Now that I’m done running the Boilermaker 15K (for this year, anyways), my thoughts turn to my real favorite run: the Herkimer DARE 5K. I bet you thought I was going tosay my thoughts turn to the beer. Well, I thought about the beer pretty much all through the Boilermaker. That’s the way it works sometimes: When you’re running you think about other things; when you stop running, you think about your next run.
The DARE5K is a fundraiser for the DARE program, which of course aims to keep young people away from drugs. So right away one has the frisson of virtue that comes from supporting a worthy cause.
The most distinctive feature of the HerkimerDARE5K is that we run up the hill to Herkimer College. For the uninitiated, I assure you, it is some hill. Once I’m in running shape, I like to run up it at least once a week, so I can feel like I’m bad ass. Another reason to run up the hill is that you are rewarded with some beautiful views at the top. I suppose you could still enjoy the view if you drove up to the top, but what fun is that?
What I really enjoy about the DARE 5K is that it is so much more relaxed than the Boilermaker. I suppose it is not a fair comparison. After all, the Boilermaker is a premier road race attracting world class runners and utilizing many resources. It is Utica’s own local claim to fame. However, I feel it lacks the small-town appeal of Herkimer’s little run.
When I register for the DARE, I walk down to the police station with the form and check. Last year I was able to ask a few questions about police work, for the novel I have been working on. On the day of the race, things are very conveniently located for me. I walk to Christ Episcopal Church on Main Street to pick up my race packet. The year my nephew ran with me (actually, quite a ways ahead of me), I was able to pick up his as well.
The race begins and ends at Herkimer’s Historic Four Corners, one of my favorite spots. Before the 5K is the Jr. Fun Run for ages 12 and younger, which goes around the block. I’ve seen 5K runners do the Fun Run with their kids as a warm-up. I keep trying to get my youngest niece to do the Fun Run, but no luck so far. Perhaps when my great-nephew learns to walk he’ll be into it.
After the race there is an awards ceremony and post-race party with refreshments and a DJ. I’ve never stayed to see the awards given, but I usually grab a quick bite to eat. This year’s DARE 5Ktakes place on Saturday, August 15 with the Jr. Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K at 9 a.m. I’m trying to recruit an entourage to cheer me on,but even if I have no luck with that, I expect I will still enjoy the run.
I wrote the preceding on Monday (yesterday), the day after the Boilermaker, before beginning my shift at work. When I got home, I found I had received my Official Entry Form in the mail. How apropos! I shall register soon, so I will have an excuse to keep writing blog posts about running.
For more information about the DARE 5K and Jr. Fun Run, or about the Herkimer DARE program, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Herkimer DARE on Facebook. Come on! Run up the hill with me!