Sunday, April 13, 2014

This Day

Always bear in mind that your resolution to succeed
is more important than any one thing.
- Abraham Lincoln

From Honest Abe's lips to my legs - or something to that effect.  It is "Half-Marathon Sunday" for me and for the couple or three thousand other runners who shall line up outside of RU's football stadium this morning at 8:00 o'clock and compete in the 5th Annual Unite Half-Marathon.

I have been a participant in this event for each of its first five years - although flooding in 2011 necessitated the course being shortened from 13.1 miles to slightly less than 10.  In 2010, I hobbled home in a hairball less than two and one half hours.  In 2012, I crossed the finish line in 1 hour, 56 minutes and change.  Last year I shaved another minute or so off of my time and completed the race in slightly less than 1 hour and 54 minutes. 

My goal this year is to continue that downward trend and perhaps get closer to the 1 hour and 50 minute mark, which would average out to a pace of approximately eight and one half minutes per mile.  As an old man with creaky knees I would sign for that finishing time right now - especially if I all I had to do to earn it was sign my name to something.  That would also free up my Sunday morning entirely and enable me to do something else altogether today.

The forecast today appears to be very nice, which is always a plus.  It is also a plus for me in that the race's distance is approximately three times the distance this event is from my home.  Happiness is a long-distance running event from which you can be home within twenty minutes of crossing the finish line. 

If you are on or near the RU campus this morning and/or in the neighborhood around College Avenue in New Brunswick, and you want to take a moment to shout out a cheer for your favorite runner as he or she runs past you then feel free to do so.  My favorite part of this event is the manner in which fans line College Avenue in the half-mile leading to the finish line.  At the end of a long, hard run it is nice to hear people clapping and cheering for you - even though you do not know them and they have no idea who the hell you are.  You derive energy from their energy.  You appreciate the effort they have put into showing up and applauding you as much as they appreciate yours.

And that is most assuredly a good thing.  


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