The End of an Era

Thursday night was a most excellent night at the Irish Snug Running Club as always. The air was cool, still, brisk, signifying the draw of summer’s close and the rise of fall. At the same time, it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad night – side note slash trivia question of the day: children’s literature reference, anyone? Hmm?

Thursday night’s Snug run was terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad because it was the last before one of my best and most inspiring friends, Tarino – founding father of the Snug ‘original three’ (including him, Dakin, and I), leaves our beautiful state of Colorado for a great job opportunity. Thursday’s night’s Snug run was the end of an era.

My first ever Snug run was run beside Tarino, and my 100th Snug run was run beside Tarino – most all of it besides the last fifty or so meters when he blew right past me, that is. And so, I wanted to run what might be his final Snug run – at least for a little while – beside him again because I wasn’t sure when I’d have another opportunity to run a Snug run beside him.

And so, we ran, all three miles sharing few words. None were needed. And, of course, he kicked it in high gear the last fifty or so meters and left me in the dust as usual.

Once we got back and bellied up, Tarino got a surprise – a shout out from Snug run coach Greg over the mic and a small memento to remember his four plus years as an official member of the Irish Snug Running Club:

Green looks good on ya!

That shade of green looks almost as good on ya as that grin!

And. . .guess what else! What is the one thing you might expect of us Snuggers to wish a comrade well?

But of course! We. . .wait for it. . .wait for it. . .did a group shot in his honor:

You'll always have a home with us at the Snug, T!

You’ll always have a home with us at the Snug, T!

Would you expect anything less than Irish car bombs at Denver’s most awesome ever Irish bar? I think not! I would never let you down, fair readers, by giving you anything less than the utmost class, charm, and pizazz you’ve come to expect from this nerd in running shoes.

This summer has been absolutely INCREDIBLE in so many ways. As do all seasons, though, it, too, is drawing to a close; and I stand amidst life’s only guarantee – Incredible, inevitable change. And with it, the sun has set on what can only be conceptualized as an EPIC era.

Thursday nights at the Snug are SO MUCH MORE than a weekly running club to me. Looking forward to Snug night has gotten me through more tough weeks than I can count before I accepted my first job in North Carolina over two years ago. And Thursdays at the Snug were one of the things – among millions of things – I missed the most while in North Carolina for the better part of the past two years while I was gone.

And now, Thursdays as the Snug are the perfect rite of passage into officially proclaiming ‘TGIF!’ to bid a great week at the most amazing job adieu and welcome the excitement and rejuvenation awaiting with another awesome weekend in beautiful Denver. And Tarino has been a part of it all from day one.

The Snug won’t be the same on Thursdays without you, T. I am grateful for all of the time we had each week and on many, many occasions outside of the Snug runs; I am grateful to have such an amazing person to call a best friend; and I look forward to our next celebration together, whenever that might be. I thank you for every bit of it.

Best of luck with your next chapter in life, and – through both the good and bad - keep on runnin’!

Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., a long-time road and trail runner, conducts applied child development research and works to influence child development policy at the University of Denver. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.

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