Letter: The Luti run

Published: 7/26/2016 12:01:14 AM
The Luti run

I didn’t run this month’s 49th Bill Luti 5-Mile Road Race. Had I run, even at my current sad level of fitness, I would not/could not have finished last. That distinction, listed in results as R. Goodell, NYNY, would have remained unchanged.

One of Coach Luti’s endearing (enduring) principles was that no runner should be discouraged by such embarrassment.

I graduated Bishop Brady High School in 1969. Harvey Smith coached our cross country teams to a state Class I runner-up finish in our inaugural 1966 season, championships in ’67 and ’68, and me personally to a level that opened up incredible opportunities and experiences. How ordinary my life would be without Coach Smith.

Bill Luti coached our cross-town Concord High rivals. The CHS trophy case overflows with testaments to his talent for developing young runners. In 1968, Bill started the annual 5-mile event in Concord. I have a dozen Luti race T-shirts of various vintages. Each represents two or three weeks of “training” preceding a hot, slow, overweight shuffle up Clinton Street, down through St. Paul’s and around the corner of Fruit and Pleasant.

They are reminders of reunions and the good fortune to have a Luti or Smith in our lives and community.

Next year’s Luti 5-Miler will be number 50. How special is that?

“We” have a year to train and acquit ourselves appropriately for the occasion. You know who you are. Thank you, Bill. See you at the starting line.

NEIL ACKLEY

Keene




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