Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil may or may not predict the coming of Spring like weather; but I know when pitchers and catchers report that Spring really is just around the corner…and they have reported! Officially 25 days to DST, 32 days to (official) Spring and 50 days to Run University’s 3rd Annual Run Camp, a running retreat in the Smoky Mountains.
The 15th Edition of The Mercedes Weekend was it’s usual cold and blustery self and I have to believe that contributed to the number of quality runs by the participants. Run U had close to 150 runners participating in Saturday and Sundays races and chapters in some wonderful stories were written. Paige who has battled back from cancer to run her first 5K to another survivor, a former marathoner who battled back to complete the Half Marathon. These people are the true personification of courage. Mitchell’s Place Team had 40 members/runners raise $50,000 +/- (final results are not in) for Mitchell’s Place which benefits children and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. More important than running, these runners are helping to change lives. There is so much good that can come from running when we try and are willing to help others rather than tear others down.
We had numerous 1st time Half Marathoners just as we have since the first Mercedes. All told over the years Run U has had between 700 – 900 first time runners run the Half Marathon. Watching them make the turn onto 20th Street and head for ‘home’ is always one of the great privileges of my coaching life.
We have to give ‘shout outs’ to Jennifer, Beth, Mia, Gay, Leslie, Rick, Chrystal, Pamela, Simon, Michelle, Cindy, Abby Grace, Brian, and Michele for running their Personal Bests at Mercedes this year – it may have been brutal standing at the start but cold weather can make for hot times. Kudo’s as well to Les for his return and placing in his age group Saturday.
It was cold, demanding, rewarding, challenging, fun, tough and empowering – did I say cold?. In addition to the physical benefits we ‘get out’ of running is that glimpse inward – a peek at potential that says,”If I can do this, what else can I accomplish?” Sometimes you even get to see the magic being made…..
Like the owner Anthony Molina (Frank Langella) in Draft Day tells his Cleveland faithful, “We had a great day!”