We did it!
This weekend my wife and I took our inaugural 5k run together. She had participated in a 5 mile race a number of weeks ago, and I have run more 5k’s than I can count during high school. But this weekend was the first race we have run together and officially marks the beginning of our running career.
After the race at the "George Bailey" Bridge
We competed in the 2nd annual “It’s a Wonderful Run” 5k that was hosted in Seneca Falls, NY, alleged inspiration for the fictitious town of Bedford Falls in the 1946 film, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. We raced, we dinned, then we went home and watched the movie, (a delightful new color version.)
Despite being a bitterly cold and wind-swept end of the week Saturday night turned out to be a fantastic night for a foot race. The air was cool but above freezing and the wind was essentially nonexistent.
Cold winter day
The race was held at evening and the final stretch to the finish line ran through downtown Seneca Falls with the businesses all light up and the town reminiscent of the 1940 scene from the film. The race was even started by the recitation of an iconic movie line by Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu Bailey, more typically known as the cute little girl at the end of the movie. There were over 900 racers that participated in this weekends race. Racers came from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and all over the Finger Lakes to get in a last contest before the dominating winter fully takes hold of the area.
The starting mob on the bridge from Bedford Falls
Us in the starting mob
This is us on the homestretch, (trust me)
The finish chute
The post race carbo load
And for those of you familiar with the movie, as part of the race packet pickup, each racer was given a bell to tie to their shoe lace. There were a lot of angels getting their wings Saturday!
Filed under Movies, Running
I have a shirt that loudly proclaims this exclamation from my time as high school cross country runner. I loved to run then. I liked standing out. I liked excelling in something most people hated to participate in. I enjoyed the confusion and amazement on my peers faces as they happened to be caught up in the whirlwind of hundreds of scantily clad racers thundering past in 40° weather. I lost some of that enjoyment during college. I made the decision to not compete at the collegiate level in order to give myself the opportunity to commit full-time to my academic studies and still allow for as much free-time and socializing as possible. I do not regret this decision as many strong friendships and new passions arose from those times which I would otherwise be preparing for various competitions. I have come to miss it though.
I have tried a few times to enter back into The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, but each time I am thwarted by the desire to participate in events that gather a larger crowd. Partially for this reason I have developed a strong passion for Mountain Biking as a primary means of connecting with nature and passing time with friends. But the urge is still there.
Eight weeks ago my wife joined a running class sponsored by a local running/walking outfitter store in Pittsford, NY called Medveds. The ultimate goal of the class was to enable each participant to complete a 5 mile race at the end of the course. My wife had competed in Track and Field and played Field Hockey into college, but had never participated in a cross-country style event. Even while we dated in high school she was one of the spectators with confusion and amazement on her face as, in her opinion, the 400 meter dash was too much distance to race.
I watched her go to practice and come back with stories of workout routines and developing camaraderie among the participants within the class. I knew that was what I missed. I enjoy distancing myself during competitions and am able to compete as an individual but, in preparation for those events, without a group of like-minded individuals to encourage and support the efforts I am incapable of gathering the motivation necessary to continue training and pass the miles under my feet.
My wife had her race this past weekend and, as I expected, the urge returned. Fortunately, she enjoyed the run and plans to continue the distance regiment, which means I now have a companion to run with. She discovered a 5k race to take place 3 weeks from now in Seneca Falls, NY called the Its a Wonderful Run 5K. She asked if I would do it with her and although I was hesitant because I have not honestly run for purpose since high school, I am eager to re-enter the sport, so I agreed.
Besides, what better place to reconnect with a passion than on the decorated streets of the real Bedford Falls!