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Okay, so I missed the December 15 deadline and was unable to submit a column for the newsletter. Shame on me. But those holiday commitments coupled with an enormous, and unexpected, rush at work, left me with no creativity and no motivation. Whining aside, what bothers me the most about missing the December deadline is that I was unable to publish my yearly Christmas wish list for some of my Strider friends. I didn't publicly ask Santa to, say, bring a healthy and future Pulitzer prize winning, Olympic Marathon world record holder to Sue and Dave Hammond. Nor was I able to comment upon Jotham Coe and Linda Jayne's kid-free, party-hearty ("hardy") escapades on Block Island. Couldn't tell Leslie Jolley how awesome she looks and how fabulous she is running these days (1:53 and change at the Disney Half while hubby Wayno was winning his division!). Yes, without my Christmas list, I can't reveal to the club what Chris Hansen told me at Tommy Toy -- "I'm better with women's clothes." And what about Curtiss Thompson's new line of Christmas lingerie which was on display at Tommy Toy, where Bob Miles (AKA Santa) needs to ask the real Santa for stronger elbows to help fend off those pesky, photo hungry women. Woe is me. I am unable to request that Santa bring melodic voices (and accurate lyrics) to Lynne Hansen, Carla Thompson, Themum Kane, and yours truly so that we might possibly be able to sing rather than scream Christmas Carols while running. I was going to tell Santa to leave Carol Osora's hair alone because it looks sooooooo cute in her new do. And I wanted to wish that Santa give Kevin Sikorski his first age-group victory this year and hope that maybe his Driven Dad Don might possibly cut back on the toddler's tempo runs until the kid gets a tad older. How about Martha Merz who is going to turn 40 in September and wants to run 40 races this year? Santa should be bringing good luck to her! I always wish our Southern Striders, The Lewises, a safe trip back to New London for their yearly summer visit. And I wanted to thank Mike Ladd for introducing me to the generous and talented Diane Yeager. Santa was supposed to bring Tim Smith and Roger Zotti injury-free running for the coming year. And I wanted to ask Santa to limit the amount of Hammer in Sue Lamoureux's legs, at least while she is with me, especially if we attempt another marathon this year. Santa should be giving Jim Loughead loads of As & Bs along with that college degree. I would have wished Laurie Lilienthal an even better (if that's possible) Tarzan Brown in 2002 since she rocked in 2001. I would have told Kenny Wimberly that I don't want him to move because I will miss seeing him running the streets of New London. And, of course, I wanted Santa to remind Sean that we miss him dearly and that we plan on another successful Delaney Dash in 2002. And if I could continue to impose on Santa, I really really really wanted to ask him to bring a year of good health to my best buddy, Tim Kane, so that he and his bride (and his many friends) could stop worrying about him! But, mostly I wanted to inure that Santa know how much I love my Gronk and how thankful I am to have the life I lead.
Oh well, without my Christmas list, I'm going to have to discuss the 2002 Delaney Dash. Mark your calendars. May 27, 2002. At noon. Five miles. At Saybrook Point. 5k walk. The Striders have committed a minimum of $1000 for race sponsorship. We're trying to increase that number by holding a raffle at the Strider Banquet being held at Ocean Beach on February 23 (contact Tim Kane, 823-1422 for ticket purchase). We will be raffling hand-made quilts and other crafts in addition to pillows made from some of Sean's T-shirts and/or 2001 Delaney Dash race T-shirts. Bring your wallets (uh…with money) to the Banquet and help increase the Strider sponsorship of the 2002 Delaney Dash by purchasing raffle tickets. Once all monies are collected, Strider Treasurer Lynne Hansen will write a check to the Delaney Dash on behalf of the Mohegan Striders and give that check to the race committee (Karen Short, Pete Volkmar, Phil Schaller and John Bysiewicz).

Option 2 -- Race proceeds benefit the Sean Delaney Scholarships which are awarded to two Old Saybrook High School seniors who have participated in track & field and/or cross-country. The race committee will be awarding two $1000 scholarships this year, an increase over last year's two $500 scholarships. If you wish to donate directly to the scholarship fund, make your tax-deductible checks payable to the "Old Saybrook Education Foundation" and mail to Karen Short, 174 Plant Street, New London, CT 06320. As noted on the soon-to-be-printed race applications, donations of $100 or more to the scholarship fund (via the Old Saybrook Education Foundation) will be rewarded with free race entry and some other soon-to-be-determined goody. Beating The Dead Horse - Strider sponsorship of the Delaney Dash is not equivalent to contributing to the Sean Delaney Scholarship. If you desire free race entry, your generosity needs to be directed towards the scholarship not race sponsorship.

Let's keep Sean's memory running!

And, in closing....."Everything is temporary - that don't excuse nothin'!"