The old racer sat on the curb, legs splayed, right arm resting on the chubby medic's gloved palm as he rinsed gravel out of the old racer's elbow and hand. The old racer's face was recognizable, a face that exists in old photos of hobos or men standing next to penny farthings: "where was the tubular tire worn around the shoulders and why is he not sepia?" you would wonder except for the gaudy skin tight costume he was wearing, unzipped and shredded in places.
I was in a long line, in the upper third by my observation, slowly lumbering past, waiting to check my results. When it was my turn next, I realized I could've just checked for my placing online, with my phone, legs up, next to the pool back at the hotel and avoided this trope-a-dope procession.
The race was dusty and hot. Some kid, 19-24 years old, went 20 min faster than me for 36 miles. My 35mm file treads were nearly perfect for the terrain. I learned nothing.