Monday, August 8, 2011

Sunday in Sea Girt

The sun did not make an appearance yesterday morning in Sea Girt at any time prior to the running of the 20th Anniversary of the Sea Girt 5K. It mattered not. It was a simply a spectacular day.

Yesterday's edition of the race honored this nation's veterans. During the pre-race ceremony we were introduced to too many heroes for me to count. Heroes who were present to hear the applause of those assembled. Heroes such as those who have been killed in action in this nation's wars, including those who died on Saturday when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. It was a day honoring those who lay their lives on the line every day so that those of us on the home front - such as me - can engage in blissfully frivolous pursuits....such as spending our Sunday mornings running in 5K races.

And for me yesterday was a chance to pay tribute to Uncle Andy. To the back of my race shirt Margaret affixed a copy of Uncle Andy's Honoree page from the World War II Memorial that we modified slightly to include his date of birth and his date of death. At the race, ribbons were given to active duty military personnel and veterans to wear. When I showed the woman at the table who was handing out the ribbons the back of my race shirt, she gave me one:

The racers were led off the starting line and onto the course by members of the FDNY Fire Riders. The Fire Riders are firefighters who ride their Harley-Davidsons at events such as the Sea Girt 5K as their way of honoring the memory of the 343 who perished on 09/11 and honoring the contribution of our military personnel. After the race wrapped yesterday morning - and after Ryan, Gidg and I (along with 1600 other runners) had survived the heat and humidity, we retired to Fratello's Restaurant for some post-race food and drink. Shortly before we left, Margaret and two members of the Fire Riders got together so I could take their picture:

Perhaps next month when we are in Lower Manhattan for the Tunnel To Towers Race (September 25th) Margaret and her two new best friends will have a chance to renew their acquaintance. Let's hope so. One can never have enough great days.


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