Finishing Time: 37:53 – new PR! (Personal Record)!
Overall Recovery: Slight ache in left calf lasted for two days. Did not stretch, rested and it went away.
IT’S ALWAYS a joy to run the Narberth CF Run & Walk, supporting a meaningful cause and a worthy foundation that does admirable charity work. But this year, the race was especially significant for me as I was lucky enough to have the honor of singing the National Anthem before the race.
And so, at 8:02am, that Saturday morning in April shivering under drizzling rain, I finished singing our country’s colors, handed the mic back to Matt McCloskey, founder of Take a Breather Foundation and with excitement, took my place at the starting line for 2016’s Narberth CF Run & Walk.
THERE IS NO CURE FOR CYSTIC FIBROSIS, a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, liver and kidneys and causes long-term issues with the respiratory, digestive and reproductive systems. The life expectancy for those living with the disorder is said to be around late 30s to early 40s – so let’s get running!
This year, 2016 marks the 21st annual running of the Narberth CF Run & Walk. Entry to the race is limited to only 1,000 participants so registering early is always something to get a jump on.
The Narberth CF Run & Walk was adopted by Matt McCloskey and two of his sisters in 1996 and is an offshoot of the Take A Breather Foundation, which McCloskey also founded. All proceeds from the race benefit Take A Breather, which serves to grant wishes to kids battling CF, some of which include trips to Paris, Disney World or going to meet a favorite sports player. This alone makes the race worth entering since all the money raised directly impacts young children with CF.
And now, an account of the race itself:
THE PREVIOUS NIGHT, I didn’t do anything special to prepare for the race besides pick up my bib and eat pasta shamelessly (which is, in fact, the only way to eat pasta).
Since the Narberth CF Run & Walk is intentionally limited to 1,000 runners, there isn’t a big expo or anything but rather a quiet and smooth packet and T-shirt pick-up typically taking place the night before the race. Runners pull up to a building next to the Narberth Library, check in and within moments are handed their groovy long-sleeve shirt and bib.
Everything about the packet pick-up process for this race reflects the coziness of the borough of Narberth itself: the ease of getting your materials, the lack of busyness, no one’s rushing to get anywhere, the sweet smallness of the building makes me feel like we’re in a 1900s schoolhouse. Narberth is a true gem, this bite-size sleepy historical suburb of Philly.
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE ROUTE: The 5 mile race took runners and walkers through the charming streets of Narberth, which on this race day were slippery and dotted with puddles that thoroughly drenched my Nikes.
True, the rain made for somewhat precarious running conditions, but unbelievably, there were spectators almost at every turn cheering on the runners. That’s another positive of running this race: there will always be spectators.
The route is hilly, however! You don’t expect it, but the roads are certainly winding and even begins with a bit of an incline at mile 1. The last stretch at mile 4 certainly catches runners by surprise, but once you’re at mile 4.5, it’s all a straight shot from there. Once you see the banner below, you know you’re almost home.
… stopping after 5 mile straight of fast running never felt so good. I remember crossing the finish line and my vision blurring. I felt like I had been going fast, but I was pretty tired and definitely had a few aches in my calf that had developed during some of those hills.
My remedy? A hearty breakfast of lox and bagels, a hot shower and a nice long snooze will do the trick.
Do yourself a favor, friends, and sign up for the Narberth CF Run & Walk next year. Support a worthy cause, run a great race and set your own PR 😉