Saturday, July 9, 2011

Covering the Distance

Hey basic math fans check it out!  Today is "Plus Two Day":  the month plus 2 equals the day (7 + 2 = 9) and the day plus 2 equals the year (9 + 2 = 11).  Wowsie wow!   The joy of being alive in the 21st Century. 

This morning the Missus and I shall awaken at the beach.  We are imposing yet again on the good nature of our friend Lynne.  Gidg (Lynne's sister) and I are participating this morning in the Belmar 5, which is a five-mile race held annually in Belmar, New Jersey (and you feared that the name of something could get no more obvious than "Plus Two Day" - as if).  We each ran in this race last year for the first time ever.  My most distinct recollection of last year's race is that it poured very hard for about thirty minutes with the torrent commencing approximately forty-five minutes prior to race time.  Then, after the rain stopped, the sun came out.  Given the amount of moisture in the ground and humidity in the air, it made the experience of running five miles through the streets of Belmar something akin to running in a pot of hot, steaming soup....while wearing a smelly sock over one's face.  The last time I checked today's forecast (a/k/a "asked Gidg what the weather is supposed to be") the report I received was that it is going to be a hot, dry morning.  Sounds good to me.  

I did this year what I did last year in the week leading up to the Belmar 5, which is to say that I spent Thursday night in Morristown running in an event called the "Lawyers for Kids 5K".  It is an event that has been held for the past seven years (this year marked my second time participating in it).  It is a fundraiser for the Morris County Bar Foundation and CASA of Morris and Sussex County, both of which are extremely worthwhile organizations that provide assistance to folks who need it and who otherwise would not be in a position to receive it.  It is put on through the efforts of a number of law firms in Morris County (somewhat disappointingly to me the Firm is not among them.....perhaps next year) as well as other corporate entities and individuals.  This year I was pleased to see one of my colleagues in the field as well as one of my former law partners. 

I was also extremely pleased to be joined in the evening's activities by young Ryan.  Ryan is the sixteen-year-old son of one of Margaret's oldest and dearest friends.  Within the past few months he has been bitten by the running bug a bit.  He has been pressing his mom Carolyn to get him into races.  While my original plan for this summer was to sit out Thursday night's race, I thought it would provide him a chance to run while enabling me to avoid watching the Yankees lose to Tampa.  A real win-win as it were. 

And it was.  Ryan has only run in a small handful of races - including several of the 5K variety.  He had never participated in one that had a course featuring something close to the hill on Kitchell Road until he ran up it on Thursday night.  How tough is this hill?  Bear in mind that one cannot spell the word "Kitchell" without the letters "K-I-L-L" or "H-E-L-L".  I trust that answers your question and ends the inquiry.  Ryan conquered the hill and the entire course as well.  He did not finish first but he finished strong.  And he finished, which he could not have done had he not started.  And that is the most important thing of all.

He is a bit bitten by this running bug it seems.  He and I have another Thursday night date on our dance card this coming week.  And the Wednesday night thereafter he will run with Gidg and me in one of the summer's truly terrific running events - the Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza.  I am happy that he wanted to run this past Thursday night and that he wants to run in those other upcoming events.  For someone who has spent the overwhelming majority of his life not doing anything for anyone, it is a total change of pace for me to the person who is actually doing something for the benefit of someone else.  I do not foresee myself making a habit of it (world at large take note!) but it actually feels good. 

Here is to hoping that five miles through the streets of Belmar this morning feel almost as good.  It is a long run.  But then again, aren't they all.

-AK  

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