Running, charity and all that laces them together.

Running, charity and all that laces them together.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Live Free or Die" by Brooke

Dear Friends, Family and Neighbors,

Its been an action-packed month, so I'm diverging from my normal format and pouncing chronologically.

One. IMPACT 2011, Innovation + Philanthropy.  9/28/11.
A half-day summit meeting loaded with fresh and inventive approaches for both donors and nonprofits.  I was part of the Donor to Donor panel, a special breakout session geared to answering specific questions about donor and nonprofit alliances.

Lori with the Bruhn-Morris Family Foundation
Jane with Get Out & Give Back
Brooke with The runningbrooke Fund 

Thanks ACT for Alexandria and Senator Mark Warner for getting us all together for this terrific morning of collaboraton.  Click HERE to read more.

Two.  The New Hampshire Marathon (marathon #40, state #29)  10/01/11.
New Hampshire has an extraordinary state motto:  "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils".  Written as a toast by General John Stark, New Hampshire's most famous Revolutionary War hero, this assertive declaration reveals our country's independent character!  In fact, New Hampshire was the earliest colony to declare its independence from England (by a full six months), and because of this, was given the honor to cast our new nation's first vote for freedom.

Formed in 1788 (9th state), and named after Hampshire, England, this New England state is stunning.  I was prepared for the leaves (though those weren't at peak yet), but not for the many lakes and the rushing rivers that fed them.
Thanks ACT for Alexandria and Senator Mark Warner for getting us all together for this terrific morning of collaboraton.  Click HERE to read more.

NH River
Newfound River in Bristol, NH
Raging waters and deafening sound.
The adjacent town and highway a distant memory.... 

Random Factoids (in random order) about New Hampshire:

 The first free public library in the US was opened in Peterborough in 1833.
#2:  In 1963, NH was the first state to have a legal lottery.
 Levi Hutchinson of Concord invented the first alarm clock in 1787.
#4: Franklin Pierce, a hero in the Mexican-American war, is the only NH resident to be elected president (14th).
#5: NH poet and author Sarah Hale wrote "Mary had a Little Lamb" in 1830.

Newfound Lake
Newfound Lake.
We ran all the way around this lake,
with a 2+ mile segment out to Sculptured Rocks and back. 

Bristol, NH (the marathon town-host) is an two-stoplight town on Newfound Lake in central New Hampshire.  While there, I appreciate its old-style architecture and friendly atmosphere.  I can't wait to hit another marathon milestone (marathon #40!) and state #29.
I meet up with my friend Jerry who ran his 118th marathon that day.  We trade stories about our latest adventures and wish each other well.  Jerry went on to run a marathon the next day in Maine.  Go Jerry!

Brooke and Jerry
Jerry and me at race start.

The temperature is in the mid-50's and comfortable race morning.  About 250 marathoners (and some 10K runners) mingle and listen to the Bristol Middle School band (the half-marathoners are bused to a separate starting point).  Just as the National Anthem is sung, the rain starts.  And when the gun goes off, as if on cue, the rain gets heavier and continues all morning, alternating between a light mist and a sideways downpour.

The race begins (and ends) in town at the Middle School.  Quickly though, we are to the lake and running along side it.  It takes a while to register that the first 6 miles were uphill.  Yikes!  But the rest of the course mellows out into one big, nice-and-steady roller.  The great scenery pushes a lot of the rain-soaked dreariness away.  With that being said, I have only an OK run.  I hope to find my running-mojo somewhere along the way, but I never do.  Sometimes, that just happens...

NH barn
Crisp contrasts of the red barn and
the silver-gray sky capture my attention.

NH church
One of many churches, the adjacent graveyard is pictured below.

The Good
  • The Marathon.  Another one done in another great state + I end up placing 3rd Master (over 40).
The Ugly
  • The Marathon.  A cheater!  I've seen the marathon "cheater-chatter" before on Facebook and seen the cheaters "outed" there, but I'd never seen a cheater cheat in person.  Now I have.  At about mile 9, someone goes zooming by me, and she is dry.  As in NOT WET.  I'm soaked by this point; my shoes squish with every step and water drips from my braids.  There is no way she could have started with us and been dry.  I never learn what (if anything) happens to her, but I'm curious.  I hope she feels guilty.  *Jerry noticed cheaters in Bristol too and noted that the two he saw were disqualified.
Three.  The Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon. 10/2/11 (the next day).

LizLuke/runningbrooke Racers
LizLuke/runningbrooke Racers and me
(sorry to those not pictured!)

  • Thanks team for the opportunity to guide you to great half marathon finishes.  It was tons of fun getting to know you!  Muchos gracias for all of your fundraising efforts in support of The runningbrooke Fund and the kids of Alexandria.  A special thanks to LizLuke herself for going above and beyond.  Have some real estate needs (?), check out
WW finish
Finishing strong at the WW 1/2. 

WW check
Steve Nearman, me and Doreen Gentzler (Anchor, NBC4)
at the WW 1/2 Finish Line Festival. 
  • Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon is a runningbrooke sponsor, so this is a perfect segue into the Sponsor Highlight portion of the email (to my other sponsors, thanks for your patience, I'll return to the alphabetical format next month, promise).Thanks Steve for being part of the solution.  You outdid yourself (again) and put on another fantastic race!  For those of you unfamiliar with this half marathon, here is the scoop...  Run from historic Mt. Vernon (home of George Washington), north along the (closed to traffic) scenic George Washington Parkway, to Old Town Alexandria, VA.  From there, see Washington DC on your left, as you cross high over the Potomac River via the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, and finish at National Harbor in MD.  See you next year Steve and thanks again!
Four.  An Evening in the Heart of Alexandria. 11/10/11.     

  • Thank you, thank you Volunteer Alexandria for honoring me with the Joan White Grassroots Volunteer Award.  Named after beloved (former) director Joan for her from-the-ground-up actions and everything is doable with-a-little-sweat philosophy, this award means a lot to me.  Click HERE to learn more and see your invitation to the festivities.  And for this one evening,  I promise to stop running and enjoy a dinner sitting down.  See you there! 

That's it for now, except for the photos below.  The next marathon is in Savannah, GA on November 5th.  (Marathon #41 and State #30!)  Until then, be well and run!


NH race director
Behind the bar with the NH race director... and NO, this is not
the reason why I didn't run well, haha!

NH trees2
Birch trees and changing foliage.
NH River2
Another shot of the rushing river water.
Race Day Lake
Rain clouds over lake, somewhere before mile 9.
Tree Carving
One of three tree carvings, the trunk and roots intact, about mile 10.
NH Banjo
Great sounds!  The second time I came around,
he had a full-length yellow trench coat on, but still playing vigorously.
NH Graveyard
Graveyard from above church, an appropriate with Halloween approaching.

Upcoming Races
(the rest of 2011)
Nov. 5: Savannah, GA marathon
Dec. 10: Rehobeth Beach, DE marathon

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