Unless you're a member of the Washington Wizards, you probably have never fired a pistol 89 times in three hours. But I just did. I was the official starter of the 31st Bolder Boulder 10K on Memorial Day in Boulder, Colo., my hometown.
(Yes, we are officially out of celebrities in Boulder.)
Runner's World ranks the Bolder Boulder as America's Best 10K -- almost 54,000 runners registered for this one -- but it might also be America's weirdest. The first wave I started was led by a guy dressed like Jesus, who sprinted off the start line like his sandals were on fire. There were five people dressed as a yellow do-not-cross police line, an entire troop of chanting Marines, three couples in wedding garb, a rock band smoking Marlboros, a bunch of bananas (one chased by a gorilla) and an entire troop of Where's Waldo characters who hid anytime anybody said, "Where's Waldo?"
Across from the starting line, a couple guys sat with their legs hanging over a third-floor porch railing, half a dozen beers next to them, and a sign: "We drink, you run."
The streets were lined with fans, 30 bands and weight lifters in pink wigs dousing runners with squirt guns. There were people randomly handing out marshmallows, bacon and Buds. I had that exact lunch Tuesday, thanks. Even the winners -- three Ethiopians -- went goofy. They ran the last lap holding hands, vowing to split the money no matter who was declared the official winner. (For the record, the computer said it was Lelisa Desisa.)
Oprah-pal and daytime TV star Dr. Mehmet Oz ran it, too (54 minutes) and came up to the stand beforehand to start about 20 waves. Oz, 49, looks younger and more cut than on TV. And even though he often hunts in Colorado, his ears were ringing after two shots.
"Got any earplugs?" he asked.
"What?" I said, since I already had mine in and my ears were still ringing.
Below us, there was some guy handing out free beef jerky to people, so Oz asked for a bag. Then he took out a piece, twisted it up and stuck it in each ear.
"Much better," he said.
"And people take medical advice from you?" I scoffed.
"What?" he said.