Sunday, October 3, 2010

In the Footsteps of a Miracle

Today marks the end of the regular season in Major League Baseball - the 2010 edition. It also marks the 59th anniversary of what was either "The Miracle at Coogan's Bluff" or a day that shall live in infamy, depending on which of New York's two National League baseball teams you were a fan. Hmm. Six decades ago New York had two Major League teams that played in the National League. Now there are none. Go figure. (I am kidding, sort of. Just having a bit of fun at the expense of the Mets fan out there.)

Bobby Thomson died earlier this year. Thus for the first time since they were joined at history's hip fifty-nine years ago today, Ralph Branca is a solo act. Two men thrust together by a circumstance that fitted one of them for a hero's crown and the other one for goat's horns simultaneously who never acted in a way other than graciously towards each other and towards the world at large. A lesson lies in there to be learned by all of us I think.

Today also marks the second time that Sue's Crew has been among the teams competing in the Komen Central and South Jersey Race for the Cure. The weather forecast (at least the last one at which I peered) promised a fairly nice early autumn day with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-to-upper 60's......which is of course the day's high temperature and will not be the reading gleaned from the Mercury when the starting gun goes off this morning at 8:00 a.m. for the 5K race. No worries. It promises to be a gorgeous morning on which to run.

This event amazed me last year and is one that I have been looking forward to since a minute or two after we exited the parking lot at Great Adventure last October. Certain elements of the Crew (Margaret, Suz, Ryan, Gidg, Lynne and Yours truly) arrived at the Race having spent at least one (Ryan and Suz), two (Margaret and me) or the nights prior pressed up against the stage at Giants Stadium watching Springsteen and his pals from E Street perform. As I recall, Margaret, Ryan, Suz and I made it back 'NTSG after the Saturday night show in just about enough time to get a good 90 minutes or so of sleep before we were heading to Jackson at what my daughter refers to as the "a## crack of dawn". I think of it as late morning. Beauty is not the only thing that is in the beholder's eye I suppose.

At least we got a solid hour of sleep. Lynne and Gidg migrated south to 'Squan and likely would have doglegged right as opposed to left when they got off the Parkway at Exit 98 but for the fact that all of their Race regalia was at Lynne's home and not in the trunk of her vehicle.

Even running on fumes last October, all of us have still a vivid recollection of just how spectacular a morning it was. Today holds the promise of an encore performance. Last week I had the pleasure of running in the company of heroes - firefighters from around the nation and England - to celebrate the lives and to honor the memories of other heroes. Today, while the faces have changed, the caliber of the company has not. And the concentration of heroes amongst those assembled has not either. As everyone gathers this morning and offers a silent remembrance of those who have lost their lives to breast cancer I think of Suzy B. As everyone gathers this morning and offers a silent hope or prayer or blessing (call it what you will) for those who have survived the onslaught of this horrible disease, I think of Mom.

Perhaps at some point in the not-too-distant future, the Race for the Cure shall not be in support of its pursuit but in celebration of its realization. When that happens, I shall look forward to lacing up my running shoes (with their occasion-appropriate pink laces) and taking part in the celebration. Til that happens, I shall look forward to lacing up my running shoes and taking part in the pursuit.

We can get there from here. Today, after all, it is the reason we run.

-AK

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