Saturday, February 24, 2007

First Race: St. Malachi on March 10

Two miles or five miles? That is the question.

While I didn’t run on Saturday as planned, I did some strength training in the morning and decided on my first road race of the season: St. Malachi on Saturday, March 10 in Cleveland. My step-father ran this race last year and I remember standing on the sidelines feeling left out and lazy.

The race is on the very near west side of Cleveland, at the end of Veterans’ Memorial Bridge. It may be or not quite be Ohio City. But it is down the street from the West Side Market.

Yes, I obsess over bratwurst. But only from the West Side Market. Really!Last year we dropped my step-father off at the start, grabbed some bratwurst and met him at the sideline. I think we’ll just have to make it an annual thing — except, of course, we’ll get the bratwurst after I finish the race.

But the race is offered in two flavors: two miles and five miles. I was kinda hoping for something right down the middle, like a 5K, but no-o! Registration is due in early March, so I’ll have to make this decision this week.

March 10 is only two weeks away, so I really need to hop to it!

This race, however, looks like a killer to me: last year the last quarter-mile or so was up a fairly steep run-up-from-the-river hill. I remember the first guy coming in (had to be around 25 minutes or so — geez!) and everyone just standing around staring at him huffing up that hill. It seemed so anticlimactic. I can only imagine what he was feeling.

That could be me this March!Until Neil jumped in the street and started whooping it up for this guy. The crowd started cheering and by the time the runner approached the finish line the noise had hit a pretty decent rumble. But it died quickly. So, as the next runner approached the final hill, Neil jumped in the street again and yelled, “Second place is sexy! Woohoo!” and got the crowd going again. The steady stream of runners followed and everyone received a warm welcome. And as my step-father passed I’m certain he wished he were someone else (we’re a rather embarrassing bunch of cheerer-oners).

Thankfully, I’ll have people like Neil and my mom on the sidelines to make me wish I were someone else when I approach the finish to my first race.

Thinking about this race makes me want to head out still this evening — even if it is cold and dark. That’s why we have sidewalks!