Headed to Hartford
Dear Friends, Family and Neighbors,
Had a great, but short -- less than 24 hrs -- stay in Hartford, CT. Known as the Insurance Capital of the World because so many of the world's insurance companies are headquartered there, Hartford is one of the oldest cities in the US -- almost 400 years old -- and the state's capital. The city is home to the nation's oldest public art museum -- Wadsworth Atheneum --, the oldest public park -- Bushnell Park -- and the oldest continuously-published newspaper -- The Harford Courant. It was the home of Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe. And as Mark Twain put it, "of all of the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see this is the chief..."
The weather was beautiful, the race was well run and I hit a milestone -- my 25th marathon! Here are the stats: 15 states done, 5 continents done -- Antarctica scheduled for March of 2012, Africa, ? -- , 4 marathon majors done -- 5th and final in London, scheduled for April, 2011. I've raised over $26,500.00, giving children and families hope for a better future.
So without further ado...
- Unexpected Reunion #1, childhood neighbor. Our families lived next door to one another and took many family beach vacations together for over 20 years. I remembered that Bill lived somewhere in the area -- and then, there he was volunteering at the race expo! Like a big brother to me, Bill coined my nickname "Boingy," as I had an obnoxious -- to others -- habit of while sitting, bouncing my back off the seat back... repeatedly. Car seats were my favorite.
with "Big Brother" Bill at race expo...
- Unexpected Reunion #2, runner friend Mike W. Race morning at the Elite Runners Village, I saw super-runner and super-dad, Mike Wardian. Mike came up with my marathon-a-month plan after I asked him "What would impress you, Mike?" And... he won the marathon that morning. Great job, Mike!
Mike and me this summer.
He broke the world indoor marathon record that night...
- Homes of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain. Neighbors -- houses just yards apart in a section of Hartford called Nook Farm -- and contemporaries, these two prolific authors shared many interests.
Harriet Beecher Stowe transformed her world, and arguably ours, with Uncle Tom's Cabin, the ground-breaking anti-slavery novel. "I wrote what I did because as a woman, as a mother, I was oppressed and broken-hearted with the sorrows and injustice I saw..." Harriet Beecher Stowe
Home and garden of Stowe, where she spent the last 20 years of her life, a modest Victorian cottage...
Home of Mark Twain and family
Mark Twain, American icon, writer, lecturer, social critic and entrepreneur, built this 19 room mansion with every luxury and modern efficiency known at the time. A man who thumbed his nose at social convention, he called his year-around white suit his "don't care a damn" suit.
*Factoid #1: Mark Twain was the pen name of Samuel Clemens. Samuel chose this pseudonym because it conveyed his love for the water and riverboats. A riverboat leadsman called "mark twain" to signal the water level was two fathoms deep -- 12 feet -- and safe for boat passage.
*Factoid #2: Ernest Hemmingway said, "All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn."
- The State Capital Building (1872). Standing on the edge of Bushnell Park, this High Victorian Gothic building houses the executive offices and legislative chambers.
State Capital with gold leaf dome
interior capital sculpture
- The Marathon. We ran on a beautiful, crisp morning through downtown Hartford, along the Connecticut River, over into East Hartford, on rural roads and past red-clapboard barns. Great race swag including a handsome medal -- the arch you see to the right, an artsy tech shirt and a reusable water bottle.
Soldiers and Sailors
|Race Start (the day before)|
- Missed Press Opportunity. I had a TV interview lined up for raceday morning -- to talk about The RunningBrooke Fund and its support of children and families in Alexandria -- that didn't happen because of a missed call. Ugh!
- Missed Speaker and Book Signing. I wanted to hear author Christopher McDougall speak at the Eat Pasta, Run Fasta carbo-load dinner. He wrote A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. He suggests -- because this technique resolved his pain issues -- we drop our high-tech running shoes and run like the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's Copper Canyons.
- Hamstring Leg Cramps. Both legs from mile 15 on...
|Planes, trains and automobiles...|
Took the train from Hartford to NYC to meet up with
favorite husband and favorite daughter #3 -- in NJ for a soccer tournament --,
then drove home from there...
ACT For Alexandria, a RunningBrooke Beneficiary
ACT for Alexandria is an invaluable resource for me and Alexandria! They are a community foundation that seeks to raise the level and effectiveness of community engagement and giving for the benefit of all Alexandria.
For the RunningBrooke Fund, ACT acts as my umbrella organization that provides The RunningBrooke Fund the ability to accept charitable donations. They collect, hold, and distribute donations -- based on my recommendations -- and let me do what I do best, running to make a difference in the lives of children and families!
Last week ACT sponsored a FREE half-day forum that gathered non-profits from around the city to share tools -- innovations in philanthropy and strategies for building our organizations -- to enable us to be better at our jobs of serving those in need in our community. Thanks ACT, I learned a lot!
The Upcoming Events
- Shopping Extravaganza to benefit The RunningBrooke Fund.
Time to Jump Start Your Holiday Shopping!
Thursday, October 28th
9:00 - 11:30 AM and 6 - 9 PM, at the house
Your friends are our friends, bring them!
Paperworks snappy stationary, hostess gifts and monogrammed galore... Stella & Dot Jewelry, as seen in the latest fashion magazines, super-cute Scout tote bags for all of your toting needs and Willow House (formally Southern Living at Home), beautiful home decor and house gifts...
Your Dollars will make a Difference!
- Lululemon Charitable Giving Day. November 2nd (exact details to follow...) You choose -- between two charities, one being mine --, Lululemon donates!
2847 Clarendon Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
Your votes count! More votes for The RunningBrooke Fund, mean more money Lululemon contributes to the cause! Come in, vote (for me) and check out the latest fashion in high-quality running and yoga gear. Plus, find my photo on the store wall...
That's it. You're done!
Feeling great and looking forward to The City of Oaks marathon on November 7th, in Raleigh, NC. I hope to see a lot of you before then.
Remember: You don't have to run but you can be a part it! Come to RunningBrooke events, or write a check/make an online donation! And relax, it's ALL tax deductible and I pay my own way for everything... Here's the link to change the life of a child. Please remember to put RunningBrooke in the comment box.
Snail Mail Users: Please make check out to ACT for Alexandria with RunningBrooke in the memo line. Mail to:
ACT for Alexandria
1421 Prince Street, Suite 400
Alexandria, VA 22314
*You will receive paperwork from ACT for Alexandria for you tax purposes.