Bib #1: Sporty Diva 19.6

The first thing you notice about Rosie Rose Coates is her laugh. I could say that it’s “jovial” or “infectious,” but the truth is that it’s just loud. Loud in a way that would annoy you, but only if you didn’t have a soul. She starts her races (yes, Rosie Rose Coates has her own races) with the chant:

Wah! Wah! Hootie hootie! Time to go now work that bootie!

And with that, my quest for 40 races in 2017 was under way. (Check out my live, start-line broadcast!)


Me and the Sporty Diva herself, Rosie Rose Coates.

I feel like anything you do on January 1 has some weight to it. Or, at least we try to make it have some weight. We make resolutions. We vow to be kinder, gentler, more zenned-out versions of ourselves. Like a snake shedding its skin, we decide we are done with our last year’s selves, in favor of what is new (read: better) at our cores.

Or maybe that’s just the vision I’ve created for myself.


In another popular New Year’s tradition involving the symbolic stripping away of the past – a Polar Bear plunge on the race route. I kept running after snapping this photo, unsure of when participants would actually jump. Approximately 90 seconds letter, one young woman in a bikini, hugging herself against the 35-degree air, remained on the dock. “A far more terrible position than actually being in the water right now,” I thought. “She’ll either need to jump in by herself now (mortifying), or skulk back to shore, metaphorical tail between her legs (mortifying).”  There is a lesson there…

I’m not A Resolution Person. I don’t need to exercise more, or spend more time with my friends, or pay off decades-old school loans. I could probably stand to dial back the soy cappuccinos and the Manhattans but won’t. And I won’t entertain a discussion about my shoe budget.

But, as Rosie Rose Coates reminds me, I can laugh louder. I can draw attention to myself with my positive spirit. And I can high-five more runners, as I practiced today on the 2.8 mile loop course around Greenlake in Seattle when, faced with increasing civilian crowds on the public course and staling scenery, some participants chose to run the loop in the reverse direction.


The sun made its welcomed first appearance around my Mile 5 at approximately 9:50am. Racers were still running in the gravel path alongside the pavement at this point, avoiding the hazardous black ice the sun had yet to melt.

When I finished my seventh lap, the only race participant signed up for the odd, 19.6-mile distance (remaining runners would complete a full 26.2), I received a Sporty Diva dog tag and hug from Rosie Rose. The volunteers and I chatted briefly about the weather in Orlando, where several of us are traveling in a matter of hours to run the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge. And I got into my car for the 10-minute drive home.

Race 1 of 40 is complete. 2017 is officially under way. I may not be any more zenned-out than I was yesterday, but I am smiling. Really, what more can you ask from a year less than 24-hours old?

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