Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Last Boy Scout

I take a fair amount of abuse when it comes to my lack of spontaneity. I am - I must admit - more than a tad retentive. I live life by the 5P's (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance). That behavioral trait is what drives me to do things such as plan ahead - often months at a time - what races I want to enter and to - in fact - sign up for them well in advance of their date. Knowing nothing about them other than the date, the location and whatever information a race director might see fit to include on his/her website, unless the event is one that is readily recognizable such as the Belmar 5 Mile, the Manasquan Turkey Trot or the Bolder Boulder, often times on race day I arrive at the event not knowing how many other runners to expect.

Last Sunday, Gidg and I ran in Lake Como New Jersey at an event that has been contested for seven years and which this year had 114 runners in it. A small number perhaps but an uptick of more than 25% over the 2009 edition. Yesterday, we made the journey to Pier Village in Long Branch to run in the 1st Annual Run, Walk & Roll for Occupational Therapy 5K, whose number of participants made last Sunday's McCormack 5K look like a mob scene. It would not be incorrect to describe yesterday morning's gathering as intimate.

The event was organized by a young woman who is an Occupational Therapist at Kessler Rehabilitation Institute, which is where our Suzanne works as a Speech Language Therapist. The two specialties,while working in connection with one another as part of a multi-disciplinary course of treatment, do not necessarily have a lot of interaction with one another. I know not whether Suz knows the young woman who ran yesterday's show in Long Branch - although when Margaret mentioned Suz's name to her, our race director did not seem to recognize it.

While yesterday's event was small - and whether it attracted enough runners to help accomplish the goals for which it was organized - to make it worth putting on a 2nd Annual edition next year I know not. I suspect that the answer to that question will be known when we are much closer to this time next year than we are presently. I hope that there is a second edition. Not only because we ran at a spot where I love to run - and where yesterday I took approximately 1 minute off of my personal best for a 5K - but because of the effort that the young lady who organized the race clearly put into it. Her energy was contagious and her fingerprints were all over everything that was associated with the event - from design of the T-shirts to signage on the course to the homemade post-race goodies available for runners and attendees alike after the race. The energy and enthusiasm of the young never ceases to amaze me. Or to impress me.

This morning's adventure is the Not Quite Fall Classic 4 Mile race in Cranford, an event that has been contested for the past several decades. I expect Gidg and I will run in the company of far more souls (and soles) than we did yesterday. This too is an event for which I registered quite some time ago, when summer was in its infancy and autumn seemed to be too far away to be anything other than the subject of conjecture. Now, August has just about disappeared entirely and that sound you hear is September knocking on the door.....

....I know this because I have a calendar (or three) adorning a wall in my office and I peeked ahead already to check it out. But I suppose you knew that already; right?

-AK

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