I have to give a lot of credit to those who took part in the Oshkosh Half-Marathon Saturday. Those of us who golf and play softball would have looked outside at the pouring rain, gusty winds and big, wet snowflakes and said "You know, I think there's some playoff hockey on TV today." But thousands of runners and walkers saw that weather and thought "I can't wait to spend two hours running through that stuff!"
I've often thought about taking up long-distance running. Those who do it talk about the "runner's high" you get that pushes you through those days you don't feel like training. And every year I see the Ironman from Hawaii highlight show and wish I could accomplish something so demanding. But I just don't have the mental makeup to run for the sake of running. I get bored too easily. I can run for two hours at the Y or an open gym playing basketball--but there you are "distracted" by guarding another player, trying to get open, making shots and keeping track of the score. But when it's just you and the pavement--what keeps you entertained? I guess that's why every runner you see along the sidewalk has the IPod earbud cords running into their pockets.
And it wasn't just the runners who deserve a tip of the hat. The dozens of volunteers who set up the race course and manned the water stations probably had an even tougher time. At least the runners had some physical activity to keep them relatively warm. I know the Oshkosh Auxilliary Police officers manning an intersection near our house didn't look too happy when I drove by them Saturday morning--but at least they were out there so a nice community event could still happen.
So congratulations to everyone who took part in the Oshkosh Half-Marathon this weekend. You've accomplished something 90% of us don't have the guts to even try.