It was March 11, and by 2 p.m. the temperature had reached a scorching 55. The ice on the ground had turned to puddles, the birds were chirping, and the flowers were practically bursting into bloom. We suspected that Cambridge runners would be emerging from their own basement-gym hibernations and migrating back to their natural habitat: the six mile loop around the Charles.
Eager to tan our faces and get some exercise of our own, we decided to join these joggers and interview them on the go. Were they excited to finally run outside?, we wondered, and what had they been doing all winter? After all, we sure hadn’t been braving the glacial Cambridge tundra.
We first came upon two Harvard Law School students.
“Is this your first day running outside in a while?” we asked.
“No. We’ve been doing it all winter.”
“How far are you guys going?” we panted.
“I think about eight miles.”
At that point we decided it might be a good idea to peel off.
Next, we ran with another pair of graduate students, Sarah E. Reynolds and Becky Sager, and their dog, Duke.
We tried again: “This your first time outside in a while?”
“No, we do it everyday.” Reynolds, or maybe Sager, though definitely not the dog, replied.
“Six miles every day,” the other human responded. “Keeps us sane.”
With that, we decided to hunt down some easier prey: Steve P. Harrman, an older man in a beanie jogging slowly. Surely, his muscles were just now waking up from a long hibernation.
Wrong again. He’d been training for a half marathon throughout February, though he’d taken January off.
“Is this your assignment, or do you run too?” he asked, as if we somehow didn’t pass as grad students on our daily six-to-eight mile loop.
Our prides bruised, we left Steve to what we’re sure was a mediocre jog (he was listening to Bob Marley after all) and spotted our first Harvard undergrad. After a painful sprint, we managed to catch Kani I. David ’16 amidst his own marathon training and engrossed in a Shakira and Rihanna collaboration. We kept up with him for a solid five minutes, and, at a solid 8:30 mile pace (we asked), we were pretty impressed with ourselves.
Together, we turned onto Memorial Bridge, where David dashed through a red light and, in the name of journalism, we had no choice but to follow.
“Do you always jaywalk?” we asked.
“I try to obey...but if there’s no cars coming, I mean, as long as it’s safe,” he responded.
Probably not safe, but running with a newborn didn’t seem much better. We spotted Chris O’Brien pushing a three-month old baby in a stroller along the Charles.
“[My wife and I] run a lot of the local 5k, 10k; they’re stroller friendly,” he explained, “You start in the back.”
His wife, a graduate of Harvard Medical school, had done her last 5k at seven months pregnant.
It seemed like everyone, even the newly born, had been running through the winter. Theory disproved, miles (assumably) run, we stopped harassing Cambridge runners and let them enjoy the rare sun in silence (or listening to Bob Marley, or Shakira).
After all, it was a little too hot to keep running. Plus, one of us really had to pee.