Ridge Runner Marathon and exciting runningbrooke updates!

Ridge Runner Marathon in Cairo, WV,
(June 4th -- 25th state, 36th marathon)
Miami Herold Supplement (May, 2011) and
Hairspray (August 2) - a runningbrooke exclusive!

feeling invincible at state park entrance

Dear Friends, Family and Neighbors,

Another marathon -- state # 25, marathon # 37 -- unfolded a few weeks ago in Cairo, WV. Pronounced CARE-o by the locals, Cairo is five+ hours north and west from Washington, DC and deep, deep in the Appalachian Mountains. This tiny marathon -- 45 runners strong -- began and ended under the deep green and lush canopy of deciduous and evergreen trees of North Bend State Park. The marathon's middle miles ran through humble towns, enduring along steep and winding lanes, with one-room, time-honored churches dotting the hillsides. Before heading back into the park, we covered 5 miles along a Rail Trail -- former railroad line -- which took us through extended train tunnels; damp and dank, and dripping in moisture, it was dark and a challenge to see, but provided a welcomed respite from the sun. Gorgeous, and literally breathtaking... check out the marathon's elevation chart!

Ridge Runner elevation

elevation gain: 2,270'
elevation loss: 2,432'

Originally part of the great state of Virginia -- being a native Virginian, I'm biased --, West Virginia broke away to form its own state in 1863. Admittedly taking great liberties here by condensing decades of serious issues and history, West Virginia voted to secede from Virginia in 1863 over social/slavery and economic/geographic issues. One key moment was abolitionist John Brown's stab to start a slave revolt by seizing a United States Arsenal at Harpers Ferry in 1859. Col. Robert E. Lee defeated Brown's attempt.

** Factoids: West Virginia was the only state in the Union to secede from a Confederate state during the Civil War. The only other state to be formed during the Civil War was Nevada, which separated from Utah Territory.

** Other Factoids: Famous West Virginians include Author Pearl S. Buck, Confederate general Stonewall Jackson, Actor Don Knotts and Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton.

** And Another: Mother's Day was first observed on May 10, 1908 at Andrews Church in Grafton, WV.

The runningbrooke Round Up
(a YouTube video tour of the latest)

Ridge Runner Marathon, Cairo, WV.
June 4, 2011 (marathon #37, state #25)

With a mail-in registration form, this stop-watch timed race gets a 'thumbs up' for its congenial and relaxed atmosphere. Just 44 other runners and I -- about half of which started at the optional 6 AM start -- lined up behind the fluorescent-orange spray painted starting line. The woman in blue -- front and right (from Annapolis) -- was the first woman to cross the line in 3:34. I came in second, about 10 minutes behind.

                                       Ridge Runner Start race start - I'm third from the right

The Good

The Marathon. Quiet, peaceful, serene, tranquil, still, restful, relaxing, undisturbed. Perfect.

North Bend w Ken and Kath, John
about to get dinner at an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, John (NY), Kath and Ken (FL) and me.

No Bad (sorry)

No Ugly (sorry)

runningbrooke spotlight article in the
Miami Herold Supplement, May 2011.
As an athlete with exercise-induced asthma, it was powerful to be featured in the Miami Herald. Breathe free and live well, it's the story how I overcame asthma and began providing help to my community. Click HERE to read more. Thanks Media Planet!

A runningbrooke exclusive showing of :
Hairspray, August 2, 2011 at The Little Theatre of Alexandria

Hang up the sneakers & put on your party shoes. Join us for a special, private performance of the award-winning musical comedy Hairspray. A sure-fire night packed with 60's fun for the whole gang, with pre-show soiree, the opportunity to meet the cast/photo op and backstage tour. Come to an award-winning community theatre, right in the heart of Old Town, Alexandria, where many past presidents and other Washingtonian who's whos have come to watch first-rate productions.

The Rundown: With "downtown" songs that are sure to please, this 1960s-style dance musical is set in 1962 Baltimore. Teenager Tracy Turnblad wins her dream to dance on a local TV dance program, becoming a celebrity overnight, but Tracy is outraged by the social injustice of the show, and sets out to change it.

** Good news! You'll get a tax deduction for helping your neighbors.

**Great reason to travel to DC, this show is A1 for the entire gang, special as a client 'thank-you', perfect as an office outing.

**All proceeds will go to 5 vital Alexandria-based charities serving the at-risk kids and families in Alexandria/Arlington. We've raised $20K so far this year. Add $13,500 once all seats are sold! It's easy to do your part.

Next month, takes me to Missoula, Montana for marathon #38 and State #26. Big Sky country! Enjoy the next few weeks, run strong and remember, "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much, nor suffer much, for they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt


Ridge Runner - getting ready to run

runningbrooke Stats:

36 Marathons run and over 70K raised for at-risk, local kids. 5 of 7 Continents run, with Antarctica (3/12) and Africa left . 25 States + DC, done. Marathon Majors (Berlin, Boston, Chicago, NY, London): Done!