This was the 2nd time I've run Lamarque 5K. I love that it's only 5 miles from home because I know all my runner friends will be there. The first time I ran this race, I had only been running for about 8 weeks. I was still very new and didn't know a whole lot of people. I knew The Morgan's, the Geyer's and a few others. At this race, I met 3 people who have always stood out in my mind for their friendliness and advice. They seemed to know I didn't know many people and made a point to welcome me.
First was Josephine. I used to call her "blue shoes" before I finally learned her name. She's in her sixties (which you'd NEVER believe) and had won Grand Masters. As she stood on the stage in front of my husband and I, Bobby leaned over to me and whispered "Look at her legs!! Fantastic"!!!! LOL...I agreed. Josephine is a beautiful woman, inside and out and I am so proud to be her friend. We joked yesterday about it being our anniversary, but in my heart I know we were meant to be friends. Love her!
Second person I met was Chuck. He's a JOKERRRR!!! LOL...we talked for awhile while waiting for awards to start. He told us a few stories about his running days. In fact, I talked him into telling me his most favorite running story EVER because I wanted to compile stories for a journal. Chuck is a fun runner. I always look forward to seeing him at the races. He is another favorite of mine.
Third person I met that day was Dick Shank. As I was remembering him last week, I realized I had not seen or talked with him in quite a while. I figured it was because I'd been sick last year and somehow missed him at the few races I did make it to. Luckily, we were connected through the yahoo Zoomers page and I had his email. I shot an email to him last week asking if he'd be at the Lamarque run. A few days later I was happy to see he'd responded to my email!! I happily opened the reply and instantly felt the tears come. The response was from Dick's wife Eileen. She said she was sorry to have to tell me that Dick had died of cancer last September. No. I am so sorry I didn't try to contact him sooner. I wish I had been able to tell him what a wonderful person he was and even though we didn't know each other really well, he made a lasting impression on me. Dick was in his 80's, very tall and a great runner. He told me he saw potential in me, that he thought I was a natural. He told me to stick with it. He said I'd get faster before I knew it. I can picture Dick and Eileen with their friendly smiles and welcoming words like it was yesterday. I feel sad, but glad I had the chance to meet Dick.
The running world, the whole world, has lost a special man to cancer once again. Dick, you may be gone but you'll never be forgotten. May you rest in peace, no more pain or sickness. Lamarque 5K was not the same without you.