My favorite quote is from the Wizard of Oz. “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire, I wont look any further than my own backyard.” My second favorite quote is from Amelia Earhart, “Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” I suppose these two favorites are in direct conflict with one another, and then again, maybe not.
Then, leave it to runners to find a new way to have a little fun on the run; barely leaving one’s backyard, certainly not leaving one’s block. I do believe that might have been the most clever part of this whole running event. The fact that runners drove from all over the Metro area to literally run a 1K route……12 times. Math that even I can handle, and thus the 12K’s of Christmas it was. A family friendly run, supported by family, to celebrate this time of year where we all just want to come together as family.
A talented, but even more fun, group of runners had driven from all over the Metro Detroit area, to a lit up neighborhood in St. Clair Shore, to run a 12K. But more importantly, to celebrate runnerly friendships. The event’s organizer, was dressed up as Runner Santa. His jolly self was at the heart of the enthusiastic atmosphere and was the host who had attended to every runner’s Christmas Race Wish List. Every detail of a quality race had been thoroughly thought through, and as runners converged by the fire, the excitement continued to grow. Friendly eyes could be seen peaking through face warmers and hats. Portable holiday lights replaced the traditional reflective tape. I had found blinky finger gloves just for this night running event, to much like Rudolph’s nose, help me light the way with blinking waves.
Runner Santa checked his Naughty and Nice list one last time with his entry list and then gathered all the runners. Runners who had eagerly replaced race bibs with jingling bells and timing chips with a cup-around-the-neck. As everyone strided over to the porch for a group picture, before heading out for the first K, I took a moment to look around at the crowd. Despite the chill in the air, my heart was warmed. Here I was, amongst a group of people, many strangers, all with a common love, and a common ear to ear grin. And then we were off………to run……….the 12K’s of Christmas.
And just like the story goes, each K of Christmas was celebrated with a toast and a food. I did say earlier that the organization and attention to detail far surpassed most registered races I’ve done. Everyone who showed up at each K of Christmas was welcomed with a generous pour, something for fueling, and a jolly smile. Because what training plan doesn’t have you fueling with a snowman peep and champaign at 1K?
There was laughter, stories, and smoke from the fire. There was running, sloshing, slipping, and sliding. Everything a good Winter-In-Michigan-Run should have. My friends and I ran slowly, we sprinted, we meandered, we told stories, we laughed, we ate, we drank…….we were Merry. Everything a good Winter-In-Michigan-run should be.
So on the 12K of Christmas, the best gift gave to me, family, friends and running. Three things that I love and cherish. Three things that light up my life even more than my new blinky finger gloves and that bring me endless colorful adventures, just for the sake of adventuring, sometimes 1K at a time, never going further than my own end of the street.
Groovy Girls Go………1K at a Time