Saturday, July 12, 2014

Six Degrees of Perspiration

Time itself is Long,
Even if the Time of Man
is Short...
- Pete Hamill

Here is to hoping that the time of this man is fairly short least this morning when the gun goes off at or about 8:30 to signal the start of the 2014 Belmar Five Mile Race.  This is one of my favorite events in which I run every summer.  I love it because it is - for me at least - a tough race.  Five miles on a warm (and often times hot), humid July Jersey morning with most of the race being run inland in Belmar, which deprives the runners access to the ocean breeze and the mist that sometimes carries over the beach and out onto Ocean Avenue. 

Two of the finest runners I know - my long-time friend Jerry Della Torre and my brother-in-law Russ Forsythe - are both running this morning and both of them run at a level that is simply beyond my ability to comprehend.  Frankly, it is a level that exists beyond my ability to aspire.  Nothing sort of an ACME rocket strapped to my ass, a favorable tail wind, roller skates and a 100% downhill course shall ever permit me to come within 8 to 10 minutes of their finishing times.  It is nice to know however that they too shall be enduring the conditions today right there with me. 

So too shall my all-time running companera Gidg, Jeff and Brooke.  I know not whether the Running Mahoneys - including last year's overall winner Travis - shall be in Belmar this morning but I hope they are.  For that is one of the other things I love about the Belmar Five:  its social atmosphere.  Perhaps it is the kindred spirit borne out of shared suffering.  I know not.  All I know is that this is a race where everyone runs like hell for five miles and then celebrates like crazy afterwards.

This race is one in which time is not only calculated but it is marked.  It was on this day - Belmar Five Day - last summer that the Missus and I booked The River House in Brielle for Jess and Rob's rehearsal dinner.  Even as I am sweating profusely this morning and feeling every degree of heat and every percentage point of humidity that Jersey has to offer, I will be able to smile.  For this race is now inextricably linked in my mind's eye to a simply extraordinary event, which is the marriage of my son and his beautiful bride.  

Enjoy your Saturday.  I most certainly intend to enjoy mine.  


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