On the back stretch, I begin to run out of gas, but the roaring crowd gives me a shot of adrenaline. I go through a water pit, rattle over a wooden trellis and head straight for my just desserts.
The only tricycle I ever owned was that trusty royal blue. After riding it, I'd go inside where my mother often had Jell-O waiting for me in the refrigerator. Just before I dive into the pink pit, the scent of strawberry summons sweet childhood memories. Then the icy bath washes away every thought except one: this is the real reason why America won the Cold War — we'll do anything to win.
As I stagger across the finish line, I realize that trike racing has cured me of all competitive zeal. At the awards ceremony, dozens of people, their hair flecked with pink Jell-O, cheer this year's champions, Golden Corral. A-T Northwest has come in a respectable third and we've earned $250 in contributions. And so, as a salmon-colored sun sets beyond the horizon, I pack my helmet and "Slowest Time" plaque and head home. Trikes are for kids, and for the adults of Marysville, who take their kidding very seriously.
By Bruce Watson