3 & 4 Apr 2010
The Newbridge Pool provides the starting point for one of Reston Runners finest traditions: The 5-mile run followed by the Dennis Hays Commemorative (absolutely not “memorial”) breakfast, hosted by Jerry Lewis and Ann Belkov. In anticipation of this, 85 runners and walkers showed up to - they claimed -- enjoy the beautiful weather and run. Newcomers included Donna (a recent arrival to Reston), Claire (who sounded unmistakably British despite 10 years in Northern Virginia), and John from Salisbury (MD), a friend of Jill T. We were also pleased to have Joanna with us, a striking accountant from Ireland who literally towers over the rest of us. However, the clear winner in the category of most impressive body has to be Sabrina, cheerfully joining in Club activities despite being one week away from her due date. One slightly nervous Club member volunteered that, in the event “something” happened, he could be relied on to run off and boil water, maybe.
It was also great to see Tim S, red-sneakered since the Fall, running with the crowd.
Joe S MC’d and there were a couple of important announcements, including: Sign-up is now open (thanks to Will F and the wonderful RR Website Team; visit the site if only to see the great work they've done) for RR’s Marathon Training Program (here ). Organized by Pete B and Brian C, the MTP will provide 20 weeks of marathon coaching by Cindy Carlysle. MTP is open to Club Members who have completed at least one marathon. The cost is $125, and it is guaranteed to get you in shape for a fast Fall marathon if you do everything Cindy tells you. The Club President modeled the latest RR fashions - OK! Just the new technical shirt - now available in the RR Boutique in both men’s and women’s sizes. The run was lovely, enhanced by cherry and dogwood blossoms and the chirping of birds throughout the course. I briefly saw Jim B, Deedee, Jim N and Kishan B race past, and spent the final 4.9 miles trying to catch up.
Following the run, at least 100 “runners” descended on Jerry’s home where, sneakers removed, we enjoyed more and more varied food than one can imagine. Exotic nuts and fruits, freshly cooked chocolate pancakes (thanks Ann B!), and, of course, Jerry’s signature dish, Hostess Ho-hos - there to remind us that we were still in Northern Virginia; it was easy to stay away from the Ho-hos, however, given the alternative of smoked salmon, dried apricots and roasted cashews. In any case, Ho-hos lost their place in my life when Dennis H introduced me to TimTams and coffee.
The guest of honor - that would be Dennis H again - arrived half an hour late due to a seriously injured knee - ouch! (We were already low on red sneakers; the other Dennis, “K”, did it at Terrapin Mountain last week). Then, to add insult to injury, Dennis H had to sit down and chair the Course Committee. For those of you who don’t know, the Course Committee ensures that the rest of us will know where to run and eat in the months ahead; it is hard to overestimate the importance of this, and Dennis’s dedication to the Club and community has been extraordinary. Also in attendance at the meeting were Anne D, Kathleen G, Tim C, Will F, Ellen M, Joe S and Dave B. The Women’s Distance Festival (WDF) Crew also met, led by Donna R, with stylish support from Ann B, Bridget M, Maria N, and Helen H. In addition to being the largest revenue source for the Club in recent years, WDF has developed the reputation of being the Club’s most elaborate and erotic event. Rumors have it that the Committee is conspiring to go even further this year (can one improve on those sexy spa robes?). Although details are secret, every man in the Club should plan to be there on 26 June 2010.
Extra mileage, once an exclusively summer activity like camping and tennis, has now become four-season. Mark M, Tim C, Donna R, Kishan B, Bruce O, Harold M, Jim R, Tim and Kelly N, all arrived early and ran between 4 and 10 miles before the start of the official day. This afforded an opportunity to discuss and celebrate Easter and new beginnings, specifically Donna’s new home conveniently located on the north side of Lake Newport. While it is undeniable that Donna is “downsizing,” the consensus view is that her new digs will still accommodate RR Christmas parties. About 70 people showed up at 8:00 to walk and run. No newcomers today, though it was great to see Jim A in the flesh; Flying Chickens have been gathering elsewhere of late. However, the Jims - A and B - were only briefly spotted and then took off at a sub-6 pace; if not for the out-and-back section of the course we would not have seen them at all. Jordan "J Dawg" A discussed his plans to sign up for the MTP -- which was universally applauded. One spectator wondered if Cindy was planning to cover marathon etiquette - when it is inappropriate to whine about how long the course is, for example.
We should always celebrate our Gungadins , and today’s - Jenny T and Brian K (also red-sneakered) - outdid themselves. (Note from Brian K - I did my usual Sunday picture taking: here's the LINK if you want to see your lovely faces) In addition to providing water and sports drink, Jenny baked Easter-egg-shaped Rice Krispy treats - delicious - and brought chocolate Easter eggs (Note: Next time wait until after run before eating chocolate). It was also announced that Moshe, Head Gungadin extraordinaire, became a grandfather this week. Congratulations!
Jim N, intent on organizing a Beantown gathering, asked for a show of hands for those headed to Boston. It was a surprisingly small group - I noticed Kelly D and Ed C (Boston as training run for upcoming 100 miler). It seems that many of the Club’s runners are increasingly drawn to really weird challenges with names like Western States and the BEAST. Eventually the walkers departed and the runners started ambling to the start. Just last month, when our fingers were freezing, it was easy to get excited about the start; today everyone seemed lazy. Everyone except Speedee Deedee, that is, who would have lost me at the start except that she needed occasional directions. I then joined, in sequence, Shekar, Aemonn, Ryan, Ed, and Joanne. I also was delighted to see Cris H after the turnaround; she must have started late. I don’t recall much else except that it’s a hilly course and I was happy to see the end.
Breakfast was outdoors at Fountain Square, and people straggled in for quite a while, including (in sequence) Maria and John, Donna, Lisa and Ryan, Joe F, Charles N, Lea G, Deedee and (red-sneakered) Chris, Anna B, and likely others. I had to leave early, but before departing, Lisa introduced me to a new concept: The “cranky” run. Apparently her coach designed a devious exercise program that involves speeding uphills and then descending downhills at a snail’s pace. We were told this constitutes good training, but what I heard sounded more like torture; I suggest that Lisa A seek out Al R for some advice.
Remember to sign up for the Marathon Training program.
Happy Running and Walking!