Saturday, August 14, 2010

Greetings From Asbury Park

If you are up early this morning reading this, after looking yourself squarely in the mirror and asking yourself, "Why?" you might want to head towards the home of Madame Marie and Tillie, towards the home of the boys from the Casino and all those wonderfully silly New York virgins. She is not one. Neither is she.

Perhaps - like me - the idea of spending time in Asbury Park after sunrise on a Saturday morning strikes you as being antithetical. After all, this is a place well known for the music that has come out of it and the various places where it can be enjoyed - with plentiful adult liquid refreshments - late into the evening. Historically, most of my leisure time spent in Asbury Park has been spent either at The Stone Pony or at Convention Hall.

This morning however (on what is supposed to be a pretty nice morning on which to run) I shall be in AP in the AM running in the Asbury Park 5K. This is of course my first time running in this event. While I have been looking forward to it since the day I signed up for it, reading the description of the course - including where the race finishes - really has me excited for this morning. Finishing on the Boardwalk near Convention Hall? Not too shabby at all. As long as I am not the last one across the finish line, it should be pretty cool. Actually as long as I am not the last one across the finish line and I arrive after they have broken down the clock and the other race-related accouterments it will be pretty cool. Given that we are only covering 3.1 miles I like my chances of finishing while evidence of a race having taken place is still present on the Boardwalk for all to see.

While I know not if I shall get the chance to meet him this morning, I am proud to have the chance to occupy the same real estate (at least for a half-hour or so) with a gentleman named Chris Cerrelli. According to the web site of the Jersey Shore Running Club, he is a member of that group who shall - over the course of the next year - train for his first marathon while spending that year in the service of this nation in Afghanistan. While I suppose that training at the elevations he will likely encounter there will be beneficial to him, I would think that some of the other ancillary factors one must deal with in Afghanistan are potentially less so. If the opportunity to shake his hand and wish him well arises today, then I shall take it. In the event it does not, then right here and now to him and to all of the other men and women who shall be there with him I wish a safe journey and a speedy return home to family and loved ones. And I extend my thanks to him and to all of his brothers and sisters in arms for doing a tough - some might say impossible - job well.

Wake up Sandy. On this morning at least, that thing rising behind us in the East ain't the Aurora. Rise and shine.


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