Hey Dad, You Wanna Have A Run?

June 15, 2012

If you have seen the movie “Field of Dreams,” you may get the title reference. If not, go watch it. The blog will still be here when you return. Seriously, go. Or at the very least, watch this clip from the end of the film. I got through exactly 49 seconds before I had to turn it off so as not to start crying.

This year for Father’s Day, I want to dedicate a special post to, you guessed it, my dad. But since this is a running blog, I will frame the story through that lens. My dad is a runner. Before there were fad diets and weight loss blogs, my dad dropped well over 50 pounds on the “Slim Fast and lots of running” plan. But this was no passing fancy for him. Well over 15 years later, it remains a big part of his routine. When I was a kid, he would see people from his childhood or early adulthood who would flat out not recognize him.

Like so many kids, I struggled with weight and body image. It was the “you haven’t grown into your body yet” phase. Despite a slightly heavier build, I always seemed to have some amount of athleticism, and tons of love for athletics. So when my dad started his running regiment, I enjoyed tagging along. There were two different routines we had during those early days. One was with me riding my bike next to him as he ran a 4-mile loop around our neighborhood. It was not until much later I began to realize how much harder he must have been running while trying to keep up with the goofy son pedaling out ahead of him. Despite that, he would still put his hand on my back and help push me up hills when I struggled.

The other thing we did was go to the local high school track. I remember it being a big deal that they had one of those “spongey” tracks that was easier on your legs. My dad would go through his 4-mile routine and I would try and see if I could get through a mile. Four times around the track was my big goal every time we went. I have no recollection of how long it used to take me, but I was determined to finish that one mile every time. I had determination, a portable cassette player, and dad cheering me around the circle as he ran.

So I kept at my four lap routine for quite some time. And I just kept running- longer and longer distances as the years progressed. Throughout high school and college, and ever since, I have continued following that example. My running resume includes cross country, track, road races, marathons, and even this blog to write about it all. My dad and I still go to races together. He cheers for me. I cheer for him. Now he and my mom run almost every day together on those same streets where I learned to love running. One of the reasons it is so easy to go back and run there is because of those fond memories.

As I prepare to lace up my sneakers on Sunday, Father’s Day, it will be a special run dedicated to a special runner, a special person.

So dad, you wanna have a run?



  1. Just one word – BEAUTIFUL

  2. terrific post Steve..great that you got that history with your dad!

    • Thanks so much. It meant a lot to be able to share such great memories with everyone.

  3. Happy Super Belated Fathers day.. and yeah my dad runs too but he has given up his dream of completing a Marathon as he blame it on old age.

    • Well it is all about staying healthy and doing what you can, right? Good for him that he’s still running!

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