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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Start training for the VFW Judd-A-Thon


It was the final steps of the workout that seemed to literally crush my soul. It was early June, and I knew I would have to hit it hard, if I harbored any realistic expectations to complete September’s “Gruelathon.” I am referring, of course, to the VFW Judd-A-Thon.

The Judd-A-Thon is commonly described as a ‘Fun Run,” but only a sadist could derive pleasure from a point to point, flat, paved course running the entire distance of…wait for it: 0.1K. Yea, that’s right, the K stands for Kilometer. Or as I like to think of it: Kill-o-meter.

For those of you that are metrically challenged, 0.1K is exactly 109.361296 yards. Think about that; that’s nearly ten yards more than the length of a football field (I’m not counting the end zones – that would simply be insane!).

I know what you’re thinking, “Pablo, how can I, a mere mortal, even fathom an endurance event of that magnitude, let alone run it?”

Well, lucky for you, I’ve been training since June, so I’m somewhat of an expert. I empathize with those of you who, unlike me, cannot afford a personal trainer, or have access to ice baths, a masseuse and nutritionist. But if you push yourself and do little things like park a few spots from the door at the grocery store, instead of circling for a half hour for the nearest spot to open; that’s a start.

On Saturday nights, rather than downing a 6-pack of Bud, maybe switch to Bud Lite and only have four… and a shot. Perhaps lay off the cigarettes for a few hours… the day of the race at least.

Alright, maybe this isn’t really a race. It’s more a fundraiser (emphasis on the fun). All the money raised goes directly to the VFW National Home for Children located in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. As their website states, in January 1925, “the Home was founded, helping to fulfill the VFW pledge to “honor the dead by helping the living.” A few months later the Home welcomed its first family in an old frame farmhouse, Mrs. Pollett and her six children. Pollett had become suddenly widowed and lost her husband’s military pension. Over the years, the National Home has evolved to meet the changing needs of America’s military and veterans’ families. Through it all, one thing has remained constant: the National Home’s commitment to honor our nation’s veterans and active-duty military by providing help and hope for their children and families.”

Go ahead, Google it. I guarantee after you read about the National Home, you’ll want to participate in this year’s 9th iteration of the Judd-A-Thon. It will include goodie bags, t-shirts, race bibs, a Lima Lima flyover, awards, food, drinks, music, Been-There-Done-That Window Sticker and best of all, the camaraderie that comes from a group of good folks doing a good thing.

Mark your calendar: Sept. 18, 2022, at exactly 10:01AM. Arrive in advance at the Judd Kendall VFW Post located at 908 W. Jackson Ave. Entry forms will be available soon at the VFW and online on the NaperVFW3873.org website.

Editor’s note: Judd-A-Thon is set to begin at 10:01AM Sun., Sept. 18, 2022. Registration ($25) begins at 8:30AM in the Canteen at the VFW.

The annual Judd-A-Thon takes less than a minute to create a memory of a lifetime that will make a forever difference to the VFW National Home for Children. Warm-ups with stretches before the fun run help prepare all participants… 
And some folks are known to come in costume…
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P. Araya
P. Araya
Pablo Araya grew up in Naperville and enjoys writing about his experiences in the Navy, the FBI and growing up in the best town around. Contact Pablo at boblow9913@gmail.com.