Saturday, December 6, 2014

Barn-Storming

Here is something upon which all can agree:  When you compose a list of the best humans you know, my name appears nowhere on it.  Feel badly for not even one minute.  It does not appear on my list either.  

Rare is the occasion on which I avail myself of the opportunity for redemption.  Today is, in fact, such an occasion. 

This morning, on College Avenue immediately adjacent to the facility that was affectionately (I think) referred to as "The Barn" when my eldest sibling - my brother Bill - was matriculating his way towards a degree on the banks of the Rar-i-tan a small, intimate group of 8,000 or so shall participate in the 12th Annual Big Chill 5K Run & Walk.  It is an event held annually (guess for how many years) in early December the purpose of which is wonderfully simple and simply wonderful:  It brings Christmas to children in Central New Jersey for whom it would not otherwise exist.  

This event holds a special place in my quasi-heart for a couple of reasons - above and beyond its stated purpose.  When I ran in it for the first time in December 2008, it was the first 5K run in which I had ever participated.  It is also the only 5K run I have ever participated in with my sister Jill.  Over the five-plus years that I have run regularly in organized events I have been fortunate enough to have run with my sister Kara, my brother-in-law Russ, my nephew Jordan, my niece Jessica, my son Rob, my daughter Suzanne, my son-in-law Ryan and my wife Margaret on one or more occasions.  I have enjoyed each race with each and every one of them. 

Jill, who is - like Russ - a kick-ass runner was my guide on my maiden voyage.  I vividly remember her having to circle back on several occasions to (a) check to make sure I was still alive; and (b) answer "No" to my repeated plea masquerading as a question "Are we almost finished?"  It remains the only time that she and I have participated, together, in a race. I remember it fondly...

...in spite of wanting to kill her and then myself approximately 1/3 of the way up George Street.

-AK 

  

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