Over the weekend I was honoured to spectate the IRONMAN 70.3 Syracuse and watch a medal get earned by months of hard work and dedication by an incredible athlete. When I posted the hard-earned medal to my instagram feed after he was done, I failed to realize that the skyline wasn’t Syracuse but Rochester. I lived in Rochester for a few years for school (I went to the Rochester Institute of Technology) but hadn’t noticed. In fact, this is the article where John O’Brien made it known. “The scene depicts an arched suspension bridge over the Genesee River, which runs through downtown Rochester,” stated John, “A spokesman for the Ironman did not have an immediate explanation for the error this morning.”
(Photo of the medal taken by me, actually picked up by the Wall Street Journal as well)
I was very curious how this mishap happened so of course, I googled “Syracuse skyline” and this came up:
Even more curious, I clicked and it led to this website city-data.com which has a thread about the “Best Upstate Skyline.”
The photo led to this pic posted by “585WNY” with the caption: “Rochester: My personal favorite upstate. A Beautiful waterfront, a clean and modern looking downtown, nice architecture.”
The photo that proceeded had, “Syracuse: Pretty nice skyline. The only problem with Syracuse is that there is a difficulty in getting a nice photo of the city”.
Somehow I guess the research ended without anything being read. The designer probably assumed it was Syracuse, never having been there possibly, and the medal was created. It’s sort of understandable because The IRONMAN company is based in Florida.
John mentioned again, “The race started with a 1.2-mile swim in Jamesville Reservoir, then on to a 56-mile bike course that wound through Syracuse’s Highland Forest and parts of Onondaga, Madison and Cortland counties, and ended with 13.1-mile run in and out of Jamesville Beach County Park. It went nowhere near Rochester.”
There were a few things that was super peculiar about the race. However, we weren’t alerted ahead of time. Besides the weather being unpredictable, which does happen, the parking arrangement that seemingly went well that morning caused a 2+ hour delay upon exit. It poured so some cars got stuck on the field. Some athletes were also taken off the course when the storms started happening around 2pm and thankfully allowed to take their bikes 20 minutes earlier because of lightning.
I’ve mentioned my running team the Dashing Whippets Running Team a few times. If you’ve seen me run races, you will also notice that I usually wear their singlets—infact I mostly wear their singlet as my running uniform, if you want to call it that. Sure, I prefer my soloruns (I’m notorious for them even if I push others to join our team). However, I have those and I get to benefit the other factors of my life. I definitely believe that joining a running team is one of the best things that any runner can do to improve their running career. I just happen to be on one that is competitive.
I decided to write this entry because right now it is a significant part of my life for my realization that joining the Dashing Whippets has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. This is a celebration of the improvements that I’ve experienced in the past few weeks/months while running with my team.
Fine, this is a bias statement because I have some amazing friends outside of my team that I adore. Some of them are in groups like the NY Flyers, Gotham City Runners, Harriers, Van Cortlandt, etc. However, I took my sweet time to figure out which team to join. During the Fall of 2013 I got an email from the Co-Founder and I took a month to research all that I could about the DWRT. A few things attracted me to the team: The Branding (because I’m a designer, is this a play on Boston Colours? Brilliant), The Name (who doesn’t love double entendres—Handsome and Fast), The Co-Founders (who wouldn’t want to learn how to run a sub 3 hour marathon?), The Cost (I could try it out for 90 days without any commitments and see where it went) and the fact that they had coaches and panels that I could learn from to help me improve also didn’t hurt. It’s been almost 2 years now and I feel the same about them. I’ve also improved significantly. I’ve ran 4 ultras, a few marathons, felt more efficient at races and met many female (the men are amazing also) runners that I absolutely admire and look up to. Present Day: I’ve seen the team grow into an amazing online presence: Website | Instagram | Facebook and gained popularity. That’s so incredible to be a part of.
Are you a part of a running team? Which one and why did you join?
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Dashing Whippets Running Team.
Sorry for this nonsensical rant but, can we move on from this Rachel topic? There is much much more going on in the world right now. I’m calling it what it is: a distraction.
This photo on the left is my first running bib. I had no idea what it would be like to run outdoors when I signed up for my first 5k in 2008. I ran it in 34 minutes. The 34 minutes doesn’t matter in retrospect all that because all I remembered was the feeling of my shoe against the asphalt, the people cheering on the sidelines and trying my best not to stop for the duration of it. In the end, I had an incredible feeling of accomplishment. I had ran my very first race.
It was one of the better things that happened to me that year. 2008 was the year that I lost my favourite person in the world. Even now, he comes to mind at every race. Running had been a way for me to cope with the forever changing events that year.
Years later, and thousands of miles, I’m still running.
These days I’m tracking the races that I do on ATHLINKS, not for the timing but the constant reminder that I wasn’t an athlete prior and the distance that I can cover wasn’t possible prior to that girl that I knew in 2008. After that 5k, I ambitiously signed up for a 10k (because that was the logical next step right?), where I got injured and it wasn’t until almost 2 years later I got brave enough to attempt and complete a half marathon (then got injured in that race).
All throughout this journey, running was alien. However, 2011 set the stage. I decided not to give up on what was happening to my body (I still don’t). I decided to make running a part of my life, if not the most central focus. The past few years was to teach me a lesson on the various reasons why I run. Here they are!
I run for the camaraderie. When I run, I know there’s hundreds of others who feel the benefits that I do. I even meet new friends.
I run to prove myself (and others) wrong. “I can’t even run a mile,”—yup, that was my excuse, and I’ve recently completed a 50-mile race. Every time I complete race, I’m still in awe. I know it’s very weird to do at this point but, I’m the only one who feels what happens to my body.
I run to be happy. It’s definitely about the endorphins. When I’m cranky, just tell me to go run, watch my mood change. However, be careful, my best decisions are made when I’m running.
I run to meditate. As someone who barely has patience to do yoga, I love spending the hours by myself on a run just clearing my mind and focusing on what is happening just where my feet lands. Running is perfect for me.
I run to discover new places. Whether it’s seeing new places in my neighbourhood or traveling to a city I’ve never been like San Diego, San Francisco, Miami, Key West, Puerto Rico to log some miles with my running shoes… it’s a vacation well spent.
I run to keep me grounded. Everyone is different, one shoe doesn’t fit all. My first and foremost reason for running is unfamiliar territory. I learn something new from every mile logged (today, I learned that my favourite time is when the sun rises and the temperature falling somewhere in the 50s Fahrenheit). I lose my ego on my runs because I’ve witnessed the best, fastest, and strongest runners passing away, getting unrepairable injuries, getting slower over time etc. Anything can happen. I can only run for myself, it starts with me and I can only enjoy the now while I can.
I run to share it on social networks. Yup, you will hear about it.
I run because I want to run for life. After reading about the woman in her 90s who completed a recent marathon. I can’t help but hope if I get to that age, that I’m still strapping up a vintage brand of shoe (because I purchase lots of the same that I love) and running 5 miles to start my day.
Happy National Running Day! Tell me why you run.