Monday, December 01, 2008
TURKEY TROT...Another Example Of How Our People- Are Our Greatest Resource!
It was 23 degrees out but "partly cloudy" as I looked at the thermometer in my kitchen window early on Thanksgiving morning. There was still time to settle in with a nice hot cup of coffee and the OD, and talk myself out of gearing up and running in the ice cold annual "Turkey Trot", at the Parkway in Utica. I needed an emotional push if I was going to go, so I needed to find a running partner. My wife had just arose, and when I asked her she said matter of factly; "no way". My daughter still in bed just groaned and pulled the covers over her head when I asked her. As I considered whether to even ask my 11 year old son Nolan, I quietly tapped on his bedroom door. I was quickly and pleasantly shocked and jolted into running mode, when my son still half asleep in bed, answered my plea to go by jumping out of bed saying nothing but "sure!".
Nolan and I check-in at the Parkway chalet where they cheerfully accept our canned food donation, and then moved on to register and donate our $10 for the run for hunger. It's nice to see many friendly and familiar faces as we head out to the starting line on the Parkway. Some are runners you see in the Development Runs (another great event in the MV), some are business associates, neighbors, or people I have seen in passing through the years. As tough as times are lately it's exciting to see hundreds of people including my own son come out willing to help those in need. Thats what makes this area so special. People willing to come out to help those who are less fortunate early on a chilly holiday morning. The "Turkey Trot' is one of the less publicized examples of how giving this community is.
It turns out to be a tough first "turkey trot" run for Nolan, but Dad gets the opportunity to enjoy the comraderie with my son and other runners, the scenery, and even take a few pictures. All along the way many runners and volunteers urge us on and tell us what a great job we were doing! This seems to help chill Nolan out a little, as he gets a little grumpy and tired as we make the final ascent to the midway point (the Eagle). After making the loop at the Eagle, the course is all downhill and the run becomes a little easier for Nolan. As we move down the hill, Nolan moves at a steady pace and even saves a little for the last 20-30 yards and makes a fast dash to beat Dad.
Thanksgiving morning it was a pleasure to share the road with not only my son Nolan, but hundreds of fellow runners who got up early to run and share a cold Thanksgiving morning, and better yet, donated canned food and $5 each to the hungry and needy of the Mohawk Valley. If our leaders could learn to tap our most valuable resource (our people) our problems would be fewer I'm sure.