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Digital Running Club » Running Mishaps » Cross Country Runner Becomes Roadkill

Cross Country Runner Becomes Roadkill

A recent district cross country meet in Florida found the usual denizens of a county park in a bit of an uproar. Peggy Winkelman, a 76 year old homemaker from Pinellas County was enjoying her usual ride along the park’s gravel paths on her purple beach cruiser bicycle when the starting gun fired for the boys’ varsity race.

As the adrenaline-fueled stampede of high school boys approached the first quarter mile of the 5K race, the race leaders spotted Peggy in the distance. Apparently perturbed at the prospect of the brief interruption to her normally peaceful bike ride around the lake, Peggy rode angrily toward the mob, her fist raised in defiance.

“This is my path!” she yelled with surprising ferocity.¬† “Get off my path!”

As the thundering footsteps approached her, the thick pack began to swerve around Peggy while she struggled to stay on her bike.

Tucked within that pack and running strongly in the second district race of his short running career was little Kevin Fenderson. Merely a 7th grader, Kevin was one of the top runners on his school’s team. He typically made up for his short stature with intelligent tactics, excellent cardiovascular fitness and a strong finishing kick.¬†This day, however, his short stature would be his downfall.

While the taller boys had a full view of Peggy’s plight, Kevin was not so lucky. As he rounded a bend, he had little time to react when Peggy finally wobbled off her bike. The front tire struck him in the shin and he fell to the ground as the handlebars delivered a breathtaking blow to his solar plexus.

Somewhat dazed, Kevin struggled to collect himself while the pack of boys passed and Peggy continued to curse them all with renewed vigor. Kevin ran the race with some abdominal pain, finishing 5th on his team instead of his usual 3rd place. He sank into a camp chair near the finish line, disappointed by the unfortunate circumstances of the race.

Kevin’s efforts that day were not futile, however. They earned his team a slot in the regional meet by one point, and they earned him a new nickname – “Roadkill”.

Written by

Brian Darrow is a running coach in St. Petersburg, FL who specializes in online coaching for beginners. Follow him at

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