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Super Sprint

For those of you just tuning in, this is a continuation of yesterday’s post about the Superhero Sprint sponsored by Herkimer Now, a group working to revitalize downtown Herkimer, NY. It took place last Saturday, Aug. 25.

I had planned to walk from my house to the event. Tabby was happy enough when I got her into harness and leash. However, once out on the driveway in the hot sunshine, she just stopped and looked at me. That’s what Tabby does when she does not want to walk any further.

I tried to encourage her, but she was having none of it. What to do? I did not see how I could go without her. After all, she was the superhero. I was only the villain-cum-hapless-sidekick. I knew Tabby would add a lot more to the event than I would.

“Should we take the car?” I asked. She seemed to like the suggestion. I went back into the house to get my purse and car keys. Tabby pulled me right up to the car, proving she understood what I said.

I found a parking space half a block from the registration table, which was in front of the court house. Tabby didn’t seem to want to walk even that far, so I carried her. Once we got closer to people, she was a lot happier to be there. Tabby loves people. Almost everybody wanted to pet her, which of course was perfectly fine with her.

After signing in and paying my two dollars, we wandered over to the shade of Christ Episcopal Church, where other people were congregating. There were lots of kids and their parents, mostly dressed in Halloween costumes. I noticed a preponderance of Batman (and girl), but there was an adorable Supergirl in a wagon holding a Spiderman stuffed toy, and a beautiful little redhead in a filmy green costume with lots of leaves. I’m not sure who she was, but I’ve mentioned I don’t read comic books or even go to the movies very often.

“I should have borrowed a kid,” I said.

“That’s your kid,” a lady said, referring to Tabby. I knew I had been right to bring her.

One girl had on a t-shirt with peace signs.

“I’m Peace Woman,” she said.

“Your superpower is Not to Fight,” I said.

“Sometimes to not fight is really hard for me,” she said.

“Oh, to not fight is hard for all of us,” I assured her. I thought it was a great superpower and was glad I was not the only original character there.

One woman had on an impressive Cat Woman outfit, complete with enormous spike heels.

“I would not advise sprinting in those,” I told her.

“I can barely stand in them,” she confided.

“Well, you look terrific,” I said. She really did. I couldn’t rock that costume if I stayed on the South Beach Diet for the rest of my life.

Eventually we all lined up in front of the court house and a lady with a microphone got things started. She asked for a cheer from all the superheroes, then went on to thank some real life heroes who had made donations for the event. She also gave a shout out to those other real life heroes: policemen, firemen and EMTs, some of whom were present.

“And I want to thank the villains who have called this temporary truce,” she continued. Cat Woman and a woman in a leafy outfit similar to the little redhead’s were standing near a fabulous red convertible, trying not to look suspicious.

Suddenly the truce was called off! Leaf woman grabbed the lady with the microphone and pulled her into the convertible. They sped off down Main Street. The superheroes had to sprint to the rescue!

Tabby hurried down the street with the rest of them, not, much to my surprise, stopping to sniff at anything. At one point one of the littlest superheroes needed rescuing; I heard somebody crying for Mommy. But for the most part everybody loved it, participants and spectators who watched from the sidewalk.

At the end of Main Street, we were offered hot dogs, cotton candy and popcorn. Tabby pulled me through the open door to Collis Hardware. I was happy to follow and enjoy a little air conditioning. The lady behind the counter said it was OK for a dog to be in the store and even came out from behind the counter to pet Tabby. A man in the store asked if she was a pit bull.

“Just an ordinary attack dog,” I said.

He said he was just kidding. I told him how Jim Parker at the Ilion Farmer’s Market says she’s a vicious attack dog because she shows her teeth.

I returned to the sidewalk while they drew for prizes (I didn’t win) then made the long trek back up Main Street to where I was parked. In cooler temperatures and ordinary clothing it does not seem so long. I felt a little self-conscious being in my costume not surrounded by others in costume, but nobody seemed to mind.

We drove back home and reverted to our normal personas. I think the Superhero Sprint was a resounding success. Everybody there seemed to have a great time. I’m sure I’m not the only one who hopes it will become an annual event.

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