Wednesday, February 29, 2012

50 in 50 by 50: #4 VIRGINIA

Since dating Neil, I've been lucky enough to accompany him on some trips to Virginia Beach with his Dad's family. (more than lucky, friends, they get a house on the beach! on the beach!)

There's nothing like driving eight hours to see friends that live twenty minutes from you. It feels extraordinary in the most ordinary kind of way.

With that in mind, in June of 2011, some wonderful Pittsburgh friends of ours were staying for the summer in Lynchburg Virginia because he had work there. While we could see them anytime back home, we decided to take a couple hours detour from our family beach trip to have a day with them in the middle of VA.

We met for a friday evening pasta dinner (wine, laughter, and ice cream followed). We woke up early saturday for a race, then experienced the finer side of Lynchburg (local brewery, pizza, farmer's market) before heading onto Virginia Beach.

the good life: a post run sampler to share

But about the race: it was a 5K with just a couple hundred people to raise money for a local retirement home. We picked the race based on a very scientific process of - what is in Lynchburg when we are in Lynchburg? We struck gold because we landed in what I believe to be the quintessential Virginia setting.

first, a lesson: the south in the summer is hot, it is oppressively hot, and this is true even at 9 am. 

We stood at the start line swatting away two billion gnats. To our right was a wooden fence with horses grazing and to our left was a swampy field filled with parked cars. Lining our path were large southern country homes, complete with the large porches, white rocking chairs, and lush green lawns. We had stepped into Gone With the Wind (if someone melted the set in a microwave).

The girls ran together and our victory was not our time but the amount of water weight we lost. And the boys ran together, beating us by a large enough margin to walk back a ways and cat call us into the home stretch. At the finish line was - get this - a large white building with white pillars on the porch and a line of pristine adirondack chairs. I half expected sweet tea and tobacco as refreshments. I love that in Virginia, we got to really see some Virginia (and our local buddies as well)!

The Breakdown
date: 6/18/11
race: Presbyterian Homes & Family Services 5K
location: Lynchburg, VA
charity: PHFS 
time: 37:55 (the girls) 27:16 (the boys)

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