Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Viva Las Vegas ... Aloha Honolulu

By Ross Forman

En route to the Honolulu Marathon, I am stopping in Las Vegas – to run a Half Marathon.

Relax, I’m not as crazy as this may sound. Let me explain …

I have had the Honolulu Marathon (Sunday, Dec. 13) on my running calendar for a year, since I finished the same marathon in 2008. I knew then that I wanted to return to Hawaii for another crack at this scenic, yet challenging 26.2-mile course. So I registered early, booked my United Airlines flight and, well, I was all set.

Then my buddy Darryn asked if I would run with him, at his pace, in the Las Vegas Half Marathon on Sunday, Dec. 6. Darryn is one of the coaches from the National AIDS Marathon Training Program, now known as the Train 2 End AIDS (T2) Endurance Training Program, and he’s a “bigger guy” ( I hope that’s the PC term these days). He’s not the stereotypical 135-pound runner, the type of runner who you’d just expect to be a runner. But that’s why Darryn is motivating to me and others, for the simple theory of, “If he can run a marathon, I can run one, too.”

Darryn’s previous best time in a Half Marathon is 3:12. He wants to break 3 hours in Vegas.

I’ve told him we’re finishing in 2:58.

I hope he knows I’m serious.

The Vegas run will be at a much slower pace than I’m used to, which is why I’m doing it a week before Honolulu.

And in Honolulu, I know my friend Dell is going to be pushing me to set a PR (Personal Record) the same way I’m pushing Darryn in Vegas.

This is how we runners work.

My last long training run for Honolulu was a 16-miler along the lakefront in Chicago on Saturday morning, Nov. 21, with Coach Katie and Coach Dan. It was a reunion of sorts as the three of us ran together in the Nashville Marathon in 2008.

Yes, I did run outside in Chicago on Nov. 21 as, shockingly, Mother Nature co-operated big time. It was in the mid-50s. Talk about perfect running weather.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, filled with lots of turkey and my favorite: pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving weekend means just one thing for me, and has for years: hockey.

I’ll be officiating high school hockey games all weekend, including the championship game of the 6th annual Stevenson Thanksgiving Tournament, which will be played at the Twin Rinks Ice Pavilion in Buffalo Grove. I was honored to be selected to work the Sunday afternoon championship game. This is the first time I’ll be on the ice for the championship game of this tournament. Last Thanksgiving, I officiated the championship game of the annual Loyola Thanksgiving Tournament, which is now in its 38th year.

I’ve been officiating a lot in November, and I’m pretty sure the skating helps my running and the running helps my skating … at least I think so.

Happy Thanksgiving to all,

P.S. Just a reminder, Darryn: 2:58.

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