The cold New England air set in this morning as we made our way to West Roxbury, Massachusetts for a great 5K called Walter’s Run. Walter’s Run was the final Grand Prix for the Thirsty Irish Runners and fortunately the race started at 11AM to allow a little bit of warming up to take place.
Walter’s Run starts at the YMCA in West Roxbury and is put on by the Parkway Running Club. In 2004, PRC started Walter’s Run to honor a very special friend and member, Walter Burgess. Walter passed away suddenly in November 2003 at the age of 40 shortly after having completed the Great Floridian Ironman Triathlon. Walter was an active PRC member, Club Secretary and Newsletter Editor. He was an amazing athlete, forever working out either at the Y, on his bike, or running on the roads. More importantly, Walter was an incredible friend and inspiration. He was always there to run the slower members into the finish line, to organize the marathon long runs or group ski trip, to cheer others on, or to give us a big smile after a training run or race no matter the length.
The Boston Globe Santa fund was one of Walter’s favorite charities that he donated to regularly, even as a child. To more fully demonstrate Walter’s love of community and running, they have expanded the organizations receiving proceeds from Walter’s Run to include the YMCA Reach Out Campaign and a fund to send deserving young runners to running camp using Walter Burgess Scholarships.
The course for this race is a nice 5K loop that takes runners through residential neighborhoods of West Roxbury. Along the way, even with the cold temperatures, some spectators cheered runners along including City Councilor Matt O’Malley and Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley. Between miles 2 and 3 is a monster hill that runners trudge their way up before heading back into another residential neighborhood before hitting a nice downhill finish. Though I have run this race and this hill before, the uphill today took its toll and it was tough getting up the hill with the colder air entering the lungs on each breath in.
Overall, not a bad day of running at Walter’s Run with a finishing time of 24:24 or 7:52/miles. Thanks to all the Thirsty Irish Runners for making it another great year of Grand Prix racing!