In the latest Around Town column, learn about a woman who worked up a sweat for the virtual Boston Marathon, how community members are honoring the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an upcoming Relay for Life event.
RACE AGAINST TIME ... If you were at Pardee Park on Sept. 18 and thought you saw a Tyrannosaurus rex running loops all afternoon, it wasn't a figment of your imagination. The person behind the inflatable costume was Riya Suising, a 53-year-old Palo Altan participating in the virtual Boston Marathon. This year marks Suising's 10th straight time in the Boston Marathon. The nearly 18,000 participants were allowed to complete their run between Sept. 5-14, but race organizers extended the deadline on the west coast due to unhealthy air quality from recent wildfires. The dinosaur outfit Suising wore last week wasn't the first time she's competed in a costume. The avid runner also has dressed as other characters, including a bumblebee and a midnight fairy. "I've been running so many marathons and you always try to think of a way to make it more challenging for yourself or more interesting or more fun because the marathon is such a mental sport," she said. Suising caught the running bug in 2008 after watching the Summer Olympics in Beijing. It started with San Jose's Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon and extended to other events locally and around the world. She wanted to show her sons, who are now college-aged, the value of training. and achievement. On Sept. 18, Suising faced some difficulty due to her inflated costume, which tripled the air resistance while she ran. "I was just like one big balloon running around the lap," she said. At one point, she held the fan that fell out of her costume in one hand and her phone in the other to keep track of her time and miles. Her run spanned five hours, 20 minutes and 50 seconds. She signed up for the full marathon, which usually takes her about three hours and 40 minutes to complete, but a technical issue with the app showed an inaccurate mileage about halfway through. Despite the challenges, she had a fun time. "I made a lot of kids happy. They were cheering me or trying to chase me down or run with me."
REMEMBERING AN ICON ... The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at 87 on Sept. 18 has arguably caused ripple effects across the country and upcoming presidential election. In Palo Alto, community members commemorated her life at an evening vigil on Sept. 19 outside the courthouse on Grant Avenue. "I think she's just made a really amazing impact on our world today, fighting for women's rights especially," Palo Alto High sophomore Katherine Stein told Paly student publication Verde Magazine. The city of Palo Alto also is honoring Ginsburg by flying flags at half-staff at City Hall and other city buildings through sunset on the date of her internment service.
GUIDING LIGHTS ... The Menlo Park and Palo Alto Relay for Life event that raises funds for the American Cancer Society will take place virtually this year. It was organized, in part, by a group of passionate high schoolers who each have family members that have been impacted by cancer. The teens created a video to raise donations for the organization through the sale of luminarias, or paper lanterns, that will be illuminated during a virtual ceremony remembering those who have died from cancer and honoring those who have survived it. "I relay for my grandma, who passed away from lung cancer. Also, my mom works in cancer research and her lifesaving work has inspired me to do all that I can to help those affected by cancer in the community," Palo Alto High School sophomore Caroline Zhang said. The luminarias cost $10 each; all proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. The virtual Relay for Life will be on Oct. 3 from 2-9 p.m. For more information, go to rb.gy/lykhnx.