After checking out the site, I headed back for the car, passing a few friends on the way. We were all bundled and shivering; smiling at one another with the demented joy that only runners can understand or consider sane. At the car, I switched some clothes around, adding a long sleeved wind resistant layer to go under my gold Y singlet. I swapped the loosely knit black and yellow cap that had been a gift from one of my LIVESTRONG at the YMCA participants for the thick red toque that Coach Melissa had given me. I had tights on under my black shorts, but decided to leave the warm-up pants on until starting time. I still had an hour before the start, and my choices were to stand around freezing, sit in the car getting tight, or go for a jog before a 10 mile race. Jogging seemed like the least offensive option, so I trotted off toward the start again, figuring I'd check out the first quarter mile or so. It was definitely warmer once I got moving.
|Dave Storing Up Heat for the Winter|
After a heart-stopping wait in line for a pre-race port-a-potty stop (I could have slipped off into the cedars, but I was wearing all those Y logos...) I joined a few friends at the start line in time for the Star Spangled Banner and the gun which was a blast from a train whistle.
The race itself was really lovely. There are plenty of gentle hills and lots of hollows still full of last weekend's snow. There are a couple of unique features. A busy railroad line runs around the boundary of the property, and the engineers tooted their whistles joyfully as they passed the long line of brightly dressed runners in the morning air. I've already mentioned the bouncing bridge. There is also a tunnel that leads to the most distinctive part of the course. Part of Mr Corman's business is to respond to railroad accidents all over the country, and that means being ready to zoom off at a moment's notice. That's why he has his own jets and his own airstrip. The race included a two mile loop from one end of the runway to the other. The course then looped back through the tunnel, and around the grounds to a long downhill finish. Lots of support. Lots of music. Lots of (unnecessary) ice to keep the water bottles cool and refreshing. And the best part, lots of friends cheering one another on. A great way to get racing season moving.
|Some of the Toughest People I Know... |
And the Best Job in the World
Today (Sunday), I had a nice, easy recovery run. 5 slow miles on my beloved Legacy Trail. 62°. No timing. No pacing. No gasping for air or pushing to the top of the hill. Just a simple run for the love of running on what felt for all the world like the first day of spring. And then I came home to find that Living Strong at the Y 2013 had just raised our first $500.
My God... what a great weekend for a run! Or two. Or three...