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san francisco morning

Meet training group friends at Golden Gate Park to cheer for your coach -- and the rest of Sonoma County's Empire Runners team -- at the Pacific Association Cross Country Championships. Realize you actually know quite a few people at the race -- both your physical therapist and your chiropractor are running, as well as another running buddy from your Tuesday morning track group.

Make friends with a runner named Steve. Ask Steve how long he has been running. Discover he has been running for as long as you have been alive. Wow!

Watch the women's race in awe. Marvel at their barely-there booty shorts and sports bras in the misty, 40-degree weather. Marvel at their six-packs. Marvel at how so many of them run so hard that by the time they finish, they are drooling and look like they might vomit. Pray that if they do vomit, it will not be of the projectile variety. Pray that if it is of the projectile variety, it will not be aimed at you.

Wonder if maybe the reason you are not fast is because you don't like vomit or being pushed to the brink of vomit. Also, you do not have a six-pack.

Watch the master's men's race. Hold up signs for your coach and cheer. Try not to be embarrassed by the fact that you and your friends are the only people at the entire race with signs. Ask yourself: Are signs not cool for cross country?

High-five your coach at the end of the race. Take pictures. Hug your running buddies. Depart.

And promptly go to Japantown. Aim for -- what else? -- ramen.

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