A few days ago I was wasting time on social media – thinking about running and how much I didn’t want to run that day – when I came across an advertisement for the “First Annual Running of the Goats”.
Now. I am a big fan of goats. I think those things are hilarious.
I also have personal experience caring for goats, having worked in the petting zoo portion of the local zoo, back in high school. I recognize these animals for what they are. Assholes with hard heads, and reckless abandon in using them.
The running of the goats promised that it was going to be nothing like the running of the bulls…. where the animals are set to run amok down the city streets while willing, and possibly crazy, people run from them. No, the organizers promised, this was going to be a kitch walk of the goats from the farmer’s market to the park the animals reside in about a half mile away.
Bring the kids, they’ll love it!
Having nothing but house chores planned for the Saturday of the event… and it being the first weekend after my two-marathons weekend (Meaning, no long run and no races), I couldn’t think of a better way to kill some time. Bonus. I’ve never legitimately been to a farmer’s market before. I mean, every few Friday mornings the PBN group would do a loop through Findley Market which is like the mecca of farmer’s markets, and one time I was running through a town I didn’t know and got lost and ended up in one. But to actually go to one by choice? And look at the wares with actual consideration toward buying them? Nope. Never have done.
I planned to get there a little early, you know, to buy a commemorative t-shirt… But somehow, I only managed to arrive with a few minutes until the market officially closed and the goats started their “run”.
Bummer on the shirts, guys. They were all out of smalls.
The first reaction was a bit of cheering as the first two goats entered into the pen of people….and then the cheering and screams, as master-goat made a sprint toward the edge of the pen…AND THEN JUMPED OVER THE PEOPLE AND MADE A BREAK FOR IT!
The running of the goats changed from a simple herding parade to an actual damn run as people surged to chase down the errant goats! They were making their way toward the near-by bridge, looking to escape the state boarders to true freedom! The animals peeled away into traffic, leaving the crowd and police behind. It was like it always is in those “Cops” shows… all the camera-toting news media people were right on top of the goats, and everyone else in the chase was a bit behind.
As the goats made their epic escape, the noise from the crowd had turned from the gasps and din of many voices talking to an almost harmonious laughter. Complete strangers spoke to me and compared photos as though we were all old friends who came to the market together. It was like there were no more strangers. No matter the age, gender, race… everyone became instant friends, united by a group of goats taking off for freedom. People laughed loudly and shared updates on the goats progress.
One woman at the event commented that, “Today, we realized that the Goebel Goats are worthy representatives of Covington. Our goats are non-conformist rebels. No coloring within the lines for this bunch. Be proud Covington!”
Haha. Goats, man. And she’s right. These goats were going to do things their own way.
I headed toward the park (Goebel Park), spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find a parking spot, and then wandered around the iconic area. I hit a couple shops, and ended up buying a bandana for my dog to sport.
Even at the other park, no one was a stranger. I made friends with a kilt-wearing native of the town and was recognized and greeted like great friends by the people who were at the scene of the original escape. I couldn’t pull the smile off my face.
All but two of the escaped goats were rounded up and driven to their home at the park. The remaining two are suspected to be roaming among the woods of a popular hiking and overlook park nearby. Don’t worry. No one was hurt. No goats were harmed. And the organizers are handling everything with a great sense of humor.
I say its time for the running group to put together “goat hunt trail run” for tomorrow morning.
UPDATE: here’s an article from a …uh…local “news” blog thing.
Best line: “We’re going to have a discussion about goat behavior”.
I am completely imagining the goat owner haveing a stern discussion in the stable with a gathered group of recalcitrint goats.