Friday was my last day with children at school. Essentially the beginning of my summer vacation. Yet I willingly woke up at 5am on Saturday morning (an hour earlier than I do on school days) and drove two hours to central new york.
Last fall, a friend from college's brother passed away. He was a runner at both the high school and collegiate level. It seemed only fitting that his family decided to create a memorial run for him. Once I heard about it, I knew that I wanted to support my friend, so waking up early and driving halfway across the state was completely worth it.
Not being from Syracuse, I had never heard of the Swamp Rat Runs. There are a series of different race distances boys / girls mile runs Chris A. Taddeo Memorial 5k and a 10k. Initially I had it in my head that I would run/walk the 5k with friends and then run the 10k. Once I realized the timing of the races, I decided to scrap my over ambitious idea and enjoy the 5k.
The drive was quick, it was sightly backed up as I entered Oneida Shores Park, but there were great volunteers directing traffic so it flowed quickly enough. Once I parked, I walked across the park to register, along my walk back I found my shirt that I bought from my friend.
As I was at my car readjusting clothing, keys, etc another friend that was running, also one of my college roommates walking up. Together we went back to registration so she could get hers, stopped at the bathrooms (indoors and surprisingly not crowded) and over to where her husband was working the event to drop off stuff. After our rounds it was time to line up.
My legs were definitely stiff from the drive so I had no trouble avoiding the urge to go out too fast. My college roommate is a fit momma but doesn't typically run for fun. But she rocked it. We kept a comfortable pace and didn't walk until we hit an incline around 2.6
After we finished, we headed over to the post race pavilion and grabbed some snacks and hung out. Lots of options and an impressive. spread. Our friend was presenting the scholarship created in honor of her brother, so we scooted over to the awards ceremony. We stuck around for a few of the age place awards before heading out.
I had thought I would visit a few other people in the Syracuse area, but ultimately I felt guilty for leaving Marcy for any longer than I already had, so I hopped back into my car and drove back to Albany.
The race was well organized and since I believe it will continue to be a memorial run, I'll definitely be back next year.