It seems as if spring has finally come to Virginia. Or at least it came to Colonial Heights.
Colonial Heights is just across the Appomattox River from Petersburg. The town with a population of about 18,000 has a certain southern Virginia charm, although modern enough to have its own gigantic mall and many shopping centers filled with chain stores.
It was definitely chilly at the 9 a.m. start of the the Tri-City Road Runners White Bank Classic 5-Miler. But by mile three it was 50 degrees, comfortable for running in shorts. By midday, it was in the 60s. About 120 mile south of Northern Virginia, grass in the town was noticeably greener, cherry trees had started to bloom and other trees were full of buds.
The course meandered through typical neighborhoods for the most part. It also went by what some consider the oldest brick house in Virginia. It was built in 1685, although three of the four walls were destroyed in a 1879 fire.
The route also went close to Fort Clifton, a Confederate stronghold on the Appomattox.
Colonial Heights was briefly the headquarters of both Marquis de Lafayette and Robert E. Lee. In 1781, Lafayette’s French troops, known as the Colonials, placed cannons on hills and fired them across the Appomattox at British troops in Petersburg. That is how the town got its name.
During the Civil War, Robert E. Lee hung out at Colonial Heights’ Violet Bank Farm as Petersburg got turned to rubble, a key victory for the North.
44 runs down, 90 to go.
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