I’m not always in the mood to go after that “killer workout,” but on this day I can feel a burst of energy just bubbling from the inside as I hop, skip, and leap my way through the weekend house chores.
One by one, I diligently check the items off my list until I’m all caught up. Finally, it’s time to spread my wings and fly!
I lace up my shoes, stretch out my legs, and do a few hops as I scroll through my phone looking for a music playlist to melt my face off for what’s sure to be a brutal run. Before I can make a selection I hear a small voice from behind.
“Dad, can you help me put on my helmet?”
It was my 6-year-old daughter, Vivienne, who had been wheeling her bike behind me this whole time. I put the music down, and help get her strapped in. I’m amped up to run and my intention is to jump right into my workout and let her ride independently, but something tells me to stay by her side.
Vivi rides and I jog gently next to her as we make our way around the graveyard loop. We take turns setting the pace while chatting about school, birthday parties, and her soccer team. For now, at least, she’s even talking to me about her crushes.
The track transitions from macadam to a rough patch of grass and Vivi asks for a push through the challenge ahead. Instead I say, “Ask those legs that scored two goals!” Her face lights up and she grits her teeth as she blazes through the terrain.
We keep moving and before we know it we’ve crossed the one-mile barrier AND have assigned names to every tree in the graveyard.
Eventually Vivi is all played out, and excuses herself back to the house. She smiles and hugs me and gives me a high five, and thanks me for spending time with her.
I ran for a few miles after she left, but truth be told much of my running energy had already been converted to “parenting” energy and subsequently cashed in.
Some may call this a lost opportunity or yet another excuse to get out of a high-difficulty workout, but for me the whole point of exercising is to have the fitness and energy to keep up with my kids. This was a big win, as far as I’m concerned. Huge win.
It’s never too late to work on your own personal fitness. It’s always just a “starting next Monday” away, right? But I’m telling you there is only a very small window we have with family — especially our children — as our collective worldview and priorities begin to shift with each passing year.
I can run any day I want. But the chance to talk to your daughter about sports, boys, and lizards, well, you only get so many of those.
1 STEP BACK, 3 STEPS FORWARD
There is an ever-growing section of Franklin County athletes who prefer to add challenges to their running, like crawling under barbed wire, scaling walls, and swinging across monkey bars.
Luckily for these challenge seekers, there are a number of obstacle course races (OCRs) to fit their needs. The Bonefrog OCR 5K, a race developed by US Navy Seals, came to Lancaster and drew several Local.News competitors who weren’t afraid to get their hands a little dirty.
Chambersburg’s Brian Stull (1:07:23) and Daryl Stull (1:07:24) led the way for locals. They were chased by Greencastle’s Danielle DeFelice (1:23:51) and Fayetteville’s Stacy Coover (1:23:52), as well as Chambersburg’s Ryan Sleighter (1:23:51), Zethan Sleighter (1:23:51), Steve Myers (1:23:51), Chris Anne Beardslee-Myers (1:23:52), Stacy Guyer (1:23:52), Donnie Carbaugh (1:24:39), and Miriam Carbaugh (1:24:40). The Elite Division Bonefrog race featured a finish from Chambersburg’s Eric Guyer (42:37).
In Williamsport, Md., a relatively-new running business — 2Lowe Run Company — hosted a trio of “Lock 2 Lock” races. The Lock 2 Lock Marathon saw local finishes from Waynesboro’s Rheeanna Walters (4:46:40) and Jeffrey Hein (5:46:17), as well as Chambersburg’s Craig Leisher (6:27:54), while the half marathon was highlighted by finishes from Waynesboro’s Melissa Metcalfe (2:31:06) and Greencastle’s Leslie Baker (2:44:03). As for the Lock 2 Lock 10K race, it was Chambersburg’s Montana Duty finishing as third female in 57:14.
Last weekend’s humidity made it quite difficult just to go for a long run, let alone compete in a 13.1-mile race, but that didn’t stop nearly 2,000 combined runners gathering for the Bird-In-Hand and Harrisburg Half Marathons. The Bird-In-Hand race included top finishes from Chambersburg’s Andrew Coldsmith (1:49:26) and Elijah Lehman (1:56:12), while top times from Harrisburg were posted by Waynesboro’s Steven Perrotto (1:51:05) and Chambersburg’s David Helman (2:08:33).
In Seven Valleys, locals enjoyed a rugged day on the trails at the Sasquatch Preservation Trail Run 5K/10K. The 5K race saw finishes from Chambersburg’s Eric Guyer (25:44) and Fayetteville’s Stacy Coover (32:05). As for the 10K, it featured finishes from Chambersburg’s Matthew Walker (1:04:34) and Greencastle’s Brendan Gable (1:12:26).
A number of others were involved in races across the region, including Waynesboro’s Joseph Muller (1:14:29 at Savage Race Maryland), Greencastle’s John Snider (50:31 at Steelers 5K), Fayetteville’s Patrick Gavet (24:49 at Kentlands/Lakelands 5K), Chambersburg’s Meghan Miller (55:34 at Harrisburg 10K), Olivia Colli (29:11 at Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler), Shawn Coldsmith (28:35 at Bird-In-Hand 5K), Izzy Magana (29:23 at Labor Day Free 5K), Jessica Crouse (33:45 at Luau 5K), Vanessa Lee (35:50 at Penns Woods Yoga & 5K), and David Snyder (50:27 at Steelers 5K).
And finally, a shoutout to one of the fastest runners you’ll find the area: Jonah Smith. The Smithsburg runner competed in the Frederick Market Street Mile and finished as the runner-up in 4:31.
And now, a look ahead:
York White Rose Run 5 Miler: Saturday, Sept. 23, 8 a.m., in York. This event, in its 46th running, will benefit Bell Socialization Services. Learn more about the race on runsignup.com.
Cumberland Valley TrailFest: Sunday, Sept. 24, 8:30 a.m., in Shippensburg. Whether you’re looking to ride your bike, run a 5K, or compete in a half marathon, this event has a little bit of everything. Find the event on timberhilltiming.com.
Ironmaster’s Challenge 15K/50K: Sunday, Sept. 24, in Gardners. Get ready to face the pain in this grueling trail event. Learn about the race challenges at ironmasterschallenge.com.
Also: Luau 5K/10K (Saturday, in Manheim); Amblebrook Memorial 5K (Saturday, in Gettysburg); Central Bradford Triathlon (Saturday, in Towanda); Clinic for Special Children 5K (Saturday, in Strasburg); PB Festival Half Marathon (Saturday, in New Bethlehem); EAATS Flight Line 5K (Saturday, in Annville); Hershey Miracle 5K (Saturday, in Harrisburg); Jackie Lithgow Foundation 5K (Saturday, in Hummelstown); Lehigh Parkway Ultra 50K (Saturday, in Allentown); Luau 5K/10 (Saturday, in Akron); Morning Star Shooting Star 5K (Saturday, in Harrisburg); Pretzel Twist Race 5K (Saturday, in Lititz); Rock ‘N The Knob Trail Races (Saturday, in Claybsurg); Step Outdoors TRYathlon (Saturday, in Wellsboro); Beware of Barracuda Triathlon (Sunday, in Hazleton); Boston Harvest Half Marathon (Sunday, in Boston); Forever Friends Memorial Run 5K (Sunday, in Myerstown); Lake Carey Loop Sprint Triathlon (Sunday, in Tunkhannock); Marshcreek Sprint Triathlon (Sunday, in Downingtown); Philadelphia Distance Run (Sunday, in Philadelphia); The Dam Half (Sunday, in Mifflinburg); Thirsty Thursday 5K (Thursday, Sept. 21, in Reading); Luau 5K/10K/Half Marathon (Saturday, Sept. 23, in Harrisburg); 5K Run for Recovery (Saturday, Sept. 23, in Lancaster); Boulder Beast 24 Mile (Saturday, Sept. 23, in Lock Haven); Lovin’ Life 5K (Saturday, Sept. 23, in Reading); March for the Fallen (Saturday, Sept. 23, in Annville); Totally 80s East Pete 5K (Saturday, Sept. 23, in East Petersburg); Water Gap 25K/50K (Saturday, Sept. 23, in Milford); World’s End Fall Classic 13.2 Miler (Saturday, Sept. 23, in Forksville); YMCA Autumn Dash 5K (Saturday, Sept. 23, in Shrewsbury); Conestoga Trail Run 10 Mile (Sunday, Sept. 24, in Holtwood); Erie Duathlon (Sunday, Sept. 24, in Erie).