WEST SPRINGFIELD - Terry Ryan wanted to support the Boys and Girls Club in its first race, but wasn’t sure he could run the whole distance.
After all, it was a grueling 163 feet or 1,968.5 inches.
So he recruited a friend, former high school track veteran Dan Roberts, to run it with him as a relay race. They passed the baton at the half-way point, with Roberts sprinting to the finish line, only to be beaten by a pair of five-year-olds.
Saturday’s .05K race had it all: A (marginally) organized warmup at the start, doughnuts and coffee at the half-way point for refueling and beer at the finish line. To make it better, there was a marriage proposal at the end of the race.
Mike, of Worcester, got down on one knee at the finish line and asked the woman he loves to marry him. Jennifer, of Spencer, said yes and the couple embraced.
“I thought a .05K, ‘I’m a poetic sole and I realized I could tell her how much I loved her for the entire race,'” said Mike, who declined to give his last name. “I wanted to enjoy the hyper silly.”
Hyper silly it was: Jonathan Loiko, 11, of Westfield, pushed his 7-year-old brother Robert on a dolly, Kennedie Dibble, of Vernon, Connecticut, cartwheeled across the finish line and Wilbraham sisters Rachael and Abbi Beaudry leap frogged over each other through the course. Others danced, skipped, twirled and pushed friends in wheelchairs.
The micro marathon was the brainstorm of Tracey Messina, the marketing director for Landmark Senior Living at Monastery Heights. The road race – really a driveway race – traveled half the turnaround in front of the main building.
“We wanted to do something for the Boys and Girls Club and the community,” she said. “We know they have a great summer program and what better way to start the summer by supporting that.”
About 50 people decided they could spare a minute – or 1 minute and 17 seconds – to run the race. With an entry fee of $20 participants received doughnuts, coffee, beer, soda, a bumper sticker and bragging rights, Messina said.
Several local businesses supported the race. Table & Vine provided the beer, Donut Dip brought the coffee and doughnuts, Music to the May volunteered as DJ and RAM Ambulance was sitting by, because, well, you never know. In the end no one even broke a sweat, she said.
Jonathan Loike may have had the only mishap in the race pushing his little brother on a dolly. “It was hard to steer. I crashed into the curb once.”
“I think it’s very creative because our residents can participate in it. Everyone in the community can do it,” said Theresa Brownee, resident care manager for Landmark.
A half-dozen residents lined up at the starting gate with their walkers. Ester Bertelli said she was hoping for an honorable mention.
“We have been walking all week outside to prepare,” she said.
Bertelli didn’t receive her honorable mention, but Dibble cleaned up at the awards ceremony that followed race, winning most enthusiastic and most creative way to cross the finish line.
Originally, she was hoping to get a piggy-back ride down the course from her step-father, but the former gymnast changed her mind and did two roundoffs and three cartwheels down the course instead.
The Beacon Hospice team of Kimberly Camp, of Westfield, and Marilyn, Gabby and Karen Kraus, of Northampton received the award for last-place finish. They said they were proud of persevering through whole 163 feet to cross the finish line.
It may have been the heavy meal last night, the lack of pre-stretching or perhaps the stop at the doughnut stand mid-race that slowed their time. They promised to start training tomorrow to get prepared for next year’s race, Karen Krause said.
“We came through as a unified force but It was kind of embarrassing to be beaten by a 77-year-old using a walker,” she said.
Gallery: West Springfield .05K micro marathon brings out runners, walkers, skippers and a marriage proposal
- Half marathon wins for Euan and Donna
- Strictly 2019 launch day revealed
- Tough challenge of Highwoods parkrun
- 59 inspirational LGBTQ people making Liverpool more inclusive
- Backing sought for basking shark 'safe zone'
West Springfield .05K micro marathon brings out runners, walkers, skippers and a marriage proposal have 719 words, post on www.masslive.com at June 23, 2018. This is cached page on TechNews. If you want remove this page, please contact us.