A personal best, creating family memories and meeting new friends from a common past. That, in a nutshell, describes our Memorial Day, and Buffalo half marathon weekend.
58 degrees Fahrenheit, we stood around for forty-five minutes, while the crowd grew from a few hundred at 0615 to 7,600 by start time. Dressed in our running togs under cover of warmer duds to be discarded just before the start, we commented on how lucky we were; the temperature for running a half marathon couldn't have been better and would not have risen to the day's high forecast of 85 'til long after we finished .
Finish we did; Michelle, my daughter, had a personal best and even out performed her coach's recommendation. And as for me, I cut 7 minutes off my time from last year.
This year is the fourth that Michelle has run the Buffalo half marathon and the third for me. Buffalo became the venue of choice because my youngest son, her brother, lives in Niagara Falls and this would be a chance to have a family get together as well as start off the year's running endeavors. So for the past three years my wife, Michelle, and I meet at Jacob's home to reminisce, renew relationships and create memories with and for our grand children and in-laws. I related the story of how Michelle and I became involved with this running hobby just a few weeks ago and so won't reiterate it here, but if you have a burning desire to have those details you can go here; http://pciyrtpy.blogspot.com/2015/04/marine-corps-marathon.html
We, both war veterans, albeit different wars, having entered into a compact to compete and complete the 40th Marine Corps Marathon come Oct 25th, 2015 used this race as a part of our training for that upcoming commitment. We will follow up in 3 months with a 18.12 race and then finish with the MCM. 2 months later.
It's always nice when a little serendipity pops into an already complete and satisfying occasion. Michelle, through Facebook, has renewed/maintained a friendship with a couple who rescued her from a airline SNAFU while she was stranded in Belgium a few years ago. It seems Marine Corps vets have a way of showing up to each other's aide at opportune times. The husband in this couple was indeed a Marine Corps veteran. When he saw on Face book that Michelle was going to be running in Buffalo he, being form Cheektowaga during the warmer months, messaged her and asked if they might arrange a get together while she was in town. She invited them to join us at the Olympic restaurant for our traditional after race breakfast. They accepted and were there when we arrived.
At introduction we, Fred and I, confirmed that we both had served in Viet Nam within a year of each other. We had much to chat about, as you might imagine, or not. Anyway, in the course of our talk Fred told me he had written a book about his experience in Viet Nam and
, no encouraged me to do the same, for no other reason than to purge myself of a troublesome time in my life. He offered to send me a copy of his book, and emailed today to let me know that he did just that.
I look forward to reading it.
Incidentally, Fred and his wife Kathy reside in Florida during the colder NY months and, wouldn't you know, just a few hours north of our winter home in Florida. Coincidence or fate, I'm grateful for making their acquaintance and hope this begins a greater friendship. But if this be the only time we meet, I'll consider it a fortuitous gift and add it to my cache of serendipitous meetings in my life.
Truly; a memorable Memorial Day weekend.