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Gaffney to run LHRR in 2014...This is not a drill....

POSTED June 14, 2013
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

LITCHFIELD: As we put another tremendous year of the Litchfield Hill Road Race to bed, there is big news on the home front.

The 38th Annual LHRR will run the second week of June, 2014 as usual but what will not be usual is a certain group of newly motivated runners who will be joining the field.

Yes, folks you are hearing it here first.

I, Tim Gaffney, will be entering the field for the 7.1- mile journey across the fine Town of Litchfield and doing my best not to tie up too many of the emergency service folks along the way.

What? Did I hear that right?

The guy who has been firmly planted on the back of the press truck the better part of a decade is going to venture down West Street, up and down Gallow’s Lane and throughout the scenic countryside?

You bet and here’s why.

In just over two months (46 working days) I will retire my fulltime job with Frito Lay to devote all my efforts to Litchfield County

It’s been a great three year build-up to this but it’s time to stop destroying the candle at both ends with 80-90 hour work weeks between the two masters.

Being healthy and in shape has taken a back seat to the development of a business I truly love doing every minute of every day.

I’ll be the big double-nickel in August and want to be able to pursue this love for at least a couple of decades while the mental faculties are somewhat functional (please do not take the easy lay-up that last line lends).

My turning point happened on Saturday at the KiDSMARATHON, a tremendous event run by the legendary Rod Dixon.

I stopped up to see the magic in person as the 2013 participants finished their 26-mile journey with Dixon at the Plumb Hill track in Litchfield.

Seeing this 62-year old with the energy of a 40-year old was truly inspiring. He never stopped and loved every minute of what he was doing.

Trying to help end childhood obesity is a monumental task but the former Olympian doesn’t know the meaning of giving up.

While in Litchfield, I met up with a couple of terrific journalists, Lori Riley (Hartford Courant) and John McKenna (Rep-Am, who are both runners and devoted to the sport.

We talked and each made me realize that changing my career and life started with changing my habits and getting myself healthy.

I’d been battling something in my lungs and chest since March and it was not going to go away and time soon if I didn’t change.

On Sunday, my family and I did something we had not done before when we set up a tent next to our good friends, the Wilson’s.

Rick is my partner in crime on the site and his wife Caroline and son Jonathon are some of the best people we know.

Two of my daughters, Kym and Jillian, came up to be part of the day and to support young Skyy Elizabeth, our granddaughter who was running in the fun run that followed the main race.

As the girls soaked in what was happening, Jillian looked at me and noted it may be fun to maybe run in the race at some point.

I have to admit, every time I’m at the race, I want to run it for about 24-hours but I then go home, sleep on it and come to me senses the next morning.

Not this time though……

Something was amiss. The feeling stuck and I found myself talking to two good friends, Michael Colangelo (ESPN) and Tony Turina (Tony’s Coffee Express) who both said they would consider taking part with us next year.

Game on……

I called Jillian and she’s on board.

We are running in the 38th addition next June.

No goal could be farther away for me at the moment.

This is a guy who is 30-pounds overweight and who has exercise-induced asthma, you know the kind that flairs up when you RUN.

What am I thinking?

Colangelo offered to have some of the NFL training pro’s from ESPN call to bark at me from time to time. Probably a good idea.

Since the day of the LHRR, I have changed my day-time eating habits and the results pay off fast.

I can lose 10 pounds in a big hurry, the other 20 will be the ultimate challenge.

So as I sit here wondering what I just got myself into, I commit to keep you all posted on the highs, the lows and the “are you crazies” I am going to go through over the next 12 months until race day.

The press truck just got lighter.

Stay tuned……..

For more from Timothy W. Gaffney click here