Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Life is Motion...

Race days don't come any better then this past Saturday. What started as an idea over dinner and vino six months ago morphed into a finely tuned classic event. The women of the charitable East Oreland Neighborhood Association (EONA) had spent 6+ months organizing this local 5K, 1 mile walk and numerous children's events. The race directors instinctively knew that after a long, wet, dark winter nothing reinvigorates the soul better then being outside on a beautiful spring day. A day to shake the cobwebs out, reunite with old friends, make new ones, and run through the neighborhood. Race day had all the atmosphere of a friendly neighborhood block party.

The main event, a 5K, was a loop course through the East Oreland neighborhood. At 9:00 am sharp the runners were off bounding down through the familiar streets. Neighbors at every corner greeted the lead runners in their anaerobic haze. Mid-to-back of the packers were smart enough to hang back, breath, chat, smile and smell the flowers.

The 1 mile walk followed shortly after the end of the 5K. Jogging strollers, parents and kids of all ages participated in this multi-generational fun event. It was a rolling Baby's R Us promotion!

Finally there were the kids races. This was the 'real' main event. Well over 50 kids of all ages and sizes lined up ready to tear up the turf. Originally conceived as a non-competitive event, these kids were going for the gusto over a the distance of approximately 200 yds. Only the innocent laughs of children permeated the air as proud parents and grandparents looked on. They enjoyed the first race so much they begged for more. Round and round they went... 10+ times. Only the innocent laughs of happy children permeated the air as proud parents looked on. Their little faces flush red, legs a burning, and smiles from ear to ear they stood in line for their well earned medals.

Founded over 50 years ago, EONA represents the heart of a community. Over 200 participants, volunteers, and businesses helped raise $4,000 for the March of Dimes through the events on Saturday. This first annual, first class right of spring event can be summarized in three words... family, friends and fun. See ya next year!

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