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Saturday, October 23

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Running Fri Aug 29 2008

Join The Human Race

As an (extremely) novice runner, I'm slowly understanding the reasons why so many people leap (drag? Stumble?) out of bed early in the morning to pound the sidewalks and bike paths of this city as part of their morning running ritual. Granted, making those initial steps in the wee hours of the day can take a bit of effort, but once you get into the rhythm it can be a refreshing experience, particularly at the end of a run when feeling of "good tired" sweeps over you.

Yeah, I said it. Me, the guy who used to run through a pack of Benson and Hedges (accompanied by the appropriate amount of alcohol) in a night. OK, I still sneak the occasional smoke every now and then, but it hasn't dimmed the strange new feeling of actually looking forward to a run at least two or three times a week outdoors (the treadmill wins the rest of the week) or, yes, actually participating in a 5k race some day... soon.

It might even be this weekend, when Nike hosts what they are billing as "the world's largest one-day running event", the Human Race 10K that kicks off at Soldier Field this Sunday at run-friendly hour (for me) of 6:30 p.m. It's a race that is being run simultaneously in 25 cities around the world, which means, in some esoteric way, you're competing against runners from around the world. And you don't even have to go to Bejing.

Now, my maximum distance has been 5K, but a race promoter insists that if one can run a 5K, one can run a 10K, which to me is a saying if I can eat two hot dogs I can eat 10 (which, come to think of it, I probably could). I might be counting my K's before they're hatched, but even if I end up walking a few K's or so, crossing the wire last might not be such a bad thing. Each race in each city ends with a concert by one of the top acts in music today. Chicago gets local heroes Fall Out Boy, while LA taps another hometown star Kanye West. Elsewhere around the globe, Moby performs in London, Ben Harper entertains them in Austin, Texas and Calle 13 plays Mexico City.

There are awards for the first place male and female winner (a fact with which I will not concern myself for obvious reasons) and even if you don't break the tape you can feel good knowing that your entrance fee is going to a good cause: the Nike Human Race charites which include the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the UN refugee agency's campaign. Promoters say they expect to raise at least $3 million.

You can still register for the race on the Nike website and pick up your credentials on race day. Who knows, you might see me out there. I'll be the one taking a break at the 5K mark. They call that "hitting the wall", right?

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what the / August 30, 2008 12:47 PM

....interesting that you of all people would write an article titled "join the human race'
hope you choke on one of your borrowed cigarettes and then trip on your dollar store shoe laces.
good luck.

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