On a day where snow is going to prevent many of us from running, I am left to think back about some of the most memorable runs of 2015.
And while here’s no place I love running more than in New York’s Central Park, I think my favorite NYC run this year was when I was on my way to the park but never got there.
You see, as I headed out of my midtown hotel on a Sunday am in December, I ran smack into something that immediately diverted me from my route to the park.
I mean how could I look away once I saw this?
I don’t get a ton of giddy, happy smiles and leaping tutus in midtown Manhattan, even during the Christmas season. But there they were, a frolicking pack of jolly runners having way too much fun to ignore.
I instantly recognized that my new destination was the journey with these folks
“How far are you guys going?,” I asked one of the women who had the biggest smile of the crowd. “Oh I don’t know,” she said. “We are doing the letters run.”
I had no idea what a letters run was, but she was cute. And cute is cute and fun is fun, so I asked if I could join in and she enthusiastically welcomed me to the club. I thought maybe they were with the post office
As we went on, it seemed less like a delivery route and like the kind of run I often do in my own town. We ran through the streets seemingly at random. We’d go a block, turn, go another block turn, stop, start.
Not exactly a rigorous training run, but more like the kind of playful romp I advocate as the best remedy to bring fun and spontaneity to an otherwise monotonous running routine.
Not only did we keep stopping for group photos…
….. but I was quickly volunteered to be the club photographer.
As it turns out this run was not random at all. In fact, it was an annual ritual of one of New Jersey’s more active running clubs, the Raritan Valley Road Runners.
Our path wasn’t just following the whims of the pack leader, it was a very precise attempt to spell out the initials of the club, RVRR, on the GPS watches of the group.
When a run is more play than work, it is, by definition, a good run. No matter how you spell it, this was a good run.
And I have the smiles to prove it– and Raritan Valley Road Runners to thank for it!