Those who know me well know I love running in the cold, and that includes running in the winter. But in those dark, cold days it's good and can be motivating to do a long run with a group of friends. I've been lucky enough to do two of these so far, with one to go tomorrow.
On Dec. 19 was the Solstice Run, an informal run put on by Lydia Redding and Julie Rosenberg, who are not only ultra friends but musician friends as well. The idea was to run from sunset to sunrise, roughly 4:30 pm to 7:15 am, on the longest night of the year as a way to go get the sun and bring it back. A nice reminder that the days will get longer from here on out! We could run as much or as little as we wanted, with Lydia and Julie's house as a rest stop, including two meal times. About a dozen of us ran at least some of the time, with Alicja Barahona, Jay Lustgarten and Elaine Acosta (running her first ultra distance!) spending almost the entire night on the neighborhood streets. Myself, I needed a little nap partway through. It just so happened that this was the night of the first big snowstorm, with about 8 inches falling overnight. It was actually very calm and peaceful except when you had to dodge the snowplows out doing their job. The highlight for me was running with Alicja and listening to her stories of her races through the Sahara, and Alaska. That woman is just amazing! A big thanks to Lydia and Julie for hosting this fun event!
On January 3, Grant McKeown led a hardy group on a 20-mile fatass fun run, mostly on the paths and trails of Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, with a side trip via the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail to Tibbet's Brook Park in Yonkers. New friends of mine Cliff and Tamara (I later found out that Cliff lives in my building!) ran a shortened course, while Grant, Nick, Kevin and myself ran the full course as Grant mapped it out. It was a lot of fun, I made some new friends, and Grant, Nick and I got to share pancakes and eggs at a nearby diner afterwards.
Tomorrow, January 31, which would have been Ted Corbitt's 91st birthday, is the annual run around Manhattan Island in Ted's honor, put together by Dave Obelkevitch from his apartment on W. 97th St. It will be my third time running this, although it's been going on for several years. In the past, Ted would meet the runners at the first pit stop at 218th and Broadway, but since his death in 2007, the run has taken place in his memory. The second pit stop takes place at Susan Lucks' apartment on E. 86th (and maybe I'll tickle the ivories again), and her hospitality is much appreciated! The third pit stop is the Staten Island Ferry terminal, then up the west side back to 97th St. It is always a friendly relaxed run, a good workout, and a great way to remember Ted. There should be a good turnout this year. Running with friends always makes the cold miles pass by quickly!