Original Runners

Jane Rasmussen

When I cross the start line for my final time, so many memories will be going through my mind – starting and finishing on Memorial Drive under the sponsorship of Bonnie Bell – and running UP the stairs from the Esplanade to return to Memorial Drive. It was wonderful to be a woman, to feel so supported – a race all our own. Two of my daughters also ran in those years although we did not run together.

As the years went by, the Liberty coach made the race the main event of the fall season. I remember one of the final workouts, although not fondly, 12 quarters at race pace. The years have slipped by and now 4 or 5 quarters are about all that I can manage – albeit at a much slower pace.

Throughout I’ve had support from coaches, family and team members. Several Liberty Athletic Club members walked/ran with me the year I was in treatment for breast cancer. Also, those of us who have a “streak” going with this race have become another team. The perks are great – special t-shirts on race day, being able to meet the elite athletes at the pre-race dinner the evening before, and of course Joan Samuelson greeting so many of us as we cross the finish line. Thanks for waiting, Joanie.

As stated earlier, I owe a special debt of gratitude to my family, especially my husband who drove down from Maine all those years and held the stopwatch for my “speed” workouts. This year, as in the early years, two of my daughters and a granddaughter will be running with me. My husband, son -in-law and another granddaughter (at 5-½, a bit too young to run) will be cheering us on.

Thank you to Conventures, the other 40 year runners and my family – IT HAS BEEN A GREAT EXPERIENCE!!