What a better way to get back into the swing of things than with a couple of 5ks?
The first, an actual sanctioned race, took place in Newport News at the Mariners’ Museum. The second run consisted of two early-morning laps on a small trail in the neighboring town of Poquoson. Col made the trip, conned by the promise of steamed crabs at the Poquoson Seafood and Arts & Crafts Festival.
After the Virginia Beach Half Marathon, I figured I would take a week or two off, but between baseball games and other distractions, somehow it stretched to nearly two months.
The first run, to benefit the Mariners’ Museum Park, was probably the most expensive 5K I’ve ever done — $40 per person, or $80 for both of us — and that doesn’t even include the two-night hotel stay, gas and meals. The pluses? A nice long-sleeve dri-fit shirt and an after-run party featuring Chic-fil-a sandwiches and beer. The race itself was well-organized. The route was mostly through flat wooded areas in what is billed as the largest privately maintained park in North America.
It would have been even better if the race fee would have gotten us into the museum. We were too cheap to pay to go into the main area, but we did poke are heads into the lobby and museum shop. The museum’s big draw is a collect of artifacts from the USS Monitor, the first ironclad warship commissioned by the U.S. Navy and famous for battling the Merrimack in 1862. Newport News is very much a military town, with employment coming from military bases and shipbuilding operations. While we drove around quite a bit, we never came a cross what would be considered a traditional downtown.
Poquson also seemed to lack a traditional downtown area, or at least one of any size. The seafood festival at a large park near the high school drew more than half of the entire population (12,000) of the town. Unfortunately for Col, there were no steamed crabs because the season had ended. But the fried fish, oysters and other goodies almost made up for it. The crafts were better than average, and might be worth a second trip some day.
Poquson means “great marsh” in Native American. It is one of the few towns in the state to actually maintain its original Native American name. While surrounded by York County, Poquson became an independent city largely because it wanted to maintain its own school system.
For the Poquoson run, I got up before the crack of dawn and found a little canal trail around the combination library-city hall building.
28 down, 106 to go.
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