Where to start? I don’t ask this to simply recognize that I see so many good things in front of me that I don’t know which one to address first. I say it more for the fact that, unlike the races or the runs that we all engage in so regularly, there is no real “start” here, merely a continuation of something very good.
This club has been to me what it has been to so many; a support group, a family, a convention of unique individuals that all share a common passion and do it in a manner that is often as compassionate as it is competitive (and the guys who duke it out in the 50+ age categories up the compassion requirement quite a bit with their tooth-and-nail battles.)
Inheriting this post from Bob Eckerson is humbling, to say the least, and would seem intimidating were it not for the fact that he and every other person who has held any position in this club have made sure that I have as much help as is necessary for the task ahead. Add to this mix the understated and invaluable contributions of the esteemed VP (my lovely wife, Kristen) and I’ve got it made in the shade.
Speaking of that (not the shade, rather the future) what lies ahead?
We have a youth movement with strong members of the Nauset High Cross Country and Track teams, we have a “not-quite-youth-but-still-young” movement with Ray and Ryan. We’ve seen fantastic performances and duels in the Masters Women’s division with Katie, Mary, Polly and wild cards galore every week it seems.
We have the Master’s Men’s group led by the indestructible Geof Newton followed by a slew of fast guys who not only race every weekend against each other, but try to run each other into the asphalt on Shore Road and Barcliff every Tuesday night (and any other opportunity they may get.)
We’ve got returns and comebacks such as Brian Kelly dismounting the saddle and immediately throwing himself into a ½ marathon. We have people who haven’t taken a break in decades, such as the aforementioned Comeback Kid’s indestructible wife, J.J. who has run every MV 20 miler that has occurred (I’ve done two and I’d rather take a few years off before doing it again) and yet another Boston Marathon this past April.
Speaking of Boston, this was one heck of a year. Bob Borglund became the first CCAC member ever to win his age division at the Greatest Marathon in the World. Not only did Bob run 4:04:57 (on his 80th birthday, in fact) but he demolished the competition in the 80+ category in a way that is almost incomprehensible; he won by almost 53 minutes…I’m sorry, let me write that again: HE WON BY ALMOST 53 MINUTES.
Mary Peabody ran her first marathon and did so in 3:49. Told by everyone she spoke to afterwards that this was really, very, quite extremely impressive, she shrugged it off with her usual humility and likely thought about the next run.
I ran my best one yet and not only did I not keep the “Top Cape Finisher” title, I didn’t even hold onto the equally imaginary “Top Eastham Finisher” plaque, as Tom Deeg got away from me coming off Heartbreak Hill and ran 2:34:16, for a 10 minute Boston PR.
I think I need to move to Truro.
Moving further into spring, we had a great show of volunteers for the Great Hyannis Road Races. The race went off without a hitch (as the hitches that were present, such as me not getting someone to cover a nasty intersection, were offset by others, such as me playing traffic cop where Paulie didn’t have a traffic cop.)
To everyone who came out and helped with registration (Tom, Pat, Martha and Kristen, you continue to amaze) and to everyone who at times risked life and limb to protect and direct runners, thank you so much.
The race, as many of you know, is a huge source of revenue as well as pride to the club and each year it can go well is another year the club can, too. (Also, thanks to Ecky for getting up at the crack of dawn to drive Ray and I around with the cones and markers on a day I imagine he’d hoped he could sleep in on.)
I realize there are all sorts of things I’m missing here in terms of giving thanks and I apologize for any omissions, but I have a tendency to get long-winded (as anyone who has asked me even the simplest of questions can attest to), so I’m thinking a bit of brevity may be in everyone’s best interest.
Again, let me say how excited I am for what lies ahead for our club and how incredibly humbled and grateful I am that I find myself in the position to be writing this.
Congratulations and thanks to all and here’s to a great year!