Where do I get started? This time, let's pick up the events on Sunday morning. Mike B. and I had just finished running: 20 miles for me and 10 miles for him. Then, I jumped in my car for the short drive over to Rural Hill Farm for Meredith and Kelly's RunningWorks – Monster Dash 5k.
Timewise, it was probably 7:50 and there were already a number of cars parked in the field. Most everyone was dressed up for the event. Mike K. was dressed as Ironman, his wife as an Angry Bird, and his kids as Spiderman and Bumble Bee (the transformer not the insect).
Megan F. was dressed in a ballerina outfit with a tutu. She looked cold standing there with the wind whipping across the field cutting any thoughts of warmth from her body. Meredith's was dressed as a woodsman or at least this was my interruption of her outfit and was busy cutting down every obstacle in her path. Next, Justin was wearing his own variation of a man's tutu. Let's just way that it hurt the eyes. LOL. Justin's mom was working the registration table and barely taking time to look up as runner after runner stepped up to the table to register.
Theoden and Steve A. were also out there running but for whatever their reasons, these guys dressed in running outfits. Maybe they didn't get the memo. Mike Danenburg from Performance Therapy was there as a big supporter of the race.
From our TrySports Team, Glen, Chris, and Karin were out showing their support.
Things were moving along and I was mingling among the runners. This is when one of the neighbor's comes up to me and asked me if I am a runner. To which I replied "Yes". He tells me that this is his first ever race and asked me how people warm up for races. He knew warming up was important but didn't know if this was different than the group runs and that Meredith and Kelly do with them each week. I tried my best to explain what most people do. Then, he headed off; I am guessing to do a little of his own warm up. Honestly, what struck me the most was not that he asked me such a question, but that he was planning on running the 5k in blue jeans. I could not think of anything more restrictive and potentially less comfortable than running in blue jeans. I mean running after my kids in a park, okay, but a 5k, I wasn't sure if it was a wise idea. But to each his own.
Soon, the race would be starting so I moved out long the starting line. I wanted to take as many pictures for Meredith and Kelly as I could. Memory fade slightly over time but pictures help bring those memories back into focus.
The race starts and I am snapping tons of pictures as the runners roar by me. Then, I settle into a spot about 300 meters from the end and at the top of a big hill. This way, I can take pictures as each runner makes their way to the top and shout out encouragement to spur them on to the finish.
Chris and Noah come by first and then a few more runners followed my Megan F. in her tutu. From here on, there was a study stream of runners. Some runners were smiling while others had a "let me be finished" look on their faces. Justin's mom came by sporting a pair of Newtons. I saw the guy with the "blue jeans" run past me and looking none the worse for wear. I guess he did make the "blue jeans" concept work.
We cheered for each and everyone as they ran past us.
Being a part of the Winter Classic race committee, I am well aware of the back work that goes into planning and holding a race. Meredith and Kelly did an awesome job putting on their first event for RunningWorks and could walk safely away knowing that their event was a hugely successful. Meredith was already telling people about her plans for the event next year.
Something that I have come to realize is that successful event don't just happen. They occur because people are willing to spend countless hours working behind the scenes to make them a reality. Too often this hard work doesn't get recognized.
Meredith and Kelly, you give of yourselves and the results can be seen in the accomplishments of your RunningWorks program and with the Monster Dash 5k.
I just wanted you both to know that people do recognize the difference that you are making in our community.
Sharing one thought at time,
The Cool Down Runner