Yesterday I ran the Murdick's Run the Chop 5 Miler in Vineyard Haven, MA. Over the past couple years, it's become a tradition for my husband and I to do this one together. Running is not really his "thing" and he rarely races, so to have him come with me is a treat. The first time we did this race, 4 years ago I think, there were maybe a couple hundred participants. We could sense how small it was because the race director had us all waiting at the starting line for the handful of runners who were still in line for the bathroom. As a result, we started about 10 minutes late which didn't seem to bother anyone. He also mentioned that there may or may not be mile markers as he had put them out the night before but hadn't checked to make sure they were still there that morning. But it was all good. It was July 4th, everyone was in a good mood, and most of us where just there to have a good time and get some exercise. This year, the race had it's biggest turnout ever with over 500 people. We could definitely sense the change, as everything was a bit more organized, the race organizers had rented a port-o-potty to ease the bathroom line, and the crowd of runners looked a bit more serious and into the competition. Mind you, it was still a pretty light-hearted scene...lots of families, tons of people in red, white and blue get-ups, and this guy, who has been at the start of the race on his motorcycle with his dog in the side car every year that we have run. You can't see it in the pic, but the dog has a red, white and blue jacket on to match his owner's pants and hat. Amazing.
Back in 2011, I was the first female across the line and in addition to a trophy, I won a gift certificate for a pound, that's right ONE POUND of fudge, presented to me by Mr. Murdick himself. I was over the moon that I had won the race. My kids, however, were way more excited about the popsicles that they were handing out at the end, and the fact that they could go pick out a boat-load of fudge at Murdicks. This year, my kids couldn't come because they had camp, but they did tell me that they REALLY hoped I brought home the fudge again this year. No pressure, mom. The race started at 9:00 and, as it always seems to be, it was really freakin' hot. This year we had the added bonus of the humidity, which seems to be at an all time high at the moment and hasn't broken for several days. My performance was not quite as...um...smooth as the first few years I ran. My first couple miles were pretty solid but it all went downhill after mile 3. The heat and humidity grabbed hold and took me down. The sun, which hasn't been out for a week, decided it was ready to shine down on us in all it's glory right after the start. That was awesome. I trudged through the last couple miles, willing my feet to move, leaning heavily on my music and the knowledge that there were strawberry popsicles waiting for me at the finish line. Fortunately, I did not let my kids down as I was the first female across the line again this year. My time was 34 minutes and change. I never got my official time. And, to be totally honest, I didn't really care what it was. I was so happy to be done that I literally almost hugged the EMT standing next to the ambulance after I walked through the finish shoot. She congratulated me and looked worried at the same time. After I few minutes, I regained my compsoure (sort of) and was led over to accept my trophy and my gift certificate for the fudge from Mr. Murdick.
|Note the 1st place male finisher's patriotic shorts. I really|
need to get myself a pair of these babies for next year.
Listen to this: