Saturday, August 19, 2006

Aging Well

Note: checks payable to The Donna Hicken Foundation

Mail to: The Kurtis Group
425 8th avenue north
Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32250

This post is a celebration of all things that "age well". Wine is a great example but that's another blog. I want to brag about a town and some runners that visited on a Saturday morning.

Be honest — How many of you that call NE Florida “home” have never been to Fernandina Beach to spend a weekend? I discovered something new on Saturday that has nothing to do with running — Fernandina Beach. Fernandina is a very quaint town that (one day soon) requires a relaxed weekend stay with my wife and no kids. The place seems sooooooo laid-back and it has few of the trappings you find with most small coastal communities.
Chris Twiggs, the program director of our marathon training (crazy guy that just finished 100 miles) lives there with his family. He typically has to travel down to Jacksonville so this was a chance to showcase his own backyard.
Well I can say with certainty, when you run 14 miles you get to see a lot of someone’s backyard. That’s right — FOURTEEN MILES! 2.5 hours of running!

After the run Chris introduced me to “Coach” the man that got him into running. Coach is probably 60ish (give or take 5 years). It’s always a treat to run with someone that has been able to dedicate enough time towards their health and well-being that stereotypical clich├ęs fall to the wayside. Men like Coach and women like Loretta (50ish) aren’t just runners they are strong examples of what the mind and body can do. Loretta ran three miles before the six a.m. run and another four miles afterwards — that’s 21 miles of running on a Saturday morning.
Oh, and since I’m on this kick about some of the cool things the “older” folks are doing, how about this:
One of the foundation marathoners turned (I believe) 84 years old on Saturday. I heard his plan was to continue running until he was 100 and attempt to set a record at that age for the marathon. Now that’s pretty cool.
Our lead group had nine runners on Saturday and the median age was probably 40+. The final half mile on the beach was a strong sub seven minute run.
Great stuff.
The running is getting easier and more enjoyable as the miles increase. Runs that used to be long are now short. Runs that would drain the tank — I’m finding some reserves. It’s interesting, and motivating but it’s not about our running. It’s about our commitment to a cause. I heard someone dropped out recently. I’m sure that was a tough decision. I’m wondering how many will actually make it all the way through and finish the marathon or half marathon. It’s not easy but I hope it’s getting easier for all the runners.
My goals will not change.
1) Raise a minimum of $5000.00
thanks to all of my early contributors it means a lot!
2) Complete 12 paintings
3) Finish the marathon with a time under 3.75 hrs

Thanks for your friendship.

1 comment:

J. Douglas said...

Nice article. Reminds me of my Cross Country days, when we ran 7 miles a day, every day. Then sprints before and after. Fun stuff.

Me and some friends will be heading up to the Appalachian trail over Labor Day to put in 20 miles, with 35 lb packs. Uphill. Both ways. I'll be thinking aboutcha about mile 9.5.

Keep it up the good work.