Before taking his current position as executive director of the Chautauqua Striders, Ben Lindquist was the Athletic Director at Jamestown Community College - Olean Campus.
Lindquist held that job for six years, and during that time - in addition to his other, more general AD duties of overseeing the JCC-Olean athletic program - he taught a running health class. And as an end-of-the-year project, the class, which had as participants Jaguar athletes, couch potatoes and everything in between, would pick a local 5K race, train and, when the time came, compete.
Each time, Lindquist told himself he'd keep up with his running and, eventually, complete his lifelong dream of running a half marathon.
It never happened.
"(I) always came up with an excuse not to follow through on those intentions," he wrote in an email recently.
That thought - to run a half marathon - cropped up in Lindquist's mind yet again, however, when he saw an announcement for the LucyTown Half Marathon & 5K in the spring.
Still, though, he found a way to put the running off.
"Once again I slacked off on my training once the semester was over and got caught up in everyday activities of the summer. Upon being hired at Chautauqua Striders, I figured I was going to be put to work on the day of the race, and would no longer be able to participate."
Dreams, however, have a way of making themselves come true.
"While discussing the training programs (for prospective LucyTown runners) at a committee planning meeting and looking for ways to increase the local interest of participation, I opened my mouth and blurted out that I had been considering training and running in the event. That was all it took."
Encouraged by his colleagues, Lindquist, though a few weeks behind schedule on the 12-week program the event's organizers - among them the Chautauqua Striders, Jamestown Savings Bank Arena and the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy - suggested to those interested, is now 100 percent committed.
"Honestly, I'm very excited about running in it, and checking off another item on my 'bucket list.' ... Getting up an hour earlier than normal to run in the dark twice a week (with) a flashlight strapped to my wrist has taken some getting used to, but it's a great way to kick-start my day.
"I also have truly enjoyed the solitude of the 'long' Sunday runs, and the sense of accomplishment that comes when I complete them. I can't wait to feel that 'runner's high' when I complete my first half marathon on Oct. 13. It sounds good to say you're going to do something. ... It feels good to actually be doing it."
Lindquist has taken the "plunge" and he wants others to do so as well. In fact, in addition to a number of local participants, the race is drawing racers from 20 U.S. states and Canada. And, luckily, there still remains ample time to train and register. Those interested can visit the event's website at www.lucyrace.com.
The event, whose major sponsors include Univera Healthcare, WCA Hospital, Jamestown Pediatrics, Jamestown Area Medical Associates and The Legend Group, will begin with a 5K on Oct. 12. The half marathon will be run on Oct. 13.