The Long Run

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Greetings From The Booth!

There’s an old Dick Van Dyke Show episode where Dick’s character, Rob, is pleaded to by his wife Laura (played by the great Mary Tyler Moore) not to go skiing with his buddy Jerry. Rob goes anyway, and gets injured. To make a long story short, at the end of the episode, Rob says the only part of his body that isn’t hurt is the corner of his lip.

That’s exactly how I feel today, after yesterday’s Third Battle Of Winchester Half Marathon. At almost 65 years of age, I posted a respectable 2:06:32, which was good enough to win my age group (I won’t tell you that there weren’t many runners in the 60-plus category–a win is a win). But I’m paying the price today. Running 13.1 miles takes a toll on the body, and when we get older, things just naturally hurt. Still, I’m pleased with the effort, as I was able to shave 12 minutes off of last Summer’s time on the same course.

Although not a full marathon (I’m not quite ready for the 26.2 yet), the “half” is not only a physical challenge, but a mental one. There are going to be several points in that distance where you’ve got to fight off that little voice that says things like, “Oh, go ahead and quit. No one is going to care.” Or, “stop and walk for a bit. You’re almost 65, everyone will understand.” There were a few of those moments yesterday, and I was able to battle through them and complete my third half-marathon. I’m sure there will be more, but today, I don’t want a rematch.

What got me through yesterday’s race was the tremendous support I had from my friends at Dakota’s Dream Animal Rescue, a small no-kill organization based in Winchester, that relies totally on donations and volunteers. Alicia, Ken, and the folks from Dakota’s Dream came to my rescue several years ago when I found a litter of cats in the woods near my home, and last year I wanted to repay them by running my first half-marathon to benefit them. Thanks to lots of generous people, we raised $4300 to help a really cool cat named Liam (who is living the good life these days).

This year, I ran to benefit a special needs kitty named Lily, and my “fan club” from Dakota’s Dream came out to the race to cheer me on with posters and loud voices, on a wet, cool morning. That support helped get me through the aches and pains yesterday, as we were able to raise approximately $3000 for Lily and Dakota’s Dream. So, thanks to the good work that Dakota’s Dream does, and thanks to those of you who donated to the cause over the last several weeks. If you want to continue to help this fine organization please visit or visit them on Facebook.

Now, where’s the ibuprofen?

Until next visit from The Booth…Go Lily!


Running For Lily

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Greetings from The Booth!

Well, I’m doing it again! If you remember, last year I ran my first-ever half marathon, The Third Battle of Winchester Half, to benefit my friends at Dakota’s Dream Animal Rescue. That great no-kill organization had lost their major fundraiser, a golf tournament, and having played in that event the year before, I wanted to do something to help them recoup some of those much-needed funds.

Long story short, I had always wanted to try a half-marathon and take the step up from 5K’s and 10K’s. So we combined the need with the desire and decided to make my inagural half marathon in 2023 a fundraiser for Dakota’s Dream. Specifically, the run became The Race For Liam, a really cool cat who needed costly radio-iodine treatments that would make him more adoptable. The goal was $2500, and with the help of my radio listeners and the community, we far exceeded that goal and raised $4300! I’m also happy to say that shortly after the August race, Liam was adopted into a loving home.

My goal of entering and completing a half-marathon (13.1 miles) was supposed to be a “one-and-done,” a bucket list item to be checked off.  But I wasn’t happy with my time of 2:18. I knew I could do better than that. So I entered November’s Battlefield Half Marathon in Kernstown, one of the area’s premier running events. After a 2:03 time, I was bitten by the bug.

So here we are again, getting ready for another Third Battle Half Marathon, which has been moved from August to April, to avoid last year’s 86-degree race day temperature. And, again, I will be running for Dakota’s Dream. This year’s run will be for a beautiful little cat named Lily. In medical terms, Lily has something called pectus excavatum, a malformation of the sternum and the connecting tissue attaching the ribs to the sternum. This results in a narrowing, irregularly misshapen chest (thank you Alicia for explaining this to me!). Lily has been getting x-rays every three weeks to monitor the situation. She will need three types of surgery to correct this, and will be costly.

No two years are alike, and this year I have had a few more aches and pains as I go out on my training runs. I’m sure that running over 1100 miles last year has taken a toll on these 64 year-old knees. But putting a cause to my race eases the aches somewhat, especially when there is an animal involved. My friends at Dakota’s Dream are wonderful people who depend entitrely on donations and community support. You can meet Alicia, Ken, and some of the animals most Saturdays at Pet Smart in Winchester. I will also be joining them, hopefully with Lily on hand, in the weeks leading up to the April 27th race.

If you can find it in your heart and pocketbook, visit Dakota’s Dream at where you will soon see a donation area for “Randy’s Race For Lily.” You can also find out more about Dakota’s Dream and see some of the animals up for adoption. With your help, I know we can exceed last years donations. Thank you so much in advance!

Until the next visit from The Booth…GO LILY!




Randy’s Racin’ Pics From 2023

It’s been a great year for me with regard to running. Because of my new, lighter frame, I’ve rediscovered the passion for running and have even run 2 half-marathons this year. Here’s a mini-album of pics from my races this year, including the Edward Jones 5k, Apple Blossom 10k, the Front Royal Kiwanis 5k, the Judges Give Back 5k, the Third Battle of Winchester Half-Marathon, and the Battlefield Half Marathon. See you in 2024 out on the roads!


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!





13.1 For Liam

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Greetings From The Booth!

If you listen to my morning radio show on The River 95.3, you know that in the last 14 months, I have been able to lose 50 pounds with the help of my friends at DMV Weight Loss (formerly Brain & Body), and have been able to get back into running again for the first time since 2017. In 2023, I have participated in several local 5k races, as well as the Apple Blossom 10k, and have performed well in each event. Now it’s time to take things to the next level–a half-marathon, which is 13.1 miles.

One of my running goals this year was to run the annual Battlefield Half Marathon in Winchester, which takes place in early November. Having already logged some quality “base mileage” since last summer, I figured that I had plenty of time to prepare for that event and be ready for a distance that I have never run. Then, something happened that put me on the fast track (no pun intended) to running the “13.1.”

Last October, someone dropped of a litter of helpless kittens in the woods behind my house, with just a pile of dry cat food and nothing else. After several trips into the woods, I managed to gather them all, and put them in a spare room of my house. This would be only a temporary solution, however, as I already had 3 dogs, who were not entirely happy with my new houseguests. Dakotas Dream Animal Rescue came to my rescue.

I became familiar with Dakotas Dream earlier that summer by playing in their golf tournament, their major fundraiser. Dakotas Dream is a no-kill shelter that focuses mainly on cats, and relies totally on volunteers and donations. Ken, a volunteer, affectionately named my kittens “The River Cats” and was able to find homes for them all. I will be eternally grateful. So when I found out that their golf tournament this year was not going to happen, I wanted to do something to help them out.

I immediately got in touch with Ken, who pointed me to Alicia from Dakotas Dream. I approached her with the idea of running the Third Battle of Winchester Half Marathon on August 27th as a fundraiser for their organization. If I could get my listeners to each step up with a small donation, and get some of our great advertisers to also make a monetary contribution, we could offset the loss of the golf tournament. The idea was accepted with open arms!

I also learned about one cat in particular, Liam, who needs a series of costly radio-iodine treatments. The good news is that his condition is curable, and these treatments will make him more adoptable. So, with the help of my listeners, a generous local running community, and some great area businesses, I will be running for Liam on August 27th. The added benefit is that I have a reason to keep going on those training days that are a little rough.

If you’d like to help out, please visit Dakotas Dream at  and if you use Pay Pal, be sure to mention me in the comments section. Until the next visit from the booth…GO LIAM!


Randy and The River Cats


News Maker Alicia Aston on Dakota’s Dream unique fundraiser

Dakota’s Dream Animal Rescue’s major fundraiser was not able to take place this year.

Royal Broadcasting’s Randy Woodward came up with another fundraiser to help.

We spoke with Dakota’s Dream President Alicia Aston about the effort in our latest news maker.

News makers are sponsored by Warren County Together We are Community.

Alicia tells us how Randy will be a part of the August 27 Third Battle of Winchester Half Marathon.

She also tells us that Randy is looking for sponsors for the run and he will turn any funds raised over to Dakota’s Dream.

Alicia tells us how you can support Randy and make that donation to help with the medical needs of a cat named Liam.

You are welcome to make a donation to Dakota’s Dream by clicking here and if you could make a note that it is for Randy’s run or the Half Marathon Thank You.

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