On this Father’s Day in the year 2000, I think of this special holiday and what it might mean as an extra relevance to an active practitioner of our chosen sport, running.  Perhaps we have instilled the importance of regular exercise into the lifestyle of our children in their growing-up years.  Not by lecture; by practice.  If the little ones have watched Dear Old Dad lace them up and jog a few miles before breakfast for a few years — and stay in a little better shape as a result — it’s got to have a positive effect.  Like in later years, when they, too, might be fighting the addition of a few extra pounds, or the added stress of beginning a new job.  Maybe, just maybe, they might remember how their dad handled this stuff so many times in the past.  And then proceed to do it.  Their [sic] are lesser gifts we could bequeath, that’s for sure.  Thrilled as I was to run Boston in ’97 and Anchorage in ’98 with my daughter Kerry, the real pleasure was that might have served as the role model to instill the value of running into her daily schedule.  There is nothing that is so cost effective in real terms.

     Kevin’s Wednesday night jogging group graduates another class this week, and it was nice to see so many sign up for the Chatham 10K as their personal endorsement that, by gum, it does work.  Five brave members, precociously ambitious, didn’t bother to wait, but got a jump on their peers by running the Johnny Kelley Five on Memorial Day, barely nine weeks after putting their proverbial toe into the waters.  Wow!  Congrats to Judy Barrett, Judy Campbell, Debby Inbriano, Lori Winnerstam, and one Monika Gomes, whose husband George set a fair precedent himself with a 2:53 marathon out at Big Sur.

     I was lucky enough to be up in Norwell two weeks ago to see the state high school championships.  Specifically, I was there to witness D/Y’s Melissa Sherman annex another 800 meter crown, which she accomplished in almost professional demeanor.  Her string of achievements now rank her right up there alongside Greg Gonsalves (Falmouth, high jump) and Lauren Knight (Barnstable, shot put and hurdles) as the greatest athletes in the annals of watching Cape Cod track and field for fifty years.

     Spirit of the meet was encapsulated by the effort of Falmouth’s Dave McMenamy in the 4×800 relay in a losing cause.  Hopelessly behind when he got the baton, the Falmouth junior gave it one of his patented Steve Prefontaine-like mad dashes to catch the Gloucester man in front of him.  It sure got the crowd on its feet, and absolutely astonished Tristan Colangelo, who had to be wondering “I thought I had forty yards on this guy ….”

     More about that, and a few other things, in my weekly column in Cape Cod Sports Report.

     As Jane and I head out to Western States 100 this week, I think about why USA Today reports trail running the fastest growing sport (assuming you realize that most trail races are at a sane distance, not one hundred miles).  Well, when you combine a slower, and thus, more sociable pace, to events always held in the most lavishly scenic landscape available, what’s not to like?  The awards ceremonies/chowdowns after these events are legendary for their good-feelin’ fun, and everyone leaves the weekend feeling as nourished in their soul as their running gut.

     See you on the trails,

     Pete

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