Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Run Down Memory Lane - Chapman 5K

Bright and early Saturday morning, I had the pleasure of running the Chapman University 5K.  The race course takes you on  a scenic route through the Old Towne Orange Historic District, and at the end of the race you get a goody bag containing a t-shirt and treats (my favorite was the orange-flavored lip balm from Toyota of Orange), a medal, and a healthy “breakfast of champions."  The proceeds from the race go towards the Scholarship Fund, which I certainly benefited from during my undergraduate years.

Participants running down Glassell St. around the Plaza.

For anyone who has ever been to Old Town Orange, you've probably already fallen in love with its architecture, scenery and charm.  It has an old-fashioned, small time feel that gives you a glimpse of what life was like for Orange residents from 1888 to 1940.  For some you, Old Towne Orange reminds you of antique shopping with grandma when you were a little kid. Or you might have seen it featured in movies like "That Thing You Do," or "Big Momma's House."  But most of my favorite Old Towne Orange times were during my undergraduate and law school years at Chapman.  So for me, the Chapman 5k is more than a race, it's a run down memory lane.

The race started at Schmidt Gate next to Beckman Hall, which was built when I was a freshman at Chapman, and the place where I took so many business classes as an undergrad. It continued down Glassell Street past the School of Law, which was built when I was a sophomore.  For the longest time, it was just the freestanding facade all by itself, as the current building was built around the facade of an earlier building.  It would also be the place where I would spent countless days and nights hitting the books and building life-long lasting relationships with so many of my friends.  As I ran down Glassell St., I thought about all the questionable chicken tenders I ate at Dairy Treat (now Bruxie), Andy Bugman getting a haircut at the barber shop, the Filling Station when it was actually a closed filling station (or something else equally forgettable), St Paddy's Days at O'hara's (and how I could still smell the stench of it from the street), the time I took the bus from east Orange with my girl scout troop to Watson's, how the Plaza hasn't changed a bit with its fountain, palm/pepper trees, and rose gardens, my bridal shower at Paris in a Cup, and my friend Tenaya's dad's apartment building which housed so many friends and was the place where I had access to air conditioning and a clean bathroom during the Street Fair for so many years.

The race progressed through the historic neighborhoods which reminded me of all the college/law school parties I went to, places I looked at when looking for housing as a student, friends' former homes, and the homes of some of my friends today (I would've knocked but it was 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday).  I even recognized the name of one of the mayor candidates because I went to school with some of her children.

My favorite part of the race was that it took me past the Sycamore house (dubbed "the Stoop," by Eli) which is owned by the University, and I knew its various residents during both my undergrad and law school years.  The current resident was standing in front to cheer on all the runners!  I stopped to chat with him and told him a couple stories of funny events that happened there. We both had a good laugh and I continued on my merry way.

The race continued back to campus and concluded where it started.  I'm not sure what my official time is, but I was assume it's somewhere around the 38-39 minute mark. I blame it on my reminiscing of good times past.  It's okay.  I'll take my bad time, and all my good memories.  I still feel like I won.

UPDATE:  My final time was 38:04.  A 75 year-old man pushing his wife in a wheelchair beat me.

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