It is May, isn’t it? Isn’t it? May is a bit hard to reconcile with forty degree winds off Lake Erie and frozen fingertips. When we went down to pick up our race packets on Saturday, the weather was on every one’s mind. Will it still be raining? Will it snow? Did you see the frost advisories? Kelly picked up the packets for herself and 13 of her friends who flew in from all around the east coast to attend the race. And then we all proceeded to Katie’s for a pasta dinner prepared by chef Doug.
This morning, the alarm went off at 5AM. By 6:30 we were shivering on the steps of St. John’s Cathedral, gathering Team Stephanie, some to run the half marathon, some the 10K, some walkers, some runners, us among thousands thronging the shoot, East Ninth Street.
Did I mention it was cold? If these pictures look blurry (they are) it is because my hands were shaking. First, the marathoners and half marathoners took off. Then the 10K walkers and runners assembled.
I was so proud of Ben (aged 9) who gamely set a swift pace for his Uncle Doug and me for the length of the race. As we strode down ninth toward the lake and made our turn east, I had to put on the sunglasses I had slipped in my pocket in the unlikely event that the sun decided to make an appearance, which it did. Bold and bright. Still cold, mind you. But sunny and clear.
What is it about these events? There are too few opportunities for communities to come together. Times when people actually leave their nests to gather in the streets. Fourth of July and some scattered rib cookoffs in the summer. That’s about it. But now for two weekends in a row, last week the Mitrocondrial Run Wild for a Cure race at the zoo and this week’s marathon, I have been swept up in happy, moving crowds. As we came past the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame I couldn’t help singing along to Cleveland Rocks.
Oh, and our team did have a first place finisher. It wasn’t the ringer brought in to run the marathon. I understand he was unfortunately injured (ouch).
It was my neighbor and friend Judy Willour (pictured here with her husband Ron) who came in first in her age division in the 10K walk. We went to college together, which means I was in the same age division. Go Judy.
It was heart warming, if nose numbing and finger freezing, to come together for this race and in memory of our Stephie. Tonight, we put the garden to bed with freshly laundered sheets. Frost advisory. What month is it?