Many a time, I have thought to myself, “how weird is it that my most popular post is about something not even REMOTELY related to what my blog is about?” Well, ironically yesterday, that changed!
Ok, let me back up.
We didn’t get a puppy (sighhhh) but yesterday, between miles 6-7 of the Stonewall Jackson 20-miler, a pup that looked almost exactly like the one pictured above appeared on the side of the road and subsequently trotted alongside me for a little over a mile. It really did see my heart melt to look down to my side and see its big eyes trained right on me, as if seeking some sort of approval. I smiled back and that little experience certainly did enhance that part of the race 🙂
..and while we are on the topic of special aspects of the race….
…how many of you have had water passed to you at a station from a guy dressed in Civil War Reenactment regalia? Well, if you run this race, you get that chance! Part of the course goes right through the Chancellorsville Battlefield park grounds and along with passing by historical markers complete with plaques and signage, there are costumed volunteers, too! I thought that was a fun touch!
Here are a few extra fun facts about this race (which I would definitely recommend to anyone!)
Small Size – about 117 participants this year.
Great Value – 20 miles, registration starts at $45. By the time I signed up, it was $55 and same-day is $65. The fee included race timing and a pretty nice swag bag (canvas tote AND long sleeve shirt)
Amazing Volunteers – in addition to the park portion with gravel trails, the race passed through many residential and fairly high trafficked roads – but there were helpful and encouraging volunteers out every few miles, making sure we were safe. Along with the Police Department (on bikes and motorcycles) and tons of community members, it truly showed the spirit of volunteerism in the county.
The only negative aspect (to me) about this race was that the mile markers were off. In the information packet, I did see that the course was measured .3 over the 20 miles, but my Garmin picked up almost .5 more. Not sure 100 percent what the actual course length was, but in the end it was closer to 21 miles for me. Not a huge problem though – I planned to stop at “my” 20 and walk if needed, but I still felt great so I went on.
The end of the race was also very unusual, but I kind of liked it! See, when we were back near the Courthouse (where the race started) the course veered off behind the major road and down some kind of back area by some apartments. Near these apartments was a dirt trail – which was the final part of the race! I was sure to watch for rocks and branches and before I knew it, I saw a steep incline that we had to run up to get to the last leg that you see pictured above! But just like the rest of the race, there was a volunteer cheer squad stationed there (probably another participants friends/family) sitting in lawn chairs at the top of that incline, shouting words of encouragement, “YOU CAN SEE THE FINISH LINE FROM HERE!”
It was so awesome to walk down the shoot, remove the pace tag (my first time with the weird anklet one!) and thank the friendly volunteer after she handed me a bottle of cold water 🙂 After that, it was a 2 second walk to the car and we headed back to the Hampton Inn we were staying for the trip so I could grab an ice bath and hot shower!
Now almost 24 hours later, I can say I am a teensy bit sore, but definitely in good spirits. Had a great time at the race and am looking forward to a Lazy Sunday 🙂
Did you race this weekend? How’d it go?
Special thanks to my parents and my BFF since elementary school Liz Tanner for contributing to my fundraising efforts this weekend! Join them today by visiting My Fundraising Page and help find a cure for Leukemia and Lymphoma!