Throughout high school and college, I attended the annual, 5 mile Manchester Road Race every Thanksgiving morning. As a student, I would go to the race with my friends, and then return home to eat myself into a turkey induced hibernation. I stopped running when I married and had children, but returned to my sport, about seven years ago. Once I had regained my stamina, I also returned to the Manchester Road Race…the best way to kick off my favorite holiday. There was a problem however, I went to the race alone. I love my husband and kids, but they are not runners. My husband likes to tell people that if they ever see him running, they should get out-of-the-way, because there is something chasing him!
I didn’t like going to the race alone, but I had no choice. It’s a terrible feeling to be in the middle of 25,000 people and feel lonely. None of my friends were runners, and it’s hard to get anyone to come out and watch you in the cold, sad weather of deep November. I didn’t want to go by myself again. Well, thanks to the Y, I didn’t have to.
I’ve been working at the Y for just over a year, and in that short time, we have created a running club that meets twice a week. It’s been such a pleasure watching a new community form: newbie, veterans, seniors, teenagers, moms, dads… We even had a race of our own: The First Annual Indian Valley Spooktacular 5K! For many, this was their first competitive race, and everyone leftlooking forward to next year.
As the leaves began to fall, the standard question started to circle through our running community: “Are you running Manchester this year?” It was a challenge, but the memories of all the fun we have had through the summer, pushed several of us to plan a car pool and order matching shirts for the big race.
I woke up bright and early this past Thanksgiving morning. Dressed in my stylish, new Indian Valley Family YMCA Running Club t-shirt, I warmed up the trusty mini-van and waited in the driveway for my Y family to arrive. And they did…first one car, then another. Thanks to my Y, I didn’t go it alone this year, I ran with my family!
Robin, Alit, Dave and Heather at the 75th Annual Thanksgiving Day Manchester Road Race, 2011.