Sunday, November 8, 2009

Veterun -- A Day to Run and Remember

I'm a veteran, drafted from 1971-'73 during the Vietnam War. I was not im combat and consider myself very lucky. For me, it's simple. I know others weren't as fortunate as I was, and to honor them, I don't miss the Veterun in Westchester. Because of injuries, I'm not running right now, but I went and watched this year's race, which was run in unseasonably warm conditions. It was great with many of the top names from the local running scene making the CARA Runners' Choice Series finale a hot one to say the least! I don't want to post any results until I see the official ones, but there were some sizzling times. They had quite a crowd out there today, too, watching at various points along the course. It was truly a remarkable day. As part of the big picture, they also had the traveling version of the Vietnam Memorial set up in the park behind the tent. I went and took a look, hoping to find the name a high school friend who died over in Nam while I sat behind a typewriter in Washington, D.C. I didn't find it, but saw names of thousands of other members of the armed services who made the ultimate sacrifice in that war. Those few moments behind the tent put me in a somber mood as I remembered those days I spent in the Army. But watching the race picked me up in a hurry! Congrats to all who ran today.


Shannon said...

Thank you for your service. I was at the Cantigny race on Saturday which is another great race to support veterans. It even has a cannonball start. The grounds features a war museum and several tanks in the yard. I would encourage you to check it out sometime. I am glad there are so many races in the area to support such a great cause.

Bob Richards said...

You're very welcome. I have heard good things about the Cantigny race and how they honor veterans. Thanks for pointing that out. I will do it sometime. As it turns out, in my multi-sport life, I direct the Limestone Loppet roller-ski (cross-country skis on wheels) race at the same time a little farther west on the beautiful trails at McKee Marsh. XC skiing (rolling and the real thing) is a great sport that many Chicago-area runners and triathletes under 40 don't have on their radar screens. I'm not sure why. There are great ski marathons and even some local races in the winter (Wheaton and Joliet). Anyone interested can e-mail me at

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