St. Louis — like much of the midwest — has a thing about Route 66. The Mother Road ran right through town, and just past where I live out here in the ‘burbs.
And with that has come some historical preservation, and some growth of the road. The Route 66 State Park, for example, memorializes both the route of Route 66, and the town of Times Beach and its ecological disaster. And Manchester Road, where I’ve been running a lot lately, is on the route of the old road.
When I saw this virtual medal come up through Full Medal Runs, I knew I had to get it, and I knew where I’d have to run it — right alongside Route 66! The city of Wildwood has built the multi-use Wildwood Greenway as a connector to other trails in the area, and included a pedestrian bridge over the Manchester Road (old Route 66) to provide access between the north and south trails. This is a paved trail, and while a little hilly, isn’t too awful. Folks walk, run, and cycle on this trail seemingly every day.
When I first started running — three years ago — this trail was my go to place. I knew where the 5K turnaround point was, and there’s no vehicular traffic to deal with. It’s still the site of my PR in the 5K distance back in 2012. (Picture a turtle being chased by a slightly faster turtle to whom he owes money.)
Thursday, at lunch, I decided to put this trail to good use, and earn this medal. I was coming off the color run over the weekend, and a terrific interval run on the Greenway (0:30/1:30 splits), and figured it was a cooler day, and would be a great experience. I was a little over expectant!
I got to the trail, stretched, and got moving. And unfortunately, in the first ten minutes, I knew this wasn’t gonna be good. The sun was much hotter feeling than I was expecting, and my shins were already starting to complain. What I thought was gonna a be a great interval run turned into “just” a walk, with some real slow parts for me.
I don’t know if I started out too fast, didn’t stretch enough, or if the conditions were just that bad for me… regardless of the cause, the going was slow and methodical, with a mantra to “get ‘er done.” And ultimately, I did finish — I haven’t “not” finished yet — and secured another medal (which should arrive next week!) for my medal display, and chocked up more miles for me this year.
This race benefitted the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.