A “heated” discussion about which dad is the fastest in the Navajo tribe went on for hours Saturday night until finally a late night camp fire challenge was issued. “We race in the morning,” said a smiling Bobby Purcell to a chuckling Kevin Wiland. “I will even spot you five yards. I know that that I can win,” laughed Bob. “Bring it!” Kevin responded. “I was fast as a kid and I am faster than you think.”
The final morning of the Park Ridge Iroquois Nation’s campout, Bobby and Kevin ventured onto to Camp Tecumseh’s wet roads for a one-on-one footrace that Federation Chief Mike Charley would come to describe as “Epic!” 50-meters in distance with bragging rights at stake, the runners met at the start line early in the morning as Navajo dads and daughters paused from loading their cars to go home and instead lined the roads to watch the sprint.
“Go!” shouted Geoff Noth. Bobby and Kevin bolted. Bobby was off the line too soon. False start. Do it again.
The racers quickly reassembled at the start line and readied themselves. All of the spectators were quiet. “Go!” Geoff shouted again. The sprinters exploded off the line displaying surprising speed. It was neck and neck. Muscles and lungs burned as the competitors quickly closed the distance to the finish line meter by meter. At 35-meters, Bobby pulled away in his racing Crocs.
Bobby raised his fist in victory as he crossed the finish line. The racers and spectators were laughing and smiling as another camp out came to a close. Bobby walked away with tribal bragging rights and a potential Crocs sponsorship. It is rumored that the runner-up would assume the role as the Navajo’s chief for the 2019/2020 school year. Kevin?