The Branford Road Race

Paul Morrone |

I am by no means an avid runner, but I do often pull myself off the couch to do a couple of miles here and there (it also helps to keep the doctor happy and my numbers in check). In addition, over the past couple of years, Jill and I have participated in the occasional charity 5k (3.2 miles) with a group of friends or donate to a good cause. This is by no means an attempt on either of our parts train for marathons, or even half-marathons for that matter, but just a healthy activity that we can look forward to periodically. One of the races we have decided to run annually is the Branford Road Race, which is held in conjunction with the Branford festival and usually coincides with Father’s Day. For one, it’s an odd distance, usually organized races are 5k or 10k, but it is also doable without much formal training. Right up my ally.

Last year was my first year running it and I pulled off a time of just over 42 minutes, not my best or worst time for the given distance, but it was a start. Prior to the race I told myself I would have been happy with a time under 45 minutes, which at the time I figured should not be too much of a stretch. The weather in 2014 was beautiful, a cool summer morning with no noticeable humidity, perfect for a run. Residents that have houses and business along the route played music, hired bands, had parties as the thousands of runners ran by. It was actually kind of fun.

This year, by comparison, was a nightmare.  Those of you who celebrated Father’s Day in Connecticut know that it was pouring rain early in the morning, followed by severe humidity and mid-80 degree temperatures.  As a result of the less than favorable conditions, the town cancelled all the bands that were scheduled to play during the race and the spectator turnout was about half that of the previous year. Coming from someone who doesn’t even like to play golf in weather like this, it’s not hard to imagine that the night before I was praying for thunderstorm so that the local police would deem it unsafe to hold the event. No such luck. If it were up to me I would have rolled over when my alarm went off and slept for another hour, but given the fact that Jill’s brother and sister were also running with us I made my way out of bed and to the starting line. My 2015 goal was to run it in under 40 minutes. No sunshine, a little rain, no live music and a lot of sweat later, I crossed the finish line at exactly 40:00. Not under, not over, 40 minutes right on the dot. I’m still not sure if I should be considering this a win in my book seeing as I really wanted to have a 3 be the first number, but hey, there’s always next year.