A bit shy of two hours into this morning’s Highway 6 road race, I was out by myself (dropped long before by the main field in the Masters division – some of those old guys are tough!) when I glimpsed an electric green jersey creeping up from behind.
We were on the long gentle climb out of the Rio Puerco valley toward the finish line, and I was pooped. The spot of green was closer each time I glanced back, until finally he pulled up next to me.
“You aren’t 60, are you?” he asked. I told him no, and he was delighted. He was pretty sure there was no one ahead of us older than him.
His name was Dwight.
“How old are you?” I asked Dwight. “62,” he said. “I just filed for Social Security.” We could see someone dangling a couple hundred meters up the road, and Dwight suggested we try to catch him. It seemed a fine idea.
There’s a little road cut about a mile from the finish line, and as we reached it I shifted into a bigger gear and started hammering. My heart rate hit the red line within moments and we began reeling in the guy ahead of us. I kept looking behind me, and Dwight was right there the whole time, pounding right through to the finish line.
Dwight’s my new hero. When I grow up, I wanna be just like him.