Keeping It Simple
BY MATT FARRAND
NORTH CENTRE TWP., PA--Something is amiss in the calendar year until the first race. My first this year wasnt until April 9, the Briar Creek Lake 10K. It was a no-frills, old-school run starting and finishing in the state park of the same name near Berwick. The Bloomsburg YMCA was the sponsor and they kept it simple, like races used to be. Someone lit a fire before the event in a stone state-park style fireplace, and grilled a few hot dogs. There was store-bought water and crullers for after the race.
The race started at noon on a spectacular spring day. I knew it would be a tough course. The Run for the Diamonds and other area races make it evident that the hills are hard to escape. The first ¾ mile, retraced at the finish, was the only remotely flat terrain. In between, about 4¾ miles of grades steep enough to test even the fittest in the field. I was indeed tested almost from the start, could only slog away on the uphills, and use as many downhills as I could to come close to a decent race pace. But running in the hills and possibly the simplicity of the event itself made it a truly satisfying event.
Postrace, a pony-tailed guy who finished in the top five took a coconut-covered cruller from the snack table and taunted his female companion with it as she came down the road toward the finish about 20 minutes after the first finishers crossed. He was laughing and holding it like the old carrot on a stick trick. I didnt catch what he was saying, but his companion wasnt laughing. Id had my eye on that cruller when I was signing up. I also missed the hot dogs as I went on a short cool down around a baseball diamond that had yet to be groomed for the season.
1. Jer Darowish 38:52
1. Roland Sutter 57:50