Saturday, December 18, 2010
Just Call Me the Rainmaker
I came so close to batting 1.000 for hosting rain-soaked runs this year. And technically I did because we had drizzle before the start, but otherwise we really lucked out and hit that reprieve between storms this morning for the 4th Annual Christmas Card Lane Run.
This would not seem all that spectacular of a streak if we lived in Portland or Seattle, but this is San Diego and it only rained on the Saturdays I had a hosted run scheduled.
Each year is a little different and this time, due to what would otherwise have been a record crowd – San Diegans can be fair-weather runners – I needed a place with a lot of free parking and setup space. So we ran to Rancho Penasquitos’ famed neighborhood from a parking lot next to a city-owned skate park that doesn’t open until 10 a.m. The location from that standpoint was perfect.
The course, however, was .2 miles short because I walked the group to the base of a big hill for the official start. This was for everyone’s safety. This one was probably my most challenging route yet, and I’m told more than a few people took my name in vain on one particularly steep climb. But no one seemed to mind how hard they worked by the time our sweep came through and we formed our traditional tunnel finish for him.
Our track club president joined us, and so did a very special team that operates this company and who personally handed out each commemorative mug he helped create. We made Frankie an honorary member of our program, complete with his own technical T-shirt -- a gesture he enjoyed immensely.
To usher in our “truly random” prize giveaway, I gave each of my CORE team members a bag of goodies – some homemade and some store-bought. Then we drew names for fitness-related products and gift certificates and maybe a few bottles of sparking cider I picked up at the grocery store. Finally, we rewarded a Runner of the Year who was nominated and selected by our runners.
I cannot tell you how proud I was of our volunteers. I had not slept more than four hours nightly this past week, and I was less than optimal mentally and physically, and they were perfect. Really, the weather was perfect too since it was cool but not cold.
The heavens even gave their seal of approval when the sun peaked through the heavy cloud cover just as we were all leaving. That ray of sunshine sealed up by the time we were home, but I no longer have to worry about the weather. Not now and not for a long, long time. My run as the rainmaker officially is over.