Bubbling over at the New York State Fair

It’s State Fair time in Syracuse, and the topic came up last week when I spent Sunday morning playing golf and eating breakfast with my daughter Elisabeth and Georges Three and Two.

I told her my dear wife Karen and I planned to attend both Sundays. It’s a shared interest, that dusty collection of food and fun off the highway a couple of miles west of the city.

So no surprise that I received a mid-week text alerting me that my 25-year-old would attend too on the first Sunday of the fair’s 12-day run. Her focus, though, was a bit different this time around. She’d be running in the Bubble Blast 5K with three of her classmates from the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Onondaga Community College. Expected arrival time: 9 a.m. at the main gate. The race starts at 9:30, she said.

Karen and I shuttled our normal plans of an early afternoon arrival. I told Elisabeth we’d find her before the race to say hello, and that I’d be on duty to take photos with my iPhone 6.

Here they come.

Here they come. Elisabeth is wearing the shorts of purple, her favorite color.

Karen and I left the Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood early enough to travel a traffic-less highway all the way to the fair exit, bypassing our usual routine of parking at the Regional Market and taking the bus. We pulled into the Pink Lot directly across State Fair Boulevard some 10 minutes after we left the house. It was a sweet spot. In fact, we were inside the main gate before Elisabeth and her three friends.

Ready to run, Elisabeth.

Ready to run, Elisabeth.

Elisabeth got the runner’s gene despite the fact that I’m a dedicated walker. I’m quite impressed at this difference. But I hung back and merely took a few shots, giving she, Kelly, Scott and Derrick their space.

Four future physical therapist assistants.

Four future physical therapist assistants.

They chose the fake Chevy Court rock pile scene for their group photo. Maybe the fact that this second of two years in their study major has already started has made them yearn for the opens spaces already. Or maybe it was our trip to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado a month ago that drew Elisabeth toward the mural …

Happy young ones at the starting line.

Happy young ones at the starting line.

Karen and I hung around the starting line hoping for a good view. Local radio morning show host Amy Robbins got the runners stoked about the Bubble Blast Run, which raises money for the Central New York ACR Health organization. The young runners reacted with joy when organizers turned on the bubble-maker under the arch.

The college kids are low-key.

The college kids are low-key.

Farther back, my gang of four runners were taking it more in stride as I stealthily moved in for a candid shot.

And they're off!

And they’re off!

They started the race in two waves. I caught the first group under the cascade of namesake bubbles.

Proud runner Elisabeth.

Proud runner Elisabeth.

Karen, poised in the opposite side, got the best shot of Elisabeth racing past in wave two.

Afterward, she said the adventure points included a ladder too slippery for her to climb and a slip-and-slide that was just perfect.

Tomorrow, I’ll have an account about our time at the fair here and at Syracuse Public Media site waer.org.

Have you every participated in a bubble run, and if so, how did you handle the slippery parts? Have you ever participated in a benefit race, and if so, how far did you run and for what cause? Do you prefer to run, walk, or drive?

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53 thoughts on “Bubbling over at the New York State Fair

  1. I’m a walker. A dedicated walker, as you say. I don’t mind running in play, but I find no pleasure in just running for the sake of running. I suppose it’s enviable, because runners seem to be having a lot of fun!

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  2. I’m not much of a runner and, fortunately, any fundraising event I have been involved in has not required too much physical activity other than the unavoidable running around. Speaking of fundraisers, wonder if you had a chance to read the email I sent you today.

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  3. i a walk/occasional run motion kind of mover. i give her credit for doing this and always have had fun when in a themed race, though i’ve never done one with bubbles.

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  4. Great job by your daughter. What a neat cause.

    I love fun runs. The last fundraiser I ran in was called “In Her Shoes 5K” raising monies for the local domestic violence outreach program. It had one weird, unexpected twist, the local police department was testing their new drone. It followed us for most of the race. Very creepy.

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  5. I’ve never heard of a bubble run. How fun…not the running part, but the bubbles! Hee,hee. Great photos, especially the one of the first group taking off. The clarity and contrast came out very well. I am very impressed with Elisabeth’s drive to run and participate in such an event.

    I’ve been a bit out of touch, I apologize. My chicks left the nest but chick #2 faced some bumpy skies. Four days before school began at Villanova her roommate and BFF from the Syracuse area informed her that she was not coming back. AY!! They were very close and my daughter was devastated. Trying to get her a new roommate last minute has been challenging but we did it. She’s not enjoying her first few weeks at school due to the changes but hopefully will settle in and get used to the new changes. Her new roommate is from around Villanova and was attending Syracuse U but missed her family too much and just transferred. Oh the lovely college age drama.

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    • Oh, no, Mrs. B. The Oswego area friend left your daughter dry. I’m so sad. 😦 She’ll make an even better friend of the new girl, who can show her some hometown ropes. Right? Oy.

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  6. That looks like so much fun bro Mark. I can’t say I’ve ever participated in an actual event, but I’ve done plenty of my own private slip and slides. I say private, but unfortunately some of them have been notoriously public, resulting in major embarrassment, but no prizes. Elizabeth looks really good there, and I could use her full time when she graduates. She could do my PT, and my granddaughter could do my OT. I could handle that.

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    • Anna! What a great New York State Fair memory for you. The great Ray Charles! That’s a forever moment for you. An interview! Who were you working for up here? Fill me in, please. I’m intrigued by your past, Anna-Karin.

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  7. Your “And they’re off” pic is outstanding, Mark! Really!!! You should submit it to the 5K committee. Oh, how I wish I could be there, running outside…in bubbles! Happy September, friend ❀

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    • Happy September, Angie McFly! I’m sure the race committee got better photos from people with grown-up equipment. Thanks for your enthusiasm for my shot, though! I wish you could be here running outside, too. πŸ™‚

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      • Are you saying that I have my love goggles on when looking at your photos, Mark?! Maybe so, but objectively I think it’s better than many pics I’ve seen of racing and racers…apparently it’s not easy to capture the awesomeness of it in a shot. And, you brought me luck! I ran outside this morning for the first time of the season, beating the 90 degree weather rolling in at 7:30 am πŸ˜€

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  8. That looks like so much fun. I love bubbles. I once did a March for Dimes Walk through the Southside of Chicago when I was in my teens. That was most interesting. 25 miles through some of the most “picturesque” neighborhoods. That was back when the only sunscreen out on the market was Pre-Sun and it was a nightmare to apply, so needless to say I looked like some kind of weird red-striped creature when the walk was done.

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