Sunday, October 3, 2010

Return to Running

Rise Up Runners from the Gunston 5K: Bickford, Landy, Eleanora, Michael, and AK. Photo by Glenn Michael
Cautiously, I say, “I’m back!” Yesterday, amongst family and friends I competed in my first running race since the Run for Hospice last November. At the first annual Gunston 5K over 100 runners and tens of walkers gathered on the sloping lawn of Middleton House. We embarked on a 3.1 mile course down Gunston and Hibernia roads and back. The sunny fall morning was filled with cool air whilst we helped kick off Gunston’s second century of learning. My wife, two daughters, three Rise Up Runner buddies, friends from the school, and I shot down the driveway at 0800.

Starting line 0759 Saturday morning with RUR's raring to go. Photo by Glenn Michael

Landy, wearing a red shirt, streaked out from the start like a flame and was never seen again until after he made the turn around and I was still half a mile from it. He and Bickford were one and two overall finishers leaving the fleet (and me) in awe of their performances. They were 17:36 and 19:36, respectively. I finished in the top 15 with a 23:15 finish time, over three minutes slower than my PR, but nearly 3 minutes faster than my practice times 2 weeks ago. The run felt good, but like all 5k’s, I was glad when it was over.

Eleanora recieving her age group award from headmaster John Lewis and daughter. Photo by Glenn Michael

It was wonderful to get to know AK, who is a pleasant addition to the RUR lineup. He and I ran the first 2 miles together before he surged forward in pursuit of a girl runner he had in his sights. He caught her, but she re-passed him near the finish. AK is not only good company on a run, but he is a gentleman in the truest sense.

Gunston put on the best post race 5K spread I’ve ever bitten in to. Coffee, juice, muffins, bagels, fruit were bountiful. Awards were deep, too; even I came home with a third place 40-49 age group plaque. After the awards ceremony the day at Gunston continued to be enjoyable with a sail on skipjack Ellsworth, a sail on a 420 with my friend Francis, a car show with the Parkersons, and an alumni versus current team field hockey game.

Bickford recieving 1st place Master's award. He was 2nd overall behind Landy. Photo by Glenn Michael

Oh, yes, and there was Uncle Victor’s pink Cadillac, loaned to me for the weekend of Centennial festivities. Yesterday afternoon was spectacular. There was a quintessential warm fall air as I wheel the 1965 pink convertible DeVille around the back roads of Queen Anne County. From my friend, James’, farm on the banks of the Corsica and Chester Rivers we canoed out to his uncle’s moored 1949 black Frers yawl. The only thing that could have made the day better would have been a sail on this boat.

But, the day was waning, and I needed to return the caddy to Easton and ride my bike home. My bike, fully assembled, fit comfortable in the trunk of this Cadillac. I watched to sun sink in front of my bike helmet as I pedaled over Oak Creek Bridge. With red flasher blinking I made my way home to Wittman in the lowering darkness over the Bay Hundred. I was greeted by my family and a hot spaghetti dinner. What a day and it feels good to be back in action. Live, love, and serve ~ Michael