Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hooray for Hollywood!

It was a bittersweet morning today at 7:15 - the last time our 2009 Spring Team trains together, as the race is a week from today. A few of the Shamrockers joined us Country Music folk, and we had just incredible weather - the kind that you wish you could bottle. There are so many things in bloom that the colors make your head spin. Many trees are leafing out. There is no mistaking anymore that this is the Spring Team!

We did one of the traditional last team runs - Hollywood Cemetary. This scenic final resting place of two US Presidents and numerous famous Confederates (including George Pickett of "Pickett's Charge" fame) have made this their final resting place. Coach Chuck announced before training that we were doing this run at my request (true) and so if anyone got lost it was therefore my fault. The cemetary sits high on a hill overlooking the James River, Belle Isle, and the city of Richmond, and is very scenic.

Kristin, visiting from New Jersey to see her dad, gave our mission moment. She talked about a college friend who had leukemia and is now doing well after some tough moments. Coach Chuck led us in a final cheer and we were off: just over 6 miles for half-marathons (people who got lost in the cemetary, ahem, did 7 miles) and 9 for the marathoners. Here are some photos from our last day of training together.

The runners gather at Nicki's SAG Wagon in the "Fan". Nicki did a great job supporting the team all over the place today! Thanks Nicki - YOU ROCK!

View of the James, looking upriver, from one of the high points in the Cemetary. Plenty of hill work today. I kept up with the runners until this point then started alternating walking and running and didn't see them until we all got back to the park.

View of Hollywood Rapids from the same point, with Belle Isle in the distance. We trained on Belle Isle earlier this season.

Spring colors were in abundance today.
Gravesite and memorial to Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America. I knew for sure I had misread the directions when I came onto this about 5 or so minutes after passing it the first time. I retraced my steps and was able to find the correct route.
The sun hitting this beautiful dogwood was incredible.
Gravesite of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart
The "Black Dog" is a beautiful grave marker that everyone who tours this cemetary looks for.
The Memorial to Conferate Women is a very impressive pyramid.
Azaleas are becoming more prominant.
Nicki snapped this photo of me when I exited the cemetary.

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