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One of my “Grenades” is Missing

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Friday, October 16, 2020

These are not dangerous, as you can see from the photo. In fact, they are the necessities that keep me going on longer treks whether running or walking. My fuel belt accommodates three flasks, but now I can only find 2 of them

My search through all possible locations in the house brought back pleasant memories, but not the missing flask.

I was asked about these “grenades” several years ago in the Czech Republic. It was at the start of the Czech National Championship Half Marathon. Nobody was carrying water so my fuel belt attracted attention. I speak passible Czech because of my Slovak roots, but “grenades” (gre NAH des) wasn’t in my vocabulary. Turns out that everyone else just depended on the frequent water stops.

That’s never enough for me. At my age and with the dry mouth caused by my allergies, I want water when I NEED it, not at some designated location. So not only was I a curiosity being an old American woman with a German name (it means “baking oven), speaking broken, ungrammatical Czech, but I also was carrying water “grenades”

So, how did I end up here?

When we travel, I always try to run a few miles in each country as time and activities allow, but this was different. We were spending several days in Pardubice, a city near Prague during a trip to Europe. DH was presenting a paper at a conference there. He’s retired, but likes to keep up with colleagues around the world.

When I realized that the course of the race went right by our hotel, I signed up. Couldn’t let that opportunity pass. It was a lovely day. Friendly, welcoming people, a course through historic Old Town and all I had to do was avoid tripping on cobblestones and finish before the course closed at 3:00 hours.

Along with the serious, elite athletes there were regular people and whole families participating. I had lots of company.

Gotta love racing here. A shirt, a medal and a bottle of wine for all finishers.

DH took this photo before we boarded our flight to our next stop, Paris and eventually the beaches of Normandy.

To this day DH loves to tell people that I was once the “fastest American in the Czech National Half Marathon”
Yes, I was the ONLY American in the race! AND the oldest woman by 6 years.

This memory triggered some hope for a post Covid future too.

At the end of the race I posted this on Facebook with the caption – “How often do you finish a race in front of a monument erected centuries ago in thanksgiving for the end of the Black Plague?”

Now looking forward to the eventual end of Covid and a return to normalcy.

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