On Saturday, May 24, Susan and I took a day trip to Redfish Lake and ran the Memorial Day 10K. It was 6:30 a.m. when we hopped into Susan’s car to make the three-hour drive from Boise to Redfish Lake. Why did we begin what is typically a long, relaxing holiday weekend with such an early start? Two reasons: First off, in our world it is just plain fun to spend an hour on a mild spring morning running around the edge of a crystal-clear lake while surrounded by pristine mountain scenery, and then spend a relaxing afternoon basking in pure mountain sunshine. Secondly, and most importantly, we do this run as a weather check for the upcoming 62-mile Sawtooth Relay, which takes place just three weeks after the 10K event.
The 2014 Memorial Day run was an exceptional one for me because my 94-year old father-in-law, who was a 30-year Marine and Idaho’s oldest living survivor of three combat theaters (WWII, Korea and Vietnam), passed away a few weeks earlier. Once I was at the starting line, the singing of the national anthem before the race got my patriotic juices (and a few tears) flowing. As we stood there, we were surrounded by dozens of big American flags that were positioned along the length of the starting line/finisher’s chute near the edge of the lake. As the red, white and blue flags waved in the offshore breeze, participants and spectators were quietly reminded of the sacrifices made by our military men and women. The sight of those flags made me feel grateful for the beautiful country I live in and for the freedom to run a 10K in the mountains. This was the most touching Memorial Day weekend I’ve ever experienced.
By the way, with a low-40 degree F temperature at the start and a mid-60 degree F air temp for sipping beer afterward, the weather was gorgeous.