Saturday, November 24, 2012

Racing on Martha's Vineyard: A Top 10 List

Today I ran the 8th Annual 5K for KJ.  This was a new one for me.  I was happy to find it for several reasons.  First, I overslept for the Oak Bluffs Thanksgiving Day 5K Road Race that I typically run, so I completely missed the boat on that one.  Second, it took place on the MV high school's cross country course which was beautiful and, I thought, a very pleasant change from being on the road.  And finally, it was for a great cause as all proceeds went to the Kevin Johnson Cross Country Scholarship Fund.  Races on Martha's Vineyard are quite a different experience than most.  If you happen to be on the island at any time, I highly recommend you find one and jump in.  You won't be disappointed.  Here are some of the many reasons why:

Top 10 Reasons to Run a Race on Martha's Vineyard

1. In the off-season these races are relatively small and parking is a piece of cake.  In the summer, it can be a bit trickier but even if you have to park far from the start you'll still be pretty close.  Almost everything on MV is within 'walking' distance.

2. If you are waiting in line for the bathroom and the race is about to begin, there is no need to panic as the race director will usually wait for everyone.  Having all their runners is more important than starting right on time.

3. You can safely leave your keys in your car during the race and be confident that it will be there when you're done.  In truth, I often see the keys dangling in ignitions as I walk through the parking lot.  This is not the least bit strange.

4. If it is cold, as it was today, you can huddle up with the people next to you even if they are complete strangers.  On the island, this is totally normal.

5. If you have that competitive edge there is a good chance you can win your age group.  The truly elite runners don't make their way over to the island that often, especially in the off-season.

6. If you do happen to win, you're prize will likely be from a local business.  If it happens to be something from a restaurant, even better.  Today's prize, for example, was a box of goodies from Chilmark Chocolates; hands down the best I've ever eaten.

7.  As you are waiting for the race to start, you can turn to anyone standing near you and they genuinely want to meet you and chat about what "brings you to the island."

8. Regardless of what town the race is being held in, the scenery is guaranteed to be beautiful.

9. If you forget something, i.e. money, and you need it in order to register, the race volunteers will either lend it to you or trust that you'll drop it off or put it in the mail later that day.  If the race is a bigger one, and the people working the race can't help you, the guy next to you in line will probably will.

10. When the race is over, you can find your family in about 30 seconds.  This sounds minor, but it's SO nice.  Especially when you have kids that are itching to get going.

And, most importantly, after that you can head to Mocha Mott's for a ridiculously sinful but well-earned, specialty coffee.  Meet you there!

Listen to this:
Global Concepts - Robert DeLong  Global Concepts (Radio Edit) - Global Concepts - EP

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