LAKE PLACID - What's that saying about the woman behind the man?
AuSable Valley eighth grader David Vicaro, of Jay, knows all too well what motivated him to travel to the North Elba Show Grounds Saturday, Aug. 16 for the Run the Colors for the Arts 5k race.
"My girlfriend," he said. "To be honest, it's hard for me to work out by myself. I feel like after I'm done with school, if I'm not on an organized sports team, I don't know if I'm really going to do it, you know. It's hard to get motivated by myself without having someone say, 'Come on, let's do it.'"
David Vicaro and Jessica Malskis ran in the Run the Colors for the Arts 5k on Aug. 16.
(News photo — Andy Flynn)
His girlfriend, Jessica Malskis, is a veteran of the school's cross country running and track teams. Vicaro, himself, is on the varsity cross country and track teams, and they both run together in their spare time.
While the Run the Colors for the Arts was a noncompetitive event, Vicaro was the first to cross the finish line after running the 3.1-mile course and getting plastered by powdered paint. It was a fundraiser for the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, organized with the intent of marrying the Olympic Region's sports community with the arts community for a day. In Vicaro's case, it worked.
"It's good to know that people want to get active because a lot of people aren't," he said.
Vicaro shied away from answering questions about him finishing first, saying he's just being modest. When asked about running faster than his girlfriend on Saturday, however, he simply grinned ... for a while.
Before entering middle school, one of Vicaro's older friends - a runner on the school's cross country and track teams before moving out of state- introduced him to the sport.
"He said, 'Why don't you do it with me?'" Vicaro said. "I never really did sports before that year. And then I did it, and it just kind of took off. I did pretty good with it, so I've just been sticking with it."
Vicaro began running in seventh grade and keeps active during the school year. At the end of June, he decided to take some time off.
"Whew! Like, I'm finally done. I'm going to just chill out for a month or two and do nothing," he said. "To be honest, I've haven't run all this summer, like three times, and cross country (practice) starts on Monday."
During the school year, Vicaro finds that running is a great way to relieve stress.
"I feel like after days at school, a long day at school, I just go and run and it's a nice way to think and reflect on the day," he said. "It's kind of good for thinking. It's relaxing."
During cross country, the races are 5k on the varsity level. The most Vicaro's run during practice is 8 miles, while Malskis has run a half-marathon. Vicaro looks at marathon runners, finishing 26.2 miles, with awe.
"I want to be like them," he said, "so I can say I've done a marathon and I'm a marathon runner."
What would he say to other students who aren't as active?
"If they don't do sports, they should try it," he said. "I used to be on the larger side before I started running, and as soon as I started running I noticed I was losing weight. That's originally why I did it also. I really wanted to lose weight, so I started running, and I was like, 'Whoa, this really works.' So people who don't do that stuff, I think that they should try it and see what those results are, and if they like it, keep doing it."