Stuart’s Rail Trail & Apple Dumpling Festival

Who knew that rail trails would eventually become a thing?   Just recently, we went out to bicycle down the Virginia Creeper Rail Trail in Damascus and I’ve blogged about a 5K/10K on the Dick & Willie Rail Trail in Martinsville. This weekend was the annual Apple Dumpling Festival in downtown Stuart and this year it was kicked off by a 5K on Stuart’s rail trail, the Mayo River Rail Trail.   Continue reading “Stuart’s Rail Trail & Apple Dumpling Festival”

The Heat Index Hold

It’s been difficult to get up and moving lately with the summertime temps.  I used to enjoy running a 5K here and there but I’m the only one in the household that really enjoys that and, with Mother’s move, there just hasn’t been time.  And then there was this humid summer.

I just got a reminder in my email about the 3rd annual Stop, Drop, and Run 5K in Stuart coming up on September 10th and the 2016 Harvest Moon 5K & 10 K in Martinsville on September 16th.  Now I’m sitting here looking at pictures from past races and thinking, can I be ready by then? I’m so out of shape and its so hard to get going with the humidity and heat the way it has been recently.  It’s been practically tropical in southern Virginia this summer.

I’d love to run the Harvest Moon run in Martinsville because it is on the Dick & Willie Trail, a rail trail that runs all the way through town.   I started (but did not finish) the Martinsville half marathon training  in the winter of 2015 but I still haven’t been on the trail when it is all leafed out because every single person I’ve talked to has said that I shouldn’t go alone. In other words, I need a male escort.  I didn’t run the Harvest Moon in 2014 because I couldn’t finish a 10K in under an hour and it starts at 7PM.  This year they are offering a 5K and, if I can be fit enough to do that, it might just be the best of all possible worlds for me.

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2014 Harvest Moon 10K in Martinsville

Martinsville has a pretty active and close-knit running community.  Check out Miles In Martinsville for a list of events, training programs, and volunteer opportunities.  There are a lot of good runners with incredible patience willing to mentor the slower runners (like me).  There is also a Facebook Group called MHC Inspire that allows local runners (and mountain bikers, etc) to keep up with and encourage each other.  There is a group that meets on the Dick & Willie Trail by El Parral Restaurant every Sunday morning (I’m told) and runs six miles.  I haven’t gotten that fit yet.

All in all, though, the running community is pretty much just as vibrant here in the Martinsville-Henry County area as it was in McKinney, TX.

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2013 Cadillac Pizza Pub Runners – McKinney, TX

I was worried when I moved here about running in Virginia.  Friends teased me about all the hills.  Although I did eventually stop running, it wasn’t because of the hills. In fact, I’ve seen some of the most beautiful countryside here by running through it and no two races are exactly the same. The first race I ran in Stuart, The Strawberry Festival 5K,  was fairly easy.  The Caring Soles 10K in Stuart kicked me (if fact they sent someone out to make sure that I was okay).

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2014 Stop, Drop, and Run in Stuart, VA

Woolwine, which is an exceptionally hilly place, has probably one of the nicest runs in the area, the Covered Bridge Festival 5K, every June.

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2014 Covered Bridge Run – Woolwine, VA

Woolwine is worth two photos.  Absolutely gorgeous.

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2014 Covered Bridge Run  – Woolwine, VA

The Rebels 5K race in Critz (pronounced with a hard I) led me to find the Reynolds Homestead just a few miles north, if that far.

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2014 Rebel 5K – Critz, VA

Even the Peach Festival 5K in Meadows of Dan was not bad at all and they are at the foot of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  One guy even did it with a stroller.

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2014 Peach Festival 5K – Meadows of Dan, VA

There is also  Run With the Cows 5K on the Chinqua-Penn Walking Trail down in Reidsville, NC on September 25th that I’d like to do.  That’s three races in September.

If I do manage to get out there and get back to running, I have a separate Facebook page for pictures I’ve taken at races, Runs With Camera.  There’s an album for each race I’ve taken my camera on.  Most are in the Dallas area but, hopefully, I’ll get at least a few more from Virginia.