photos by Scott Thomas
Onondaga Nation – While many people were running from store to store on Black Friday, runners from around the area, and as far away as Cortland, made their way to the Onondaga Nation for its 2nd Annual Trail Run.
The Trail Run is organized by Shirley Hill. Shirley also created the event as a way to continue to promote healthy living on the Onondaga Nation and to bring runners from the area an opportunity to run the hills after a full day of eating turkey and watching football.
It seems as though Shirley has always been a part of sports on the Nation. From playing softball her whole life, being the GM of the men’s Redhawk lacrosse team, participating in the North American Indigenous Games, Empire State Games, to organizing youth running clubs here at Onondaga, she has been a role model of keeping a healthy through exercise.
“I always believed that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. The Trail Run was a natural extension of that,” stated Shirley. “The Onondaga Nation has many, many talented distance runners, young and old. Many showed up this morning, but I know there are more runners out there, hopefully they’ll be able to take part in tnext year’s Trail Run.”
Because the trail designing got a late start last year, the inaugural Trail run was a mix of trails and road running. So this year, Shirley and fellow organizers Dawn Field and Lennie Tucker, with the aide of Alex Tarbell’s work crew, made sure the course was ALL trail, and no pavement.
“I really wanted our runners to enjoy the natural trails of the woods at Onondaga”, Shirley added.
So with the ‘crew’, they all began cutting, raking, marking, and measuring the trails to prepare for the Fall run.
“There was a lot of raking!” chuckled Shirley. “But I thoroughly did enjoy the designing of the trail”.
And their work paid off. So on Friday, November 23, 2012 runners enjoyed a beautiful 52 degree morning for a run, even better weather than last year’s inaugural event. The run started with an opening blessing to remind us to run and enjoy Creator’s gifts with a Good Mind.
William Mitrus from Syracuse said of the event, “What and awesome event! I started running 2 years ago and have done quite a few 5ks locally and around the state and I must say I was very much impressed. The poem reading and welcoming before both races brought a touch of hospitality that was very classy.”
After the last of the runners crossed the line after a great 5k run, runners were able to refuel on some homemade chili.
William summed the feelings of many of the event when he said, “Thanks for the awesome Chili afterwards and I look forward to being there next year.”
We look forward to seeing you there as well.