Today is Ryanne's last cross country meet. I'll be there with my camera, which I left at home for the last meet, and without my purple jacket.
Leaving my camera at home last time turned out to be a big mistake, but how was I to know that the course was perfect for taking pictures for most of the run? Her first two meets were at a park where after fifteen seconds, the runners disappeared behind the scrub brush and trees only to reappear for a hundred yard dash past the spectators and back into forest. So of course, why bother with a camera the next time?
As soon as we turned into the parking lot, I realized my mistake. Squalicum Creek Park is the site of an old cement plant. Although most of the industrial buildings are gone, it hasn't been fully parkified. There's a comfort station, some benches, and a fenced in ball park stadium. The rest is fully visible, undeveloped trails that go up, down, and around the hillsides.
The first thing I did was hike to the top of the hill that was roped off with purple and white banners. The purple cones a few feet away made it clear that this was part of the course. What a great place to take pictures. Oh well.
So there I was applauding for everyone as they passed. Like all cross country events, most of the time is spent waiting for contestants to come close enough to cheer on. I make a point of clapping for everyone who passesdbecause I figure, they are just kids even if they are the opposition. Is opposition possible when the goal is personal best? Anyway, I made sure that every wet, red face sticking out of a purple or green shirt got some encouragement as they crested the hill.
The runners were spread out by the time they got to where I was standing, so I had plenty of opportunity to look around as I monitored the progress of the bright green t-shirt that didn't quite match her school colors. That is the point at which I noticed that the purple cones of Shuksan Middle School perfectly matched my purple coat. The problem was, Ryanne goes to Whatcom Middle School whose colors are green and gold. I was flying the wrong flag.
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