Day 3 of The NE Challenge traveled to Hartford CT. The venue was Goodwin Park.
Above we have the fun girls from around the globe: Renee from very exotic Sarasota FL, Tina from Anchorage, Regnata from Indonesia, Sandy from California, Connie from Arizona. If I had a dollar for every encouraging word and YOU ARE A BAD A$$ from this crew I could buy the whole world running shoes. What a great crew.
The dawn was spectacular and each loop was 2.8 miles around a golf course and the park. Ending each loop in a parking lot was an uphill grade that ended at the spectacular aid station. The start of each loop was a gradual downhill that had a choice of rocky trail or the shoulder of the paved road. I think the rocky trail was a bit shorter than the paved option. My shins were not happy with the down exertion. The day stayed gray and eventually started to rain just as my long day wrapped up. Honestly the day was a bit of a grind but the companionship and chats with the other runners were…. as always wonderful. Larry Macon and I solved the current political problems of the US and I had a great lap with Adan Chinchilla from California and learned about his world travels and charity organization for school supplies in Africa. I heard an interesting recap of Haywood Crowder’s week. Haywood has been at this for a long, long, long time and did lots of marathons (approaching 700) when there were not lots of marathons or multi day series in existence. What longevity. He ran Day 1. Passed on Day 2 because he was still chilled from Day 1. He showed up at the wrong venue in the wrong state on the wrong day so he made all RIGHT and enjoyed the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield MA. What I like best about Haywood is you can hear his hearty laugh from really far away. He spends most of the race laughing up a storm with great stories of marathon and life antics. Sorry if we ran in Hartford and I left you out of the blog. A few weeks later writing this up it has become a bit fuzzy.
On one of my final laps I ran right through a cell phone filming of a rap video after a near perfect rendition. If someone wins a Grammy video with a hunched over old lady in yellow shuffling through…… GUILTY !! After escaping getting wet in the rain by minutes it was off to Warwick RI. It was then pouring pretty good but the ride features had lots of great snacks supplied by my sous chef Hank Lopez.
I guess this is part of the Hartford story -the night before the race we relocated from the party wing of the hotel to the early curfew – yes-I-am-dead-in-this-bed wing. On the recommendation of Maria from the Phillipines (folks came from ALL over for this series) we grabbed seafood from the place next door and it was extraordinary. So fresh and tasty. The lobsters were huge but none went home with us.
Here is a hotel dining tip. The desk can be made into a great dining room table with a few disposables from the hotel breakfast area. No wait, no tip, no fancy clothes. Bam. The week was a blur of eat-run-drive a little-soak in epsom salts-eat-sleep repeat. I loved every minute of it and took no chances in the speedy race pace department so states #38-39-40-41 went into the book without a hitch.
Hartford has a great capital building and is the home to America’s oldest art museum, oldest publicly funded US park and the oldest continuously published newspaper. Hartford was the site of the first witchcraft execution in 1647, 30 years before those at Salem. If you enjoy Mark Twain and Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer those books were published during Twain’s 17 years in Hartford. You can even tour his home. Harriet Beecher Stowe and Katharine Hepburn are buried here. Did you know that the Official State Animal of CT is the sperm whale ? And for all the women’s basketball fans out there, Hartford is home to the UConn Huskies. All they do is win-win-win. Special shout out to my beloved neighbors Marilyn S and Jayne D’A who are proud Husky fans.
It was then time to get ready for the last day in Warwick Rhode Island.
Here is a little quote from James Michener for the end of this running series:
CHARACTER CONSISTS OF WHAT YOU DO ON THE THIRD AND FOURTH TRIES
What a pleasure it was to say yes to this challenge. Each day it became easier to just keep moving forward with this gang of adventure seekers who made the simple decision every morning to show up, shut up and say yes. I was a minor league rookie doing 4/6. Most folks went for the whole enchilada 6/6.
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Make it a great life,
Love to all,