2017 Scrooge Scramble

Merry Christmas!

It wouldn’t be Christmas in the Livingston household if we didn’t run the Scrooge Scramble. This was the 12th time in 13 years that Debbie and I have done this race on Christmas morning. We started doing it as a couple, then we transitioned to pushing the kid (or kids) in the jog stroller (Chariot), and now they run it with us. This was my 50th (and probably last) race of the year.

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Today’s 27th edition was slightly modified due to the snowstorm. The heaviest snow fell overnight and early in the morning, but it was still snowing lightly during the race. Three  or four inches fell in total. Longtime Race Directors, Janit Romayko and Mary Lou White did their best to coordinate today’s race and adjust for the conditions.

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The start was pushed back 30 minutes to 11:00 A.M., to accommodate folks who were delayed by the weather. The numbers were down from the 200+  runners in 2016, but we still had a good turnout, and the donations will still have a positive impact on the The Cornerstone Foundation, which operates the community shelter/soup kitchen that doubles as the start/finish line.

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Another change was that the normal out and back course was modified to be a 1/2 mile loop around Rockville’s Talcott Park. We heard that the neighboring town of Ellington wouldn’t permit us to run the normal route into their town, and back, due to the snow.

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Before the race, I joined Bruce Christensen and a few other runners in a shovel brigade. We cleaned up the snow and ice on the most slippery corners.

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We ran the loop six times to get the 5 kilometers. The race was about 1/10th of a mile long. On the way to Rockville, we dropped Debbie off on the rail trail so that she could do a little workout.

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This is always part of the tradition. The kids and I registered (there is no fee but donations are welcome), and then mingled with many of our friends from the Silk City Striders and Shenipsit Striders.

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This year’s race got some press, thanks to a timely story in the Hartford Courant, written by Lori Riley, and published in Sunday’s sports section. I got a call from Lori on Saturday night, and she quoted me in the article. Just like in prior years, Platt Systems “donated” their timing services. I chased Josh Merlis around for six laps. Each lap, I would close in at the top of the hill when he stopped for 1) a kiss from his fiancée Michelle, and 2) a Munchkin. By the sixth lap, it looked like he was only stopping for a kiss and that after three or four Munchkin’s, he had enough. He held me off for “the win.”

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Shepard had another fine run. It won’t be long before I’m chasing him. Dahlia and Debbie ran together and got a big ovation at the finish. One more snow squall hit as we were leaving Rockville for home, but as we came into Bolton, the sun burst through the clouds, reflecting off the beautiful snow. It has been a great day already.

Merry Christmas!

Race Results

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