By Steve Rensberry, Editor
Whether you’re a runner, walker, or just someone who likes to watch other people compete, the 10th Annual Bradley R. Smith Memorial Scholarship 5K Run/Walk this year is a worthwhile thing to watch. While the event began as a tribute and honor to Bradley — and it still is— in the last decade it has also become much more, touching the lives of hundreds if not thousands of participants and scholarship recipients over the years. It is always an interesting and upbeat event to cover, often involving special guests, visitors, and recognitions. It is apparent each year just how much work goes into it, and the coordinated effort it takes between Tri-Township Park, organizers Gary and Paul Smith, the city, and the many volunteers who come together to make it happen.
Then there’s the simple act of running, which from my perspective is just plain grueling sometimes. How we treat our bodies and the amount of time we spend exercising in general certainly has a lot to do with it. In the eighth grade I was in a group called the 100 Mile Club, meaning we ran a total of 100 miles each quarter. Five miles was my limit at any one time, but I survived and reached the goal. Then I made the mistake, fresh out of high school, to start smoking, eventually working my way up to almost 2 packs a day.
Four years later, when I decided to take up running again, I couldn’t make is 1 mile before my heart felt like it was going to beat a hole through my chest. Forget the 100 Mile Club, I would have been lucky to make the 1 Mile Walkers Club! On the positive side, it was the motivation I needed to quit smoking, which I did by going cold turkey and eating bags and bags of sunflower seeds per week — a technique I read about that was supposed to counter the intense craving for nicotine a smoker feels when they stop. It took time, years, but eventually I was back up to running 3-4 mile stretches, plus hitting the racquetball and tennis courts whenever I could. Lesson learned!
For anyone participating in this year’s race, your deserve at least two thumbs up — one for the good cause it represents, and one simply for pushing yourself to the limit. Hope to see at this year’s race!