Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Mid Winter Morning's Run on the Beach

If Bill Murray's February in "Groundhog Day" had been blessed with weather anything close to that which we have enjoyed in the State of Concrete Gardens this month, then he might not have minded living the same February day over and over and over. Jinx be damned. We have had an extraordinary number of "not crappy" days in these parts this month. Yesterday was yet another.

While yesterday morning the Missus oversaw the relocation of Carolyn "Soon to Be a Dancing Machine Because I Have Always Had Rhythm & Now I Have a New Hip Bitches" Jones from the cozy confines of Jersey Shore Medical Center to the rehabilitation facility where she will be luxuriating the next several days, I headed a tad bit further south down the Parkway. I spent my Saturday morning with the Sisters Kizis and a whole cluster of new running friends in the Manasquan Mid-Winter Beach Run.

The Mid-Winter Beach Run is only a two-mile race. But its genius and its challenge comes from the fact that after one runs slightly more than one mile on macadam one then must cover the next quarter mile on sand. Yep, the course takes runners south (heading from Sea Girt towards Point Pleasant for those of you watching from the International Space Station). After the quarter-mile jaunt through Hell, you and your now-screaming calves return to the blacktop. The remaining portion of the race is run either on the boardwalk or on a street until you ultimately end up almost back where you started...near the front door of Leggett's. There are worse places to find yourself I assure you.

I think there were eight runners in our group in total. Lynne performed the most selfless gesture of the day - securing a prime spot at the bar in Leggett's while our octet frolicked on the beach. By honoring the first rule of real estate, which is that the most important thing is location, location, location, Lynne guaranteed one and all a place to call home while basking in the post-race glow of Leggett's neon lights.

I last ran in this race in February '10 and the weather that day bore little resemblance to that which we enjoyed yesterday. Having found yesterday's far more palatable than I found '10's, you shall have to forgive me if I do not wax sentimental about the good old days. All of us in our group ran representative times, led by a young man who works at Gidg's office. I think Byron was born during the Clinton Presidency and - perhaps not surprisingly - he was the pacesetter for our crew. Well, in the interest of full disclosure he did not actually serve as the pacesetter. He was too far ahead of the rest of us for any of us to see him. Maybe next year. He will likely lose a step or two....

....once he turns 25.


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