The Finish Line

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Greetings from The Booth!

Some of you may not get this reference, but there’s an old Dick Van Dyke Show episode where Rob (played by Van Dyke) goes on a ski trip without the blessing of his wife, played by the great Mary Tyler Moore. During that trip, Rob suffers a fall on the slopes and is injured. Long story short, when he goes home to face wife Laura, who eventually starts to kiss Rob, he tells her the only place she can kiss him is the corner of his lip, because that’s the only place he doesn’t hurt.

That’s how I feel this afternoon (Sunday) after running my first half-marathon, the Third Battle Of Winchester Half, organized by Bishop’s Events, a DC area organization that stages races all over the DMV, and does a great job giving back to charity, especially our veterans. The event today was a 5k, 10k, and half-marathon that was held on the Third Battle site, between Redbud Road and Millbrook High School. You know the story by now: after losing 54 pounds starting last May, my passion for running was re-ignited, and after some 5k and 10k races this year, decided to try the half, which is 13.1 miles. I also wanted to help Dakota’s Dream Animal Rescue in Winchester, so I tied the 2 things together and made my race a fundraiser for them. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Anyway, after ramping up to a 10-week training program (thank you, Andrew!) and logging 250 miles since June 19th, Race Day finally came. The “hay was in the barn,” as they say, and it was time to run the 13.1. Before the race, some more experienced runners than I made the butterflies even bigger by telling me how brutal the course was, and they were not kidding. The course was a series of loops with various terrain: dirt trails, gravel, and some paved stretches, with a few “heartbreak hills” thrown in for good measure. As one runner said to me, “not one I would have picked for my first.”

Then came the race itself. I will learn from this, but my mistake was going out too fast, which many warned me about. Along the way, I made sure to stay hydrated at the Gatorade stations every several miles, and fueled with fig bars starting about mile 6. Despite these things, my early pace left me with nothing in the tank the last 4 miles, and everyone except Molasses and Christmas started passing me. It was gut check time, but I was able to come across the line to the encouragement of the crowd in a little over 2 hour, 18 minutes. I had completed my first half marathon. Now I can finally put one of those “13.1” stickers on my car!

Back to Dakota’s Dream. Because of some generous donors, we were able to raise over $4100 for the organization,  and specifically Liam, a cat who I wrote about in a previous VFB. His first treatment has been scheduled, and Liam is hopefully on his way to finding his “forever home.” I could not have completed this race today without Alicia and Ken of DD out on the course and at the start/finish line to cheer me on. A great day all around (I wish my time was a bit better), but now comes the recovery, as this afternoon, I am hurting all over.

Remember in the original “Rocky,” when, following the brutal 15-round fight between Balboa and Apollo Creed, Creed says “ain’t gonna be no rematch,” to which Rocky says, “don’t want one.” I felt a little like that after today’s run. But as we know, there was a rematch in “Rocky II.” Stay tuned, the Battlefield Half happens in November…

Until the next visit from the Booth…GO RUNNERS!





Scam Alert for the area

Used by permission by the Warren County Office employee Sergeant Terry Fritts

The Warren County Sheriff’s Department is advising citizens of a telephone scam that is reaching as far as North Carolina.

The caller is stating that he is “Captain Steven Owens” with Warren County/Front Royal calling people and stating that a warrant has been issued for missing jury duty.

He states that they must bring their driver’s license and money to the Sheriff’s Office.

This individual has a very southern accent, and the background noise sounds like a “police radio”.

Warren County Sheriff’s Office will not call you if you miss jury, nor ever ask you to bring money.

If you receive one of these calls, please hang up and do not engage. Notify the Sheriff Office immediately, 540-635-4128.

History for the hungry event

A new “Hungry for History” Event explores history and food traditions of Winchester, Frederick County, and Clarke County, Virginia from August 26-September 4, 2023.

Fifteen locations including museums, historic organizations, and community sites will come together to showcase the area’s historical food traditions.

Four restaurants and a brewery will also participate with historic recipes and special programs.

There will be presentations, demonstrations, how-to classes, children’s activities, food tastings, special handouts and giveaways, special tours, agriculture related programs and more.

Dates and times for the activities vary depending on the site. Many of the activities are free of charge.

See the event schedules and more information please visit the Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.