Good morning. Today I had planned to run my first real post about the trials and tribulations of having a full career, a family and fitting training (with watts, heartrate monitors, weight progressions and time splits) into it with balance and peace for all. That was until last night. Before continueing with the read, I would like you to look at my picture. This was taken at the North Park Triathlon where I competed last year with a group of first time triathletes. Ok, hold that thought, it will be important later:
One of the many jobs that I do is race directing. I work with PA Endurnce Labs and Runner's High to direct small to medium races (mostly charity) and I also time races (mostly computerized chip timing). I feel compelled to plug the Montour Trail Half Marathon here which both Tim Lyman and I are co-directing, so please check that out. Last night I had the pleasure to help Mark Courtney (owner of Runner's High) with one of his races named an “Ice Cream Race” in Gove City PA. We need to bring this series to Pittsburgh, but that is an entirely different post.
The event was simply amazing. The registration fee was only $15.00. Yes, that is correct, $15.00. For that, you received a measured 5K course with mile splits for your times, and a complete Ice Cream spread (toppings and all) afterwards. If that is not enough, Mark hosted the after race ice cream at his home. He had music playing, ice cream flowing, and several hundred runners and their families milling about even after I left to drive home at 9:00. I have worked with Mark for a while now, and I have to say that is the happiest that I have ever seen him. He was truly in his element.
So, what did I learn (remember). As I stood at the mile two timing mats and clock I had an incredible view of the runners. The leaders were simply amazing. The winner came across the line at 14:37 (yep 4:43 pace); I am not sure that I even think that fast. I sat there gazing at the gazelle-like athletes thinking that if I really train hard, tighten the belt, become ultra-strict on my diet and completely listen to my fellow coaches..... I will never be that fast. But boy, they are beautiful too watch. The ease of motion, the form, the shear speed; truly amazing. It is one of the reasons I like to run with Tim Lyman when I have the chance; he has all of that and is a great friend.
Then the rest of the field began to come through. The amazement continued. I had a unique vantage point, I was in the middle of the road, directing runners away from the mats, or onto the mats depending on their direction. In the end, all of the runners passed me. I say very tall and thin people, not so tall and not so thin people, couples with strollers, young children, older adults. It was amazing. Every imaginable gait, shoe, dress, body type and person. Yet, they all had one thing in common, they were smiling. They were enjoying their evening, each at their own pace, but enjoying it none-the-less. This is what it is supposed to be like. Again, look at my picture. I was elated to be on the course with my newbies.
That brings me to my final thought: I would like to re-state what I said in my post yesterday and make a change to Dean Karnazes' famous quote: “Run when ever you can, walk with good friends, smile because you must; just never lose the joy.”
Again, welcome to my journey, I am glad to have you along. Now, let's go have some fun,