Tonight we say goodbye to a dear friend and running companion, Asics. And while it turns out you were not actually a TRUE, high-quality running shoe as I was led to believe by a salesperson who must have known less about running shoes than I did at the time, I still loved you deeply.
Asics’ untimely demise came as a shock to those closest to them. It seems like just yesterday they were embarking on their first 3 mile run at the local state park, the wind blowing through their laces while effortlessly pounding the pavement.
In their short 3 month life, they trekked many miles across back country roads. They were scuffed up, broken in, and on more than one occasion, caught in a downpour. The training was grueling, but their dreams of crossing the finish line kept them coming back for more, day after day.
It was a beautiful morning the last Saturday in April when their dream would became a reality. They were taking part in a color run 5K, their first ever running challenge. Nervously they paced the starting corral, waiting for the moment of truth – would they survive a 3.1 mile run through the dewy grass, the loose rocks, slippery mud and dirt road all while having all the colors of the rainbow thrown on them? Yes, yes they would!
There was only a short 7 days to recover and regroup as their new-found running bug took them 1,200 miles away from home to run at The Happiest Place on Earth. That’s right, these two braved the night as they raced against the Yeti for the runDisney Expedition Everest 5K Challenge! Sailing effortlessly over hay bails, quick stepping through the football tire obstacle, even getting down and dirty in the wet sand for the army crawl couldn’t make them lose their focus. They defeated the Yeti and once again claimed a running victory!
They had hoped to go into retirement, or at least a resting period for a few weeks upon returning home days later, but that was short-lived as they learned they would once again return to The Happiest Place on Earth in 5 months. This time they would need their speed and endurance as they were signed up to outrun the Disney villains in the runDisney Tower of Terror 10 Mile Race! (insert evil laughter and a bolt of lightning.)
Over the next few weeks they worked as usual, keeping pace with their training schedule. But tragedy was lurking on the side of the road. What seemed to be a minor injury, corrected with new inserts, soon proved to be too much for the pair to handle as other injuries followed. In the end, the stress of the road and the miles left to go were too much. Those closest to them are glad they are no longer suffering, as it was painful watching them deteriorate.
They are survived by their family members – Dr. Scholl’s Athletic Inserts for Her, white 1.5 inch athletic tape, Ipod touch and a running pouch.
Asics will not be forgotten. They have shown us what true dedication, determination and dreaming can achieve! Their legacy will be continued by their best friend, New Balance 870.
New Balance is scheduled to take their first run on the wide-open county roads Sunday afternoon. They will be forced to make up the slack in the training schedule that occurred during Asics’ injuries. We have complete faith in the pair as they rise to the challenge placed before them.
Also joining the running team for this race, two pairs of official running socks! It has yet to be decided who will actually be participating as the final member of the running team in October and we wish them both the best of luck in the coming weeks as they demonstrate their strengths and abilities.
And while it is always hard to say goodbye to a friend, they will be with us on the course – cheering and encouraging us to keep pushing harder, running stronger and dreaming bigger.
You won’t be forgotten.