Monday, May 3, 2010

The Best of Sunday

With it feeling considerably more like the run-up to Quatro de Julio than Cinco de Mayo and me taking the "I am a big baby" approach to my wounded knee in the two weeks since the 1/2 Marathon, it probably would have made sense to have bailed out of yesterday's 5 mile race in Summit. But given how infrequently anyone mistakes me for a smart man - and with a 10K on the hilly streets of Boulder on the docket at month's end, I honored my entry fee. Yesterday with my tag-team running partner Gidg we set off to Summit to participate in the 11th Annual Our House 5 Miler.

In the interests of full disclosure, I signed up for this race some time ago because of (a) the distance; and (b) the topography figuring that both would help me get ready for the Bolder Boulder. I was ignorant as to what the purpose of this race is annually. Yesterday I was able to see for myself just what it is all about and in spite of the extreme weather for early May (upper 80's with "breathing into a smelly sock" levels of humidity when we started at 1:00 p.m.) and the fact that I was woefully unprepared to run this type of challenging course - having run one mile on Suz's treadmill in the last two weeks, I am glad that I did.

Our House is a not-for-profit organization that operates group homes and other residences for developmentally disabled adults. I know not how many people either work for or volunteer for this particular organization but there were dozens of them in attendance yesterday, handling every conceivable element of pre-race preparation. The most important thing they all did involved a second race that took place yesterday and involved none of the entrants in the 5 Miler.

About forty-five minutes prior to gun time yesterday, the race organizers held four or five "Everyone Wins" races for the adults who reside in one of Our House's residences and who receive the benefit of its services. Each one of the entrants wore Bib #1. Each one of them - regardless of disability - tried his/her best to cover the short, straight and (because it is Summit after all) slightly uphill course. From start to finish, it probably took about ten minutes to complete all of the Everyone Wins races. It was the best ten minutes I spent yesterday. Even the most hard-hearted among us - and that typically includes a fellow who looks quite a bit like the fellow who stares back at me from the mirror in the morning - felt a lump in the throat and the sting of a tear or two in the corner of an eye.

A hell of a thing. And I am damn happy that I was there to see it and to experience it... Hills or no hills.

I remember way back then when everything was true and when
We would have such a very good time such a fine time
Such a happy time
And I remember how we'd play simply waste the day away
Then we'd say nothing would come between us two dreamers.

-AK

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