Three am has a strange feeling. It's slightly less strange when you're not alone, but still odd nonetheless. Tragedy often brings people together and last evening, I found myself capturing a run that traveled 9.5 miles from The Rite Aid parking lot in Northford to the Liberty Bank in Durham. The run was a segment of a much longer collaborative effort of runners making their way from California to Boston. They were running, "One Run For Boston" to honor the spirit and raise money for those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing back in April.
When I told Michael, Patch's editor that I would consider covering the event, I thought I would be in bed by midnight. But running three hours behind, we all became true night owls. I had mentioned the run to my son Peter and like a typical 11 year old, he enthusiastically responded to the proposition by saying, "challenge accepted".
When you are young, true recognition of childhood memories come into play in early adolescence. Your life begins to shape into something based on these experiences. So at 3am, a boy's memories were being shaped in the pitch black that was route 17. He molded them them with fellow runners who came from near and far to share the experience. He traveled by the homes of many of his friends who were sleeping in their beds. He was living for the moment, a hot and sticky one that summer loves to boast.
He made quick friends out of total strangers. Among them was a large group from the Essex area and local runner Andy Mieman, all running Boston Strong. Speaking of strong, they were led by Durham Director of EMT, Francis Willett and Fire Chief, Robert Chadd who was accompanied by his wife Heather Chadd. Also on the cheer and safety crew were members from Durham's EMT and Fire that included: Chief of services, Thomas Whimler, TJ Finley, Jennifer Kinzel, Lou Brockett, Anthony, De Marinis, Nate Ravid, Sue Wimler and Scott Wright. Also helping were State Troopers from Troop F under the direction of Sarget Sal Calvo.(Apologies to anyone I missed).
Together, they would run along a very darkened section of road that had few turns and fewer views in the darkness. Is this the place that Dr. Seuss talks about in his storied tale, "Oh The Places You'll Go"? They would see few lit landmarks that included Time Out Tavern, but only the locals knew they were nearing the finish as they ran past The Durham Dari Serv around 3:30 am. In the end, the group successfully handed off the Baton to the Middletown crew. The baton will make its way to Boston sometime on Sunday due to the sweat and energy of those linked tother in this effort since June 7.
Upon Entering Strong school in September surely Peter will divulge, "What I did this summer", in the usual obligatory essay. A strong boy will enter Strong school. We find our memories in the our greatest of efforts, this time, from one one runner to another all sharing a united goal. One that say's, "Boston Strong".
6/30/2013 04:33:53 am
Peter... Did you have your shoes on? Good run grandson! Get some sleep! Mema
6/30/2013 05:05:00 am
You just made me laugh out loud. Mom, after much deliberation he did finally decide to put his shoes on after you told him 50 times. I think he'll get it by the time he turns 30.
6/30/2013 04:51:00 am
What a great event and I love your story about it. Incredible images as always Jen!
6/30/2013 05:05:50 am
Thanks Catherine. The more I do this type of stuff, the more I love it. Thanks for having a look!
Patti, Glenn, Glenn jr. and Cooper
6/30/2013 05:22:46 am
Yeah Pete! We are so of you!
6/30/2013 09:20:25 am
Love you guys...so happy Pete got his shoes on in time. So happy you found little miss Zulu today!
6/30/2013 05:48:19 am
Peter, you know how to make your community proud! Jen, thanks for sharing this awesome experience - I am sorry I didn't set the alarm to wake up:(. I only wish he was going to be in my class at Strong!
6/30/2013 09:22:43 am
Please keep him under your wing Jen. He is in is element when he is running, but could benefit greatly from some extra care in his school environment. You are such a great motivator and positive soul, wish he was with you all day at school!
6/30/2013 07:28:04 am
Love the story. I tried to stay up. Put some solor lights out for a marker. Keep up the great work Jen. Good job to all.
6/30/2013 09:23:35 am
Karen. We know if there is anyone in this town who is here for the kids, it's you. Thanks for thinking of the runners.
6/30/2013 08:23:38 am
Great job, all! There's something special about the middle of the night. I remember driving to several Project Graduation events at Wesleyan at 3 am. There's a serenity in that hour:)
6/30/2013 09:24:33 am
Sue. I have a whole new perspective on late night Durham. Thanks!!!
6/30/2013 09:56:43 am
This young man never ceases to amaze me. Congrats Pete!
6/30/2013 10:27:29 am
Way to go Pete! I am in awe of both you and all the other runners! A magnificent effort for a most worthy cause. Jen, your photos are exceptional. And, you have an amazing son! Thank you for such a positive, uplifting story.
6/30/2013 02:01:24 pm
Pete, it was my pleasure to run with you this morning. You are awsome. I will be watching for you when you get in high school.
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