Salem MA Sunday, December 10, 2017 – From Linda Desjardins’ perspective.
Talk about a cast of characters! Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right and here I am, stuck in the middle with animals, ballerinas, super heroes, baby carriages, court jesters, elves, people swinging Festivus poles…all were at the starting line in Salem at 10 am today. Needless to say, it was a slow start.
This race is a lot of fun. The costumes make it colorful and the attitudes are not as dead serious as at most races. This was a celebratory-type race. It’s just as well as the conditions might’ve interfered with anyone’s desire to earn a PR. After yesterdays about 5-6 inches of snow, though the main thoroughfares were reasonably clear and mostly wet, there were patches of slush on the sides and every corner had its own pile of accumulation to navigate. The neighborhood streets were less clear and ii seemed the snow-laden tree branches were trying to snowball us, impeding the slush melt. We had a few hills to navigate, one toward the end that was challenging with unsure footing below. Ah that finish line and a warm reception at Finz was a welcome culmination to an enjoyable event.
Several Striders ventured out in the cool and breezy weather and some of us shared our grievances along the way. After all, it WAS a Festivus race. The Striders who ran included Mike Pelletier, Dave Newhall, Bonnie Hallinan, Molly Rowe, Molly’s son Will Rowe, Rosie’s sister Jackie Gomez, and Linda Desjardins.
Eight-year-old Will Rowe blazed to a 1st place finish in the M01-14 Age Group and earned a gold medal. Bringing home silver medals were Linda Desjardins and Mike Pelletier, while Dave Newhall and Bonnie Hallinan earned bronze.
In the mixed team competition, Mike Pelletier, Linda Desjardins, and Dave Newhall finished 9th of 13 teams. This is not a bad showing for a team composed of the oldest woman finisher and the two oldest male finishers.