About 300 racers hit the road.
So it was that perfect kind of day—a gorgeous sunny Sunday.
On the way down to Westfield—only a couple miles from the race we get cell phone call from folks in distress: on the way to the half marathon with a van full of competitors they got a flat tire. And the spare did not quite fit (who would have thought lug nuts made a difference). So we pick up the remaining three and bring them to the to the race.
A rescued Dave Perlmutter looking chipper for somebody about to run 13 miles in the wind.
Donna low fives Kira on the way by
Since it was a half marathon there was plenty of time to kill between the 11:00 AM start and finish. So the kids and I were treated to a tour of a Westfield Fire station, located just around the corner, by Deputy Chief Mary Regan.
On the way back to the car to head to the station a sudden roar yanked eyes skyward. By the time the first jet was nearly overhead I turned on my camera . One after the other, single file, with about ten seconds in between a half dozen warbirds streaked overhead. Of the five shots I managed to get off, only one caught a bird in flight.
Did not have time to use my 10X optical zoom
And if I were an enemy soldier it probably would have been the same way: just point strait up, shoot and hope to hit something. Not likely.
The Fire Station was quiet—but that of course can change instantly. Like Amherst the majority of their emergency work is related to ambulance runs and like Amherst their only Ladder Truck is aging and sometimes goes out with the less than a full complement.
Cool hover craft for water rescue
Kira and Jada in a Pumper (also aging)
The Deputy Chief can still do front line work (and often does)
Budget cuts are the same all over the state. And they are starting to hit muscle and bone.
Our first responders are probably less prepared (people and equipment) today than they were on that awful day.