after finishing the 31st annual Talking Turkey Race
in Holyoke today.
This morning I put on my running clothes and headed to Holyoke (Mass.) for the 31st annual Talking Turkey Race, held at the beautiful Ashley Reservoir.
Normally I would be running myself, but today I went with Katie as spectators. We were there to cheer on Ben in his second big race. I felt so proud to see him run and finish. He hadn't run in two weeks, but he looked good, finishing in 1:03 and vowing, like a true runner, to train more and do better next year. I said I'd run it with him.
Regarded as one of the region's elite races, it attracted 1,281 runners on a sunny and windy day. Along with the St. Pat's race in March, it's a staple of the local running scene, and I ran it many times. My parents, who came from New York every year for Thanksgiving, went with me to Holyoke for the race. I was never super-fast, but I did well enough. In 2001, I ran it in 51:32. I can still hear them cheering at the finish line.
I missed 2003, the year I was first treated for leukemia, but came back in 2004 – my first post-cancer race, when I finished in 1:02. The next two years I did better each time, but then I had to stop again when I relapsed.
My legs are just beginning to feel better. I fooled around a little at the race today when all the runners had passed by, and my legs felt like they had a little more bounce in them.
I really wanted to be back with the pack, but it was great watching Ben and a bunch of my friends finish, including Bob, Stuart and Laura Chipkin, Walter Hamilton, Joanne Instrum, Mary Kate Sullivan and Jen Hylemon.
Congratulations to everyone!
I hope to join you next year.