Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh My Bells They Jingle Jangle Jingle

Yesterday was really a terrific day. Margaret, Gidg and I drove over to Metuchen where Gidg and I ran in the Jingle Bell 5K. None of the three of us had ever been there for the event, which meant we had no idea what to expect. What we got was a very well-run, well-organized race for a good cause: raising funds for the arthritis foundation.

Events such as yesterday's are simply terrific for someone who is a casual runner like me. Sure there were serious runners among our number yesterday morning - those who regale each other with tales of marathon entries and too good to be true qualifying times for well-known road races. But there were also a number of folks who - like Gidg and me - are just folks who like to run, who run for exercise and who are not adverse to participating in the doing of a good thing for someone else. Besides how many opportunities do you get to run down a public street wearing a red/green hat festooned with little jingle bells without having mental health professionals trying to stop you with a tranquilizer gun? Such an opportunity is not simply to be embraced. It is to be seized.

I went to law school to stay away from hard math. By my informal calculation there appeared to be several hundred runners and walkers who participated in either the 5K run or the 1 mile walk. There were dozens of people who cheered all of us on from various spots throughout the course. There were countless volunteers who took care of every detail. And at the finish line, there was my better half - braving the bitter cold to cheer Gidg and me all the way home. And - if I say so myself - we both ran quite well indeed, both finishing faster than we had hoped to run. And both of us doing so on a course much hillier than we presumed we would encounter and wholly devoid of interval clocks and monitors, whose presence usually makes it considerably easier to assess the pace at which you were running than it was yesterday. We ran the last quarter-mile of the race with a 'seasonal' December wind blowing into our faces, which was less fun than the way it reads I assure you.

And when the running was over, there was much eating and drinking and conversing in a very happening little joint - Novita Bistro - that had graciously served as the host for all of us pre-and post-race. Among our little group we made a pact to return to enjoy its dinner menu when we were a little bit better dressed - and actually carrying wallets.

And we will certainly be back for the '10 version of this event. It was too good a time to not enjoy again.


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