From An Owner's Eye: Spring Forward

From An Owner's Eye

This past weekend was Spring Forward Distance Run.  Since 2003, we have traversed this 15K course in Mendon, which was part of what used to be known as the Cat’s Half Marathon. That first year the event was to be on the same date as the last time an ice storm hit Rochester. Needless to say, the event that day had to be postponed a week.  Which that in itself is hard to do nowadays.

This year was almost reminiscent of that, except instead of crackling ice shrouding everything, it was deep snow. Even spectators didn’t have many spots to stand due to the lack of bare pavement. The Kids Run Wild course was altered to allow for easier footing, which actually worked out perfectly fine, albeit a tad hillier for them. Standing under our timing tent, which reminded me of a little snow fort, and seeing all the snow just made me think of the past two weeks in Rochester. Wow, did we get a double whammy.  Windstorm one week, then massive snowfall the next week that closed schools, canceled events and businesses, including Fleet Feet Sports. We have never ever closed stores from open to close, but as we stepped outside to walk our dog Wednesday morning we knew the roads just weren’t good. In truth, for a business that is an extremely difficult decision. But we didn’t want to risk our staff or customers safety, so the decision to close all day and cancel numerous events was made.

So sitting behind my announcer computer, calling as many athletes names as possible, I thought of all that snow, the conditions many had to endure these past two weeks, and was really proud of the people who came out for Spring Forward despite the recent challenges they may have encountered. And it’s is no easy course.  It’s a phenomenal training race for spring half and full marathons. Thinking of the volunteers who stood in the cold, and by the end a torrent of snow was falling. They certainly didn’t have to show up. But they did. And it was for the participants, they gave of their time. Thank you volunteers! Thinking of the children who waited for the 15K and 2.5 to come to a close so they could start their races. That was incredibly impressive to see them venture on their ¼, ½ or full mile distance. Now that is hardy. And exactly the type of perseverance an athlete requires. These kids showcased this determination on a snow packed hilly new course.

Spring Forward is a special race memory wise for me.  While the name says “Spring” Forward, sometimes it certainly doesn’t appear Spring like at all. And this year definitely was not spring. However we appreciate and admire all those who chose to get out of their warm beds to venture the hills of Mendon. So glad you joined us. Now, bring on the REAL Spring!

Regards, Ellen

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