By Joyce Fendley
Disappointed that my schedule wouldn't allow me to participate in the Jaret Training Run, I signed up for the Richmond Road Runner Club's Bear Creek Ten Miler which took place the next day (Sunday). It's always exciting to find a trail race that is less than 30, 50, or 100 miles.
Bob Phillips told me that he and Tom Corris had run this race the previous year, and it was worth the drive. Better be. I would be driving 30 miles for each one I ran. As usual, I took a wrong turn and made the trip even longer. Was my husband right that we should we rename the club the VHTDC?
I ran up to the group in the midst of the trail briefing. I heard my name called. Oh My God! I had won a prize! No, actually they were only calling roll. Dang. When David Snipes was called the R.D. made a comment about whether or not David would need a water bottle. (Not many people had them.) I was wondering if this was a road runner's joke about trail runners, or the Richmond club's joke about David Snipes.
It turned out to be well worth the effort of getting there. The Richmond Road Runners are very nice, considerate people. For example:
When passing the first mile marker everyone with a watch -- which was everyone - called out the split time. I had suspected I was off to a slow start. Now I was sure!
When running by a hole or fallen tree, folks would call them out. "Hole!" "Tree!" Had they never before seen these things? I guess they were being helpful to their fellow runners. It would be nice not to step in a hole or trip over a fallen tree for a change!
In the event that someone actually tripped and fell, all thirteen people behind on the narrow, single track trail would gather around him/her in a group to make sure he/she was ok. So much for passing.
Before the turnaround I saw the only guy I recognized: yes, David Snipes was coming back through. "Hi David!" I said. "Hi", he replied. This is the same conversation I've had with him at every race since Bel Monte. I am on to the fact that he has no idea what my name is.
Back to the nice considerate Richmond Runners. Most of these tall, slim, beautiful people beat me. It was a beautiful morning to run on a nice trail put on by a friendly and supportive running group. Thanks RRRC.
P.S. A special thanks to Harry H. for showing me the special shoelace tying trick last year. If I had used this system, I may not have fallen flat on my face in the third stream. However, my six year-old son's teacher is delighted that she no longer must re-tie his laces repeatedly.