The Singing Filled The Air

by altardy on August 29, 2009

These pictures are from the Bobby Doyle 5 Mile Summer Classic that I ran as my 2nd race on August 15th. I picked it because it had drawn 550 people the year before, which was it’s 1st year. I was not disappointed. Over 600 people came including 35 soon to be graduating members of the Rhode Island State Police Academy. The atmosphere was great and some special things happened. The gathering was at a school in Narragansett, R.I.. The ball field that the tents and stage were set up in was surrounded by trees and made for a great setting. Just before the runners were asked to head to the starting line Jim Doyle (Bobby’s brother) said a few words about Bobby and thanked all the volunteers, helpers and participants. Then he introduced a young woman who sang the National Anthem. Everyone was silent as she began to sing. I closed my eyes and focused not only on the great voice but her words echoed off the trees and just filled the field with a a special feeling that I can’t even put into words. Then we moved to the street and the group from the academy gathered in a 3 line formation behind the rest of the runners. The gun went off and we started. These cadets and their lieutenant along with a flag carrier ran the entire 5 miles in formation to a cadence. Even though we were on the shore it was still 90 degrees and to watch these men and women run together like that was tremendously impressive. I was able to finish far enough ahead of them to be able to run to my car after finishing, grab my camera and take their picture as they rounded the last turn back into the school yard, heading to the finish. (1 of the 2 pictures you see). The other picture is me with Jim, on my right, and Michael (Bobby’s son). We had a great conversation and I learned what a great runner Bobby was having won marathons over 3 decades and many, many running accomplishments over his lifetime. Check out more about this race and more about Bobby’s accomplishments on I believe they are even going to set up a link to this site soon. So- Great Job Everyone- I’m sure Bobby is proud of your efforts.

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