Held at the nearby Eagle Brook Saloon this low key, no-frills (other than the great breakfast buffet and raffle) is quickly becoming a personal tradition and a favorite way to kick off the new year. A field that tops 100 would be a big turnout. This is one of the those small races held in the middle of the New England winter where it might be -30 or 60 and you are quite happy if it’s just 30 above zero.
Everyone that comes out is there because they love running or support the race and it’s Lion’s Club charity. That sense of excitement and generosity comes through in both the runners and the volunteers. Even you show up nursing a little hangover from the prior night, I guarantee you’re more than likely to leave smiling. The power of running!
When you sign up for a race in New England, you really never know what you are going to get. It could be mid-40’s in June or mid-60’s in January. It keeps you on your toes. It wasn’t quite 60 degrees, but it was way, way warmer for this New Year’s Day 5k versus last year’s version.
Last year, I struggled to pin my bib through six layers of clothes and had icicles hanging from my ears by the end. This year, I was quite comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt. The hill in the first mile? Yeah, that didn’t change.
My goals for 2016 are to have no goals. Cliched as it is, after the last few months, just taking it a day at a time, staying healthy, staying rested and figuring out how to live with this disease is my primary goal. Turns out being rushed to the hospital and spending a week in a really uncomfortable bed while being put through a ringer of tests will put a lot of things in perspective. Initially, sitting in that drab room, it gives you a vivid awareness of that ledge out there. Of death. But now, more removed, I’ve found my perspective has shifted. The entire experience has shown me less about death and given me more an acute awareness of life.