76. 3ish pm.
"Gazpacho-y, did you get up?"
77. Number of consecutive hours being awake: 24 and counting.
Number of times accidentally typing a four-letter word to a wrong Skype window, which happens to belong to a boss: 1.
Number of browsers that allow a certain submission system to work properly outside Australia: 1. Firefox.
Number of times I've used Firefox on this Mac before today: 0.
Number of ways Gaston comes up with to benefit from my 1-in-10-chance application: countless.
Number of ways he comes up with that includes my mysterious death: 3.
78. Countless races we have run together. The trial ones, which, if taken place in the States, would have gotten us certificates for participation. We ran them because everyone did, and no one blinked when we crossed the finishing line. The 10kms, where medals were actually awarded. We were always supportive of each other, regardless of which one of us got to be on stage. Every now and then, I would act like a baby on the heels of a loss to him, but his pride in me, regardless of whether I won or lost, would always be unadulterated. The half-marathon, which I completed first, but only because he had spent most of the race holding my water bottle. After getting to the finishing line, I helped with his running. While it is tempting to think that my assistance made a huge difference, it was his grace and single focus that pushed him over the line in style.
Then comes this marathon, where not only medals but prizes of more than a third of a million dollars each are waiting for a very small number of runners who first complete the 42nd mile. After all the practices and all the smaller races, this time we are not running together, or even running for the same team. Or so it seemed. The initial interaction had been minimal: we waved and smiled, but each went on his own. Thanks to a terrible combination of trying to perfect every running step and being distracted by things off the race, a quarter through the marathon I was miles behind. Noticing my struggle, he started to help. Moral support, the extra water bottle, running techniques, jokes. Somehow, I got past the midpoint, in a more or less equal position with him, thus, even if ever marginally, reducing his chances of being one of the eventual winners. Knowing him, this doesn't bother him in the slightest. It never did. There is half of the marathon left; if we are lucky, both of us will emerge victorious. If not, at least I would still feel lucky to have him as a fellow runner, all this time.