and we’re off to the races again!
The West Michigan racing season kicks off this weekend with the Fifth Third River Bank Run. There are a few races during the off-season for those die-hard runners, but the majority of our local road races take place between the River Bank Run (early May) and the GR Marathon (October).
So in a few short days, I will be off to the races! Somehow I’ll drag myself out of bed at an ungodly hour for a Saturday morning to stand on a curbside with my family cheering athletes participating in the four different road races that make up the River Bank Run: the 25k, 10k, 5k and a 25k wheelchair race (There is also a 5k walk). Running the race has become a tradition for several members of our family and the rest of the family has made a tradition of cheering them on.
We have braved thunderstorms, lightning and rain throughout the years. The day usually starts out cold and warms up toward the end of the race, giving us a taste of winter and spring in the span of a few hours. Neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor hail will keep us from our appointed curb! And we may experience an assortment of that this year… The forecasted temps are the lowest in recent memory, with a low of 38 and a high of only 50-something, which will come well after the runners have finished. Precipitation has been a requirement for Race Day the past few years. On Saturday, it could come as any or all of the variations previously mentioned.
I often wonder if I am crazy putting myself through the torture of standing in volatile weather for over four hours while even crazier people run by year after year. Being a spectator is harder than one may think, but it is worth it to see my loved ones coming down the home stretch with their eyes on the finish line.
I am especially looking forward to this year, as my mom attempts to conquer her longest run yet: the 25k. It has been her goal for some time and I can’t wait to see it accomplished. Finish strong, Mom!!!