Saturday, August 27, 2022

Ashland Half Marathon 2022 Race Report

On Friday I drove up to Ashland, VA. Since I had some time to kill before checking into my Airbnb, I decided I'd visit the Cold Harbor Battlefield for the first time. 

I especially wanted to see the famous Shelton House. 

18-year old Patrick Henry married Sarah Shelton in its parlor in 1754. The couple soon settled into a nearby 300-acre tract of land called Pine Slash. 

Leaving Richmond I drove a short distance to Ashland, settling into this rural estate. 

My garage apartment had all the amenities one could want, including a large bathroom and a kitchenette. 

I unpacked and then spent the afternoon reading by the pool. 

I slept soundly from 9:00 pm to 4:30 am, got some coffee at Wawa (man, I wish we had these convenience stores down here!), and then arrived at Randolph-Macon College for the 6:30 race. 

You know the routine: get your race bib, then stand in line for the porta-potties. 

For the start, I lined up about 2/3rds of the way to the back. 

I would run with many of these people for the entire 13.1 mile distance. 

At one point I caught up to this running club and they paced me for the last few miles. 

As you can see, I literally ran with a smile the whole way, so lovely was the experience. 

The race seemed over before it even began. 

It seems like fall is already upon us here in the Northern Hemisphere. Today we ran in coolish temps. I sensed an unusual joy among the runners. Post-Covid "normacly" seemed to be back. It's time to get back into the swing of things --  time for classes, for fall sports (I am a huge NFL fan), and for the turning of the leaves. But one thing is the same. You just have to keep on running your race. What literal or metaphorical starting lines do you face this fall? And what's the finish line you'd like to reach? Don't live in the past. Don't obsess on what isn't. Take a good look at where you are, focus on where you want to be, and get going. Because in the end, you can't finish anything you're too afraid to start.