Tonight instead of the usual Dilworth run (no Bruce, the other run is technically not in the Dilworth neighborhood) or the "new" run I tried last week, I returned to very hallowed Sharksbite ground to participate in Meetup.com's Thursday Run.
While I understand it wasn't the absolutely first route, Sharksbite really began and became popular in 2004 with the Thursday Night Thomas Street Run. I first showed up on July 1, 2004 and ran the 4 mile course in 32:38. I vividly recall being too shy to stay for dinner. I then returned September 23rd to cut out a few minutes. It was that night I stayed for dinner at Thomas Street Tavern with the group, and it was also the night I meet Mona Baset and Mary Jo Arrington. My life would never be the same! The run then became an institution - I completed fifteen more iterations through February 10, 2005. My average time was 29:47.
Some of my most notable memories were the long hard climbs up McClintock "back in the day" when "the projects" were there. On more than one ocassion I would hear the heavy breathing of my great friend Tyler Leach as he would labor up and eventually pass me. Man, I miss that dude - he moved to St. Louis a few years ago. Funny thing, we had his going away party at Moosehead Grill (wonder if Chris, Ben, and Monica remember that event...), so when I went back there for the Ultimate group last week I couldn't help but think of him! I also remember one woman who ran with us (???) who thought she was lost so she asked for a ride from someone on that street! Wow, now that took guts. But now McClintock is gone! There is a huge development going in there.
The reincarnation of this particular run began when Tim briefly re-instituted the Thursday night run upon return of one of his many abortive attempts to be live elsewhere. Somehow it became a Meetup.com group led by Sharksbite veteran Bevin Jett, as if there was some hostile takeover! There were some notables (people I know) such as Sean, Audra, Fred, Carissa, Donna also present. But many more new faces. Bevin had a big "pre 4th of July" run event; most were decked out in costumes - she also gave out flags to all. It was also a handicapped start, with about five groups going out based on estimated pace. I was in the fourth wave. I started out with Sean and a cruise down Commonwealth around a 7:06 minute pace, which was too fast.
This course began in the same vein, going down Commonwealth and then up Morningside. The one thing I HATED about the original run and will continue to dislike on this run is the fact you have to cross Central TWICE! There is pressure with the timed run to do stupid things. It then began the reverse of the old run. From there it chartered new ground up Winter, Mecklenburg, and then the long Nassau back towards Commonwealth Market. I finished a different four miles in 30:32, or a 7:43 pace.
Afterwards there was a lot of refreshment, both inside and out. I had never been inside; it was quite a cool pace. Sean and I ended up grabbing dinner at the Penguin, so of course I had to get the fried pickles! I also ordered "the hemi" burger - three huge patties of meat. I ate it all, but won't get it again.
4 days ago