From Small Things, Mama, Big Things One Day Come
- Bruce Springsteen, 1979
It began, as many things do, from humble beginnings.
Eight friends gathered on New Year's Day, 2011, to start the new year off, as many are wont to do, with a brisk run, to help effectively kickoff their New Year's fitness resolutions.
The gathering place, was the Westford home of John Piekos and Karen Cambray, tucked away atop one of the iciest hills found anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere.
As luck would have it, the gathering was captured on film (imagine that!), and chronicled here on this blog, the prose of which can be found here:
And here's the Motley Crue who logged those first soup miles:
A decade later, and the soup, mileage, and friendship are still going strong.
All but one of the Soup Runs have been cataloged in the archives of this blog. Inexplicably, 2018 was somehow bypassed in Cook's Chronicles.
Some of the faces have changed, and this year, the soups changed, but the friendships remain.
So without further ado, we bring you Soup Run 2020!
Joined this year not by Baby New Year, but Baby Yoda!
Barry, he be pimping. Sean, he be trying to just figure out how he got stuck next to the guy wearing the pink hat on a road run.
As readers of this blog are well aware, the driveway at Dunstable Road rivals the greatest ice crags of the arctic. It's swallowed many a car with its icy grips and pinions.
This day, it wouldn't grab an errant E Streeter running, other than John himself, who chose to boldly run down the skating rink while the rest of the team opted for the more cautious pathway.
First Town Line Victory of the New Year is always a big deal, not to mention the first of a new decade. Sean wasted no time muscling aside those who stood in his way to claim First Victory.
Karen staged a mutiny and convinced everyone to extend the course this year, so we ventured, once more, into the Land of the Lost. Don't ask. There's no dinosaurs, just pigs.
They say you need to stop and smell the roses, just to appreciate the world around you.
That holds doubly true for the wonders of nature and the snowscapes off the backroads of Westford.
As any experienced runner knows, where there's one town line, there has to be another to get you back to your destination. The key is knowing where they hide. Who took the second one? It'd be hard to say, if there wasn't film evidence to support the results.
Back at the Piekos Homestead, it was time for the breaking of bread and the slurping of soup. This year, these Friends were joined by Jennifer Aniston. Again, don't ask.
10 years burning down the road, nowhere to run, ain't got nowhere to go
- Bruce Springsteen, 1984
Over the course of the last decade, the mileage, bad jokes and camaraderie have remained constant. We've had a diverse array of friends join us off and on throughout the decade.
Five of us, including the Founders of the Feast, John and Karen, have been there for all 10 of the Soup Runs.
We never quite know exactly what the future holds for any of us. They say nothing is certain.
What is certain, though, is that friendship can last forever. You just have to feed them. Not just soup, either.
We've lost some friends along the way, taken from us too soon, like many of our family members.
But as long as we're physically able, we'll still be gathering for these types of runs. It's not the mileage, the terrain, the physical achievements - it's the opportunity to still bring a group of ragtag wanderers together for a brief period of time to bond over a common interest. In this case, soup. Or running. One of the two.
Most of us have known one another for over FOUR DECADES. And we can still stand being around one another.
The locations may change, the participation may ebb and flow, but the relationships endure.
Here's to another decade of stories, friends, family, good health, and good soup.
Happy New Year to all!
When I was a little kid
I never liked to eat
Mom would put things on my plate
And I'd dump 'em on her feet
But then one day she made this soup
I ate it all in bed
I asked her what she put in it
And this is what she said:
"Oh, chicken lips and lizard hips
And alligator eyes
Monkey legs and buzzard eggs
And salamander thighs
Rabbit ears and camel rears
And tasty toenail pies
Stir 'em all together
And it's mama's soup surprise
- Bruce Springsteen, Chicken Lips and Lizard Hips, 1991