It was a cold, gray, icy, and Munchkin™-less day at Fair Hill. There were a lot of good excuses (cruising, basketball, and Turkey were among them) for the lower turnout this year—only six participants. CRR Vic Kaliakin’s record string of 13-straight “Wring Out the Old, Ring In the New” runs came to a halt this year, though, knowing him, he probably put in some in-the-spirit-of-the-event miles while in California. Despite the absences, there was one big winner this year—CRR Mike Shay, who took home the giveaway event T-shirt for participating in his initial “Wring Out the Old, Ring In the New.”
For the initial mile-and-a-half, Shay and CRR Bill Rose led the way, engrossed in academic conversation, while the rest of us followed closely, engaging in lighter banter. Drifting way back early on, CRR Bob Bennett had obviously plotted out a short-coursing-is-the-better-part-of-valor strategy for the day. After some jockeying downhill past Oprah’s and along the middle of the course at creek level, Rose and CRR Mark Deshon led the way up the hill after the turn at the covered bridge, CRR Steve Goodwin having fallen off the pace at that point.
Shay and CRR Jordan Deshon caught up on the downhill, and the four hit the base of the long hill together. The younger Deshon and Rose gradually put some distance on Shay and the elder Deshon on the big hill.
Mysteriously, Rose stopped at the top of the hill (maybe to wait for runners more his age?). Coming off the downhill out of the woods, Shay seemed to have the spark of energy necessary and took over second place for good. We saw two dogsled teams (with mushers) coming by in the opposite direction and, after having topped out on the final plateau, several riders on horseback in the distance.
Jordan Deshon was escorted to a first-place finish over the last 100 yards or so by Bennett, who had come up the middle road. Shay was then followed by Mark Deshon, Rose, and Goodwin. After Rose finished and had offered rider-requested equine assistance in the parking lot, we opened the bubbly and ate some brownies (yeah, we missed the Munchkins™—official event food and CRR Charlie Riordan staple), toasting the year past and the promise of 2013.
Next year, we celebrate the 15th running of this event, and we’ll be looking for 15 runners to come out, so place it on your calendar now. Until then, Happy New Year from Creek Road Runners.