Friday, July 22, 2011

(Ten) acity

Imitation is flattery's most sincere form.  At least that is what they say.  Whoever they are.  And who are they?  They are not me.  They are not you.  If both of those statements are true, then who is left exactly?  A question best left to ponder for another day.  By you.  Or perhaps by them.  Not by me. 

The title of today's virtual litter is lifted without apology from the front of the race shirt given to entrants in this year's Downtown Westfield 5K and Pizza Extravaganza.  This year's race was the tenth annual.  Kudos to whoever is charged with the responsibility of coming up with a design and a motto for the event's t-shirt.  This year's design was terrific.  Good color too.  Apropos of nothing, when you run in a lot of road races and are never going to be competing for age group awards - and trust me on this unless I live to see the 100+ age category and my friend Mike O'Connell hangs up his running shoes at some point south of the Century mark I am never going to be competing for an age group award - among the things that make the race experience enjoyable is the t-shirt.  Is it good-looking?  Is it something that I am likely to ever wear?  Does it make me good-looking? 

In fairness to fabric, my analysis never takes the third criteria into consideration.  It is a stitched cotton garment for crying out loud.  It is not a miracle worker.  If it looks good and if I do not have a horrible memory of the race - I have never worn my long sleeve t-shirt from the 2010 Our House File Mile in Summit due solely to the latter (Hell I signed up to run the New Jersey Marathon just to avoid running it in 2011.....and 2012) - then it ends up taking a place in my closet.  Margaret and Suzanne joke that I shall never have to buy another t-shirt thanks to the ones that my races fees have bought.  A lot of folks invest in cotton.  I am among them.  I just buy in at the end of - and not the start of - the manufacturing process.  Sure it costs more for the finished product but my overhead is negligible.  

The oppressive heat and humidity of Wednesday night notwithstanding, the event in Westfield was as much fun to participate in this time around as it was when I did it for the first time last July.  It was a bit sad to see the bruise on the Downtown area where Ferraro's Restaurant stood for more than forty years.  It is a Westfield fixture and was gutted by a six-alarm fire in early May.  Where it once was it shall stand again soon.  Its return will be welcomed not only by the locals but by occasional invaders into the area such as Yours truly.  I know not what the Ferraro family's timeline is for reconstruction but if it is up and running in time for the 2012 edition of the race that would be outstanding. 

It will be outstanding because it is an integral part of the fabric that is Downtown Westfield.  A fabric that was generously shared with about 2500 runners on Wednesday night in an event so nice that not even unhealthy running conditions could put a damper on it.  This annual get-together in Westfield is what its name suggests:  an extravaganza.  It is more than that perhaps.  It is more of a "scene".  A scene that eagerly awaits the renaissance of its signature Italian restaurant.... 

....An old familiar place indeed.


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