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Let's give the new Loop a go, shall we? Dear fellow Loopsters - at least those of you who know or remember me. You may have noticed from my Facebook feed that last week I was in NYC with my wife, Countess FiFi the Fearless. Well, that only lasted five days. Not even the time to recover from the timezone-induced discombobulation and I already had to fly back to old Italia and get an even worse jet lag. What to do in notoriously extremely boring NYC? Watch the bagels rise? Or concrete dry? What kind of (safe but exciting) activities can a hapless tourist from Europe hope to be part of? Lucky me, I have an agent or two in New York City. My good friend and Manhattan resident MsRitz suggested I sign up for a 10-mile race in the Bronx, unexpectedly called Bronx 10 mile (they must have really thought this through). A hush-hush, low-key, 15,000 runners affair in the worst-mouthed Big Apple borough. Those of you who know me will already know that I tend to avoid road races like I avoid the Ebola virus. However, I am not the person to say no to a good friend; plus, I don't always get to run races in new places. So I decided to cough up the race fee and signed up, knowing I wouldn't regret it. So all I had to do, last Sunday, was to take the D train to the 161st St. stop (or was it the 4 train?). Now you must know that when I was little, the only information I had about the NYC metro system was from movies such as 1979's "The Warriors" (hopefully you'll know what I'm talking about), in which the metro trains were the favorite means of transportation for the city's riffraff and the preferred setting for stabbings, gang fights and all sorts of seedy and dodgy dealings. But I digress; today's NYC metro system is a model of efficiency and safety: the wagons even have beautiful poems framed inside, for the spiritual elevation of the few passengers that are not engrossed in their social media feeds on their phones. I actually managed to meet MsRitz on the train itself, and we made our way to the finish area for me to drop my change bag. And then... ...A MIRACLE MsRitz surprised me by letting me meet another great Loop friend of mine: the one and only Cheeky Ninja Runner, whom I'd had the privilege to be a tour guide of in Milan, a couple of years ago. And I have proof of this meetup! A European Loopster visit will always make the local news. Moreover, I instantly become a chick magnet. Please note: this picture was taken BEFORE the race. It was soooo hot that I sweated half of my body weight during the race; you can only imagine that I smelled like a donkey afterwards. My chick magnetism vanished. I'm still a barely presentable human in this pic. Anyways: we made our way to the start corral - MsRitz even used her superpowers to sneak me in the "B" corral, in the midst of runners much fitter than I. Of course there were the emotional moments before the start; a thought and a prayer for those involved in the hurricanes and those hit by the earthquake in Mexico. After the Star-Spangled Banner we were off! I was actually wearing trail shoes for this race - I think I can be forgiven, I don't really do road running. Man, I'd forgotten how HARD it is to run on pavement! The only half-decent picture I have from the race is this one: "So, is this black surface called pavement then?" To make a long story short and stop boring you guys off your skins, I started briskly; however, I soon bonked/flopped, so I decided to just shuffle my way to the end of the race. I won't bother telling you about my final time - nothing to be proud of anyway. What I'm proud of, instead, is that through the now-defunct Loop I have been able to meet so many amazing people - it ain't all "weird internet people", you know. Thanks for enduring this excruciating read of a bloop and type ya soon. Funny faces! Until next bloop, Mooooooooooose.