How This Race Came to Be
by: Sue Monahan, Race Director
Western Massachusetts is such a great place to run. The Fall time around here boasts such beautiful colors the scenery is just breath-taking. It also encompasses a lot of races. A lot! Mostly 5ks but there are bunches of races of all different distances. from 2 mile walks/runs to a few half marathons, maybe even a full marathon sprinkled in the mix but not many. There are so many races this time of year with good reason... the weather, the temperatures, and the scenery is just awesome for running.
In the Spring, in Massachusetts there is BOSTON! Of course, The Boston Marathon! No explaining necessary. Well, in my eyes, not everyone WANTS to race a 'Boston', or they don't qualify, or they do qualify and they do run it. It's in April so if they do run Boston they are already trained and prepared to run a half marathon in May. Folks who are training for triathlons, half-ironmans, ironmans, or fall marathons, all need a long training run. Hence, the idea... How about a SPRING Half Marathon for EVERYONE? A race for newbies as well as for seasoned runners; for those training for a tri or for a fall 26.2; for those who THINK they can run that far and for those who KNOW; for those who want to run ONE half all year; for young and old, tall and short, thin and not, barefoot or soled runners... Everybody's Race.
Western Mass is beautiful in the Spring! The grass is green, the leaves are newly yellowish-green, tulips and daffodils are popping... the place is coming alive! It makes everyone want to go outside and walk, jog, skip and run... EVERYBODY loves Spring!
So, now I have a theme going on in my head "EVERYBODY'S RACE" in the Spring. Well... EVERYBODY has a mother! I won't get into good moms, bad moms..point blank - Everyone HAS one. A lot of folks are moms, their best friends are moms, they love their best friend's mom, they are married to a mom or hangout with a mom, they may want to be a mom or really miss their mom... a-ha! MOTHER'S DAY! Plus, how easy is that to remember? What is the date of your race? Mother's Day..who cares what the date is, it's the second Sunday in May - Mother's Day. Easy!
OK, I have the "Everybody Thing" still going, now, I need a cause. People like to run for a CAUSE! To help someone or something, to give purpose to their training and their race, not just pay some cash to some no-name race director so she can buy herself a new car or something! Ha ha..if only, huh? Don't worry..not happening here. So, a CAUSE... ..that is LOCAL, just because I'm a big 'local' kind of girl. Do I want to contribute to something where 10 cents of every dollar goes to the cause and 90 cents goes to to some salaried administration office? ummm... no! not really. What's local that could possibly have a place in EVERYBODY'S life? Unfortunately, my answer to this was cancer. I truly believe everybody has been touched by it in some way. If they didn't have it, they had a relative who did, or a neighbor or knew someone who is somehow dealing with this predator of a disease. My dad passed away from prostate cancer in 2006. I think of him every day and hate what cancer put him through. He truly was a remarkable man, a fabulous father, the best-ever grandfather, and a loving husband to my mom. OK... I have found my "Everybody" factor.
I work with a woman who herself had dealt with this disease and she would often talk about these great water aerobics classes she was taking. She actually took me to one as a guest and she was right, it was awesome. The classes were offered through Cancer Connection. Free of charge for those who have been diagnosed with cancer as well as their families and caregivers! Cancer Connection --- "Cancer Connection provides a haven where people living with cancer, their loved ones and caregivers can learn to cope with the physical and emotional turmoil that come with a cancer diagnosis and to explore ways to enhance their strength, their hope and their care through support groups, integrative therapies, creative activities and education. As a community non-profit agency, Cancer Connection is able to offer all its programs free of charge thanks to the generosity of our individual, community and corporate sponsors." This fabulous organization is located in Northampton, MA.
What better local cause could there be? For this Mother's Day race, in my eyes... none.
Now EVERYBODY can run for something that affects EVERYBODY on a day that is recognized by EVERYBODY!
Come RUN... for your mom... because you are a mom... or want to be a mom... or KNOW a mom... Love a mom... miss a mom! Run because you can.