Last Saturday night, droves of informal runners put on their best duds, suits, tuxedos, dresses and ball gowns to get down and boogie on the dance floor. The Most Informal Running Club Ever, as founded by Dave Johnson (pictured below,) has been in existence for 4 years. Originally meant to be a group of a few friends who ran every now and then turned into a mob of sorts.
Left to Right: Andy, Justin, Dave
The night was full of raffle prizes, giveaways, music and dance-offs. The crew from Lululemon represented strongly at the party. Dance-off winner, Jonathan Hall, pulled off an insane backflip; what seemed like slow motion and 9 feet in the air, Jon pulled a move rarely seen at TMIRCE events. Of special note, Hudson Doyle won the NB Reach the Beach Relay full team entry for this years Massachusetts race, May 18th and 19th. Hudson is suffering from good karma after volunteering with TMIRCE this past September at RTB Relay's NH version of the historic race.
Earlier in the day, TMIRCE Saturday's at City Sports saw a near record number of runners, 60+, all donning birthday hats for the group run. There was a lot of excitement in the air as runners were talking about their anticipation of the event later that night.
Left to Right: The gang
With Basket Case blaring over the sound system, and hands flailing in the air, one of the workers of the Marriott pulled the plug. We partied so hard that the staff was told to shut us down. And so they might be able to quiet us at the end of the evening, but TMIRCE will reign strong, at least until next year, when the big 5 beckons and the lights dim once more.
SATURDAY at 7:30AM
Toe up on the start line, looking over my shoulder at the apprehensive runners clad in short-shorts to my left, I was about to compete in my first marathon with less than 24 hours notice.
SEMI-DRAMATIC FLASH BACK
Here is my imperfect chance to reach a long standing goal. Since childhood, I had wanted to run the Boston Marathon, and the qualification times were about to get tougher. A week prior, Irene's threatening weather persuaded Quebec City to cancel the full marathon, one for which I had spent seasons training. My training buddy had already booked a ticket to Washington to try his luck the last weekend before Boston registration. It had been sever long weeks since my last long run. I ran a hard fast 10 miler Thursday morning, and was feeling a bit tired and sore. I didn't get much more than a few hours sleep on Thursday night.
Early Friday morning I was reviewing the Marathon options nationwide for the upcoming weekend. With some help from friends I had narrowed it down to Marquette, Michigan, but there were challenges to overcome. Online registration was closed and I wouldn't be able to arrive by plane in Marquette until well after the in-person registration. I would have to figure out planes, cabs, and hotels for the weekend, and be comfortable with the costs involved. I was starting to feel overwhelmed, but figured the first step was to email the race director and find out if she could help me register.
While waiting to hear back from her, I called my parents to ask for advice. They were great at being supportive and focusing on my deliberation. When they asked if I could afford the trip, I came to realize that although it was definitely not in the budget, I could make it work. I earned that money so I could do what I enjoy and why not use it for something I care so much about? Logistics, game on!
COMMIT, YOU'LL FIGURE IT OUT
My dad has battled cancer, and won, three times over the past few years. This year, he decided to commit to riding the PMC, a 160 mile, 2-day, bike ride and raising $4,000 for cancer research. Having had days where going from the bed to the couch was a workout, he felt incredibly overwhelmed at just the thought of the first day. He had no idea how he would be doing physically 8 months from when he registered for it, but either way he had committed to fundraising and training to ride. Fast forward several months to the end of the first day of the ride... We notice a PMC shirt with a slogan that speaks to him, "Commit, you'll figure it out."
By committing, I am telling my body and mind to work together to make that commitment a reality. I then reframe problems from the perspective of "How can I make this work?" instead of "Can this work?" and am able to find solutions.
I committed to doing everything I could to make it to the start of the Marquette Marathon and run a Boston Qualifying time. Soon enough, I received a phone call from the race director saying that even on the day before her race, she was willing to help make sure I got registered. Hotels and planes fell right into place. I even ended up with two locals offering me a ride from the airport to my hotel at nine o'clock at night.
I had barely eaten anything all day while tackling the logistics of traveling. Walking around the airport with two heavy bags on my shoulders, all that was crossing my mind was, "please, let me start this race". As I was boarding the final leg of the trip, I met two other runners heading to Marquette, one local and one Bostonian with a similar sore spot for Irene's timing in Quebec.
As I exited the doors of the Marquette's singular airport terminal at 9pm, I quickly realized that there were no taxi stands here. Great! I kind of wanted to see if I could make some friends and hitch a ride. I made conversation with a man waiting to be picked up, in hopes he would offer me a ride. Just as he does, the local runner swings by and suggests we chat about running while she drives me to town. Um, yes!
Bright green short shorts, bib and pins, shoes and the specific pair of racing socks are finally all laid out by about 10:30pm. Both meditations and superstitious habits observed to their fullest.
4 years ago, a man by the name of Dave Johnson decided to go for a run with some friends. On Saturday, October 22nd, we celebrate his legacy by throwing ourselves a huge birthday bash. TMIRCE'ers have been pounding the pavement and slamming breakfast for nearly 4 years now and we've built a lot of friendships, not just with one another but with great organizations like:
...and they've always come through for us in big ways. We've grown by leaps and bounds and you, Informal Nation, are the reason why we've been so successful. Volunteers, race and event organizers, and Saturday cleaning crews are just some of the ways people have stepped up for TMIRCE. We want to thank everyone for being a part of this club and the only way we know how to do that is to get down and seriously boogie.
So are you still on the fence about coming out on Saturday, October 22nd? Here are 3 reasons why you should really consider RSVP'ing:
This is by far, the largest event we have and it only happens once a year. The people that you normally see in running clothes and on the streets will be decked out in their finest party gear. Wait, what? You heard me. This is a FANCY event - held at the prestigious Courtyard Marriott in Cambridge. Dress to impress.
The raffle is one of the best you'll come across at any informal event. You can purchase tickets at the door. 5 for $5, 10 for $10 and wingspan for $20. Here's a taste of what's in store:
Grand Prize (The same as last year. Were you there? Who remembers?)
Sur-prize raffles that the organizers don't even know about yet
Last years success of the Mix1 Dance Off has inspired us again to invite Katie Visco back to defend her title. Katie threw down some serious moves and won the dance off of the century, yielding her unprecedented Mix1 prizes. Does anyone have the guts to step up or face getting served?
Of course this is just a taste of what's to come. Surprise guests and activities for all will round out a fun night of dancing, beverage-ing, and hanging out with friends. If you want to come and haven't RSVP'd yet, go to either of the sites below and RSVP to one. The event costs $15 dollars. All proceeds of the night, including raffle sales, go to your running club so that we can continue to grow and stay informal.