Despite cold temperatures, the sun was shining and the footing ideal for a event-record number of participants—24 hearty souls and one ready-for-a-long-run canine.
This year was highlighted by, count ’em, 11 women—coming out in force to share this unique New Year’s Eve day experience for themselves—and a special appearance by self-appointed CEO CRR Matt Robinson. Special thanks to photographer Doug Baker, husband of CRR Diane Kukich, for taking so many good photos (sorry we only had room for a few).
Toby was ready. Were it not for at least one nature break along the way, CRR Thomas Schumacher’s dog might very well have finished in the top five. But who’s counting. Everyone seemed to have a good time, even the four who enjoyed taking the big shortcut, making the 7.5km loop into a simpler 2.5-mile run (no wonder Matt looked so fresh at the end).
After the ceremonial photo, all set out to try to get warmed up. As anticipated, the line of 24 runners spread out quickly. CRR Mike Shay and CRR Jordan Deshon led the way, engaging in physics-laden conversation, followed closely by CRR Dave Schultz.
Coming off a successful XC run at the 2014 Club Nationals a few weeks ago, Diane got off to a strong start, not far behind CRR Charlie Riordan. CRR Mark Deshon made an early bid to make up some ground and joined Charlie as they entered the woods by the creek.
Dave lost a bit of momentum after topping out on the big hill, and Mark, having slowly pulled away from Charlie on the hill, finished strong, passing Dave in the last half mile.
One by one, or in twos in some cases, runners completed the loop in good shape, without any of the wrong turns that were taken last year.
Last, but certainly not least, was CRR Bruce Hubbard, who has just about completed his 70th year. In a few weeks he’ll be in a new age-group, in which he’ll likely be pretty competitive.
Mark presented Matt with a complimentary event shirt for finally showing up, six years after the shirt was produced. Matt went on to explain successorship as self-appointed CEO of the Creek Road Runners, saying, “We use the North Korean model. I will eventually pass this title on to Patrick,” his son.
Matt’s most important act as CEO was to draw the name of the winner of the random T-shirt giveaway, among the ten “Wring Out the Old” newbies eligible. Upon having her name called, CRR Beverly Jackey received a long-sleeved Creek Road Runners T-shirt from Mark and thus became an official member of the group, with all the rights and privileges thereunto.
This year’s run had more of a family feel than ever, as there were two father-son combos—the Deshons and Robinsons—and two mother-daughter pairs—the Schultzes (with father too) and Bartons.
It’s amazing how this event has grown from the four “Millennium Men” who began this annual run back in 1999. Maybe next year, even more will come out and enjoy the fun (long hill notwithstanding).