In the category of “only in Rockaway,” St. Patrick’s Parade Day this year featured a 5k running race on the boardwalk, starting at 9:45 a.m., with an after-party at Connolly’s on Beach 95 Street. One free Guinness on tap was included with your registration, and since the race was put together by local bakery entrepreneur John Edwards, cheesecakes and soda breads were awarded to the top finishers!
I haven’t run a 5k in many moons, but I decided to join in anyway. There were about 110 runners in competition, including about 10 participants under the age of 20. Some of the youngest were newborns in strollers or their mamas’ arms.
It took me about 35 minutes to finish. I don’t believe I’ve ever downed a draft beer before noon in my life…I’ve definitely never done it within an hour of a three-mile run! I guess there’s a first time for everything. Check that one off on the bucket list.
With summer approaching, training for the Rockaway spring running race season is a great way to trim down. Another time-tested method: ride your bike to Howard Beach along the Gateway Greenway a couple of times a week. Or take a few of Anita Ruderman’s great Hot Yoga classes each week. Be prepared to sweat buckets! Her studio is on Beach 116 Street above the laundromat. If you prefer to join a gym, in addition to its equipment and cardio classes, Cyberzone at Beach 104 and Rockaway Beach Boulevard offers a special class for the over-50 set called “Boomercise.”
Or get in on the Zumba craze. It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s at several different locations in Rockaway. I tried the Friday evening 7:30 p.m. class run by Lisa G at Peninsula Preparatory Academy (formerly Stella Maris High School, at Beach 112 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard). Cost is only $5, and proceeds from the Friday class benefit the school.
The point–getting fit can be a snap in Rockaway. And you don’t have to do it alone. I often run into friends unexpectedly at classes and group fitness events. Good for the soul, not just the body!
Oh, and there was a parade today. Fifty minutes and it was gone. My favorite unit–the colorful and educational flags for each of the 32 counties in Ireland, displayed by the marchers of the Ladies’ Ancient Order of Hibernians. The Iona College Bagpipe Band, bringing up the rear of the parade this year, was also a cut above the rest of the musical units, I thought.
Parade over. Did I say “one” beer?