Matt’s Mission

by altardy on June 13, 2010

Many times when I am looking for a road race to go to I stay away from the 1st annuals. No offence, the efforts of the people putting on any fund raiser are to be applauded and praised. For me however, since I may travel as much as 2 hours or more to get to a race, I like to be able to see past race results so I know I’m not traveling that far to run with 7 people. Sometimes, however, there seems to be days where all the races are 1st annuals or just don’t have past race results posted.
May 23rd was one of those days. I searched for races to go to, but, no matter which one I could run I was taking a chance on what I might find. So, for some reason, I was drawn to go to a 5k in North Branford, Ct.. It was 70 miles away and I left home hoping for the best.
The race started and finished at a school in North Branford and when I got there, which if you’ve followed my blogs you would know I’m always 2 hours early, I couldn’t yet get a feel for the size of the crowd. However the cars and the people seemed to be arriving in a constant stream. By race time I heard there were over 800 people (837 total).
The race started with me in my newest favorite starting position, which is as close to the very last person in the back as I can get. I’ve been doing this now for awhile. Don’t ask me why, cause I haven’t a clue. Within a half mile there was a bagpipe and drum band playing patriotic AMERICAN music. I thought to myself “Only in America.” A little further down the road, while running through a neighborhood, there was a rock and roll band set up outside a house. And, about 2 miles out there was another band outside a house playing heavy metal music—I think. And again I thought “only in America.”
The race was started in memory of Matt. Matt was a senior in the high school when he was killed in a car crash prior to graduation. Matt’s mom, Lynn (pictured with me in her white t shirt) woke up at 4 in the morning one day after his death and decided that she was going to create a road race in his memory. I talked to Lynn and I can tell you that she is a person that when she makes up her mind to do something, it gets done.
The results of her decision….. the first year they had what turned out to be a walk, then this year their first 5k. AND a total of $68,000 raised for scholarships for students at the school.
My thoughts were that it takes a community in which people love and care for each other to have an event this early in it’s existence have such success.
Other pictures here are Jennifer and Steve. If I remember right, this was Jenn’s first race in about 20 years. She proved it by showing me that she had been listening to her music on the cassette player she used 20 years ago. And I told her I wouldn’t tell a sole…OOPS.
There is a picture of the many trophies given out that day, a shot of a small section of the crowd, and a picture of one of my favorite (if they are prepared right) foods. Ladies and gentlemen …..THE HOT DOG. It truly is a favorite of mine and I didn’t leave before eating my share and probably 10 other people’s shares. There was alot of other great food available, but for me they didn’t exist.
This is a race I feel will get larger fast and one that you should look into and attend.

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