This came from an individual who looked like he could be homeless, but who was nonetheless cheering the runners on during the waning miles of the Detroit Free Press Marathon. I had never heard the phrase used in this context before.
The Freep in those years – the late eighties and early nineties - passed through some highly questionable parts of Detroit, and this neighborhood was particularly blighted. There were no other spectators, and even the runners were sparse. At that instant, it was just that one guy and me. He pointed at me as he said it. I’m sure I was gritting my teeth, grimacing in my usual way. I remember that I was trying hard to maintain the pace that had felt so easy during the early miles, a couple hours prior.
Yet it gave me pause. At that point in my race, perhaps almost anything would have. But I like to think that I found some meaning and inspiration there. I like to think that a lot of love is an entirely appropriate description for what I had been experiencing at that moment.
The moment I describe here comes to mind as we all decompress after the Medina Half-Marathon. This is a huge and wonderfully successful event for the small town of Medina, Ohio. The dedication, long, hard work, and attention to detail of Race Director Beth Bugner, her immediate organizational team, and all of the hundreds of volunteers undoubtedly requires a lot of love. A real lot of love.
A lot of love is also a fitting description of the work that the Medina County Road Runners Board of Directors puts in. This is particularly true of President Angie Kovacs. As I write this, the Board will soon be deciding on positions for the upcoming year, so we could wind up with a different president. Regardless of her position however, Angie puts in gobs of time to institute the framework to ensure that the club activities and events are the best they can possibly be.
These folks do it for the love of running, and for the love of their fellow runners. And I think that’s really it. I like to think that I’ve still got a lot of love too. But it’s also good to know that I’m not alone.