Weather can't cancel my run

September 19, 2004|by ANDY MASON

The ringing phone at 7:33 a.m. made a worse noise than the chirping alarm clock at 7 a.m. on Saturday.

At 6:59, I was in an especially deep sleep after working late Friday night. But by 7:20, I was ready to run, with my adrenaline increasingly pumping as I packed my racing shoes, singlet and some rain gear in a duffel bag.

When the phone rang, I somehow already knew the caller's news.

The first Big Luna Challenge - a 7-mile trail race in Caledonia State Park - was postponed. The event was scheduled to start at 9, rain or shine - which apparently is different than just-been-hit-by-a-tornado or shine.

The park, reportedly, was littered with fallen trees and downed power lines from Friday night's storm.

Sure, the postponement (a future date has yet to be set) may have saved my life, but I still was bummed. Once those racing flats are packed, it's tough to turn back. I was awake and roaring to go, even on 3 1/2 hours of sleep.


However, unlike some other sports, running had not been canceled for the day. Instead of going full-tilt for 7, I decided to go easy for 14 on the C&O Canal Towpath, which also had its share of storm debris.

It was a different course, focus and approach, but the end result was the same - the post-run coffee and cold pizza still were as satisfying as ever.

A good friend of mine, who recently began running, has been constantly picking my brain for advice (which may or may not be a good idea). One of his first questions: "What do you do in bad weather?"

My response: "What is your goal?"

If you want to become a runner, the answer is simple: You have to run. Once you're a runner, there is no choice.

Tri-State calendar

Sept. 25

ROTC 10K, Shippensburg University, 9 a.m., 717-477-1893

Oct. 2

Steeplechaser's Mile, Frederick YMCA, 8:30 a.m., 240-409-6913

Oct. 9

Harmon Memorial 5K, Chambersburg, 9:30 a.m., 717-264-9116

Oct. 10

Parks and Rec Trek 5K, Hagerstown, 9 a.m., 301-739-8577, ext. 180

Conquering CF 5K, Martinsburg, 304-264-2160

Oct. 23

This Race is for the Birds 5K, Shepherdstown, 304-263-8624

Oct. 30

Run For Your Life 5K, Marty Snook Park, Hagerstown, 9 a.m., 301-797-5981

Nov. 20

JFK 50 Mile, Washington County, 301-739-7004

Andy Mason is assistant sports editor of The Morning Herald. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2334, or by e-mail at

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