2014

What if your head was truly on fire ?

Race walking with your head on fire is a strange sensation.

This, even after I walk in bright sunshine through a water shower made possible by a local fire tender.

More than 3,000 people, myself included, pass through this quiet rural road on our way around a ten kilometre course.

Most run, I walk determinedly, as do a few others gathered in competitive cluster as focussed on besting one another as any Olympian contest, though they move slower, with more venom.

Later, I discover some jog on stretches where nobody is watching them.

Turning a quiet corner, I meet a parked fire tender belonging to the local Civil Defence Unit. Water hoses spray hanging moisture into the atmosphere from either side of the road.

They offer a choice: walk dry or take a soaking.

I stop beneath the silver spray and thank the god of walkers for sending these fine angels to us on this day in the 20 degree heat of near noon.

Not a very high temperature, but add body heat from competitive walking and the numbers climb.

Soaked through, I walk on with a new squelch in my step.

I do not take on water at the next water station. I am hydrated enough.

A short while later, in direct sunlight, my head heats up from the inside past ignition point to where I wonder what the protocol might be for a fiery head bearing down on the finish line.

I walk on, determined to finish or fall in the attempt.

My head cools down somewhat as I hit a shady area and I pick up my pace, once more.

I pass the finish line and wonder if steam is coming from my ears from the soaking.

Or if smoke is truly escaping from inside my skull.
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