On the street: Epic flag | AspenTimes.com

On the street: Epic flag

Joel Stonington

People out on the town Friday night in their evening finery may have noticed dozens of headband-clad crazies ducking behind parked cars, running through alleys, jumping over bushes and barely missing moving vehicles as they ran through the streets. It was the first annual (or monthly… that waits to be seen) game of Aspenwide Capture the Flag. With a max of 20 people expected, 50 showed up. It was glorious. Epic. Dylan Hoffman created maps that delineated the outside boundaries – Main, Spring, Durant and Mill – and set Hyman as no-man’s land in the middle. Flags were placed somewhere near Stage 3 and Rubey Park. Jails were at City Hall and the flying saucer fireplace.Teams were chosen old school-style. The tallest (6’6″) and the shortest (5’0″) were captains and the last person to be picked won a 12-pack of PBR, which was immediately shot-gunned by various participants. What surprised me most was that everyone came ready to play. Shorts and running shoes were the norm. Fierce determination was the modus. It was, for lack of a better word, serious capture the flag. In all honesty, I got so into the damn game that I dreamt about it that night and found myself thinking during the next day about how I might have gotten the other team’s flag. I was on yellow. We lost. And I was there when the greens got our flag. They used a tenacious and clever plan of a multi-pronged attack whereby one person grabbed the flag, got tagged, another picked it up, got tagged and so on. The greenie to get our flag and carry it across the line, Jeff White, was only a foot or two away from me at one point, but I just didn’t have any energy after tagging the person before him.All the next day I pictured the dive I could have taken to tag him. It would have landed hard on pavement, probably the curb. I actually considered it. Instead, I watched White run down Galena and cross Hyman, flag raised triumphantly and gallantly.

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