Had I not been in hot pursuit of this goal to run in a running event in all the counties of the state of Maryland within the year 2007, I would not have even thought to come over to North Beach, Maryland in Calvert County, Maryland for a race this morning.
I'm so glad I did!
As of probably around 8:20 A.M. this morning, I finished a running event in Calvert County, Maryland, the only Maryland county where I had not done a running event in, thus completing my quest!!!!!
PRAISE GOD FOR GETTING ME THROUGH!!!!!!!
I ran in the twelfth annual running of the North Beach 5K in 18:48, finishing third overall!!!! In addition to finishing out my quixotic running quest, I got a nice medal too boot. It was awesome that some of my friends and family came out to watch. It was inspiring to hear them as I poured it on on that last stretch on Bay Avenue, running parallel to the boardwalk, hearing the high-pitched excited yell of my mother that I had gotten used too when she came to watch my high school and college meets: "GO NOAH!"
It was also very nice to see a couple of my friends running in the race as well and to see them enjoying themselves!
In the photos above are a couple of pictures of the Chesapeake Bay from a pier extending over it from North Beach as the sun was finishing its rising before the race. Also before the race is a photo that my friend Brian took of me by my car, the one that has gotten me to just about every race this year. My friend David calls it simply the "Maryland Mobile", as it has taken me all over Maryland to various running events and races throughout Maryland this year. A faithful steed indeed!
My only problem during the race this morning was that my right foot started to cramp up and hurt towards the last mile of the race and I think it slowed me off a bit. However, I still do not think it hurt as much as it did two weeks ago in Somerset County, Maryland when I ran in the 28th Annual Mike Sterling 10K around the Crisfield area. Oh well, I'm just gonna say that I am glad that after a few more races in the next couple of weeks, I plan to take some time off of running and then ease back into it and start working to bring my running times down!
Yet, I am very grateful that I was able to participate and finish this race, thus marking my completion of races in all twenty-three of Maryland's counties, in all three of Delaware's counties, one in Baltimore City, one in Washington D.C., and one in San Diego, California when I vacationed out there! I have even run over fifty races so far this year :) I do not think that there will be another year like this for me, especially where I have run and raced in such a huge variety of places, and I know God has blessed me awesomely in this with all of the experiences I have had and new friends I have made. I thank you all so much and am very grateful for all of the support you have given me and my running this year as well as in previous years and hopefully in the years to come. You are a part of helping me to pull off a unique running feat in this state, one that may never have been attempted or done before within a year. You have been an inspiration for me to press on and improve my times at some of the races I have done over the years! I am grateful for all of you and God bless you all :)
I plan on continuing blogging, at least for this year, at:
Please notice the past-tense of run in that URL that is slightly different from my current one!
Please keep in touch, I hoep that one day I can finish my journals on these running experiences this year and get them published. I would like to keep you all in the loop with that!
I think that this was a wonderful practice and personal record for me and it will no doubt serve me well if I am fortunate to fulfill a long-term goal I I have been contemplating: When I am much older than I am now, I would like to run across the United States of America and run through every state a bit (maybe I'll even get a little bit of Canada and Mexico in there, we'll see). I have a lotta work to do on that, and that is many years down the road if I am even blessed enough with the good health to attempt it!
A sequel effort to run in races and running events in all the counties of Maryland... That remains to be seen. I would probably heavily consider doing it again next year if I had a group of people who were up for doing it (at least a good portion of it anyway) with me! I usually don't mind long road trips by myself, but I thought it would be cool to make it more of a team thing. Also, I would consider doing this again soon if I were doing it for a cause for which I knew I could raise a lot of funds for (i.e., trying to race in every county in Maryland to raise funds to fight off some sort of nasty cancer). I feel so young again, like I have beaten a videogame I spent so much time and effort on, and yet it has great replay value. In the final weeks of this endeavor, I did a lot of reflecting on this year's running, and I think it would be kind of fun to start it again with a lotta options ahead of me right from the start of the year. I did this in about nine-and-a-half months, maybe I'll go for getting it done in eight, haha! It certainly does have great replay value and there are things I realized that I could probably have done better (most of it involves me thinking I should have taken this more seriously from the start, not letting opportunities to get in races and running events in various counties slip by so easily). Everything happens for a reason, a great lesson I was reminded of constantly on this quest!
I hope to remember this year and everyone in it! I feel it will be very hard for me to forget running down Bay Avenue in that last stretch of the North Beach 5K in Calvert County, Maryland, finishing up a quixotic goal that I spent months on, and has been my largest long-term goal I have gone after to-date. I remember getting to the starting line, excitedly thinking that I was going to be running in a running event in Calvert County, and then yelling something like "all the Maryland counties" as I ran through the finish line area! I have no real regrets at all about this. When I started, I definitely thought it was kinda far-fetched, maybe way over my head, but I'm so glad I stuck with it and told a lot of people I cared about about it. Looking back, I feel like this is one of the best things I have done in my life so far, something that has even turned out to be a noteworthy accomplishment, as I have been in touch with several newspapers across the state of Maryland who seem willing to consider my story for their papers, and I am incredibly grateful for them!!!! I feel like if there was any boyishness left in me before it, it has helped me become a better man this year. And yet, as I've said before, I feel like I have been wrapped up in an adventure, the kind I used to dream about as a little kid...
... And so the winds of adventure have blown me to this point. And when it comes back around, causing my skin to crawl, my bones to chill, and my feet to leave the ground, I will be more ready to drift along with its unruly current as a result of this!
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." - 2 Timothy, Chapter 4, verse 2 - The New Testament of the Bible
Running Events I have done this year as of Saturday, September 15, 2007
- Queen City Striders Junior Striders Cross Country meet (1 mile and 2 mile) – Tuesday evening, June 19, 2007 – Paris N. Glendenning Park/Frostburg
- One mile race – 2nd overall – 5:51
- Two mile race – 7th overall – 12:37
Anne Arundel County
– Governor’s “Non-Bay Bridge” Run (2.93 miles) – Sunday, May 6, 2007 - Sandy Point State Park/Annapolis – 8th overall (1st in 20-24-year-old age group) – 18:09 (clock), 18:07 (my watch)
– Metro Harriers’ fourth summer track and field all-comers meet – Thursday, July 19, 2007 – North County High School, Ferndale/Glen Burnie, MD
– 1,500 meters – 1st overall – 4:42
– 800 meters – 2nd overall – 2:21
– 3,000 meters – 2nd overall – 10:41
– John Wall Memorial Track Run (One mile) – Saturday, July 21, 2007 – Broadneck Senior High School track, Annapolis – 6th overall (1st in 20-29 year-old age group) – 4:53
– Dog Days 8K Cross Country Run – Sunday, August 5, 2007 – Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold – 13th overall (3rd in 20-29 year age group) – 32:18 (clock), 32:17 (watch)
- Survivor Harbor 7-mile/3-mile – Sunday, June 10, 2007 – Baltimore City – 2nd overall (3-mile run) – 17:56 (clock), 17:53 (watch)
– Patapsco State Park Avalon area trail race (a little over 6 miles) – Sunday, May 13th, 2007 – Near University of Maryland-Baltimore County/Arbutus area – 18th overall – 58:03
– PopPop and Pinhead Trail Scramble (about 5-6 miles) – Saturday, June 9, 2007 - Perry Hall/Gunpowder Falls State Park area – 5th overall - 52:14
- 12th Annual North Beach 5K – Saturday, September 15, 2007 – North Beach, MD – 3rd overall – 18:48 – The event that marked my completion of a race in all my goal areas of Maryland!!!! J
- Adkins Arboretum Arbor Day Fun Run (10K) – Saturday, April 21st, 2007 – Ridgley – 1st overall – 37:59 PR (Personal Record/best time in that distance!!!!! :)
- Westminster Road Runners Club (W.R.R.C.) Predicted Time Four-Miler – Saturday, March 10, 2007 – Westminster/Bachman Valley area – 2nd person in, 14th closest to predicted time – 25:34 (my predicted time was 27:00, I was 1:26 fast, whoops :)-
- Andy Hayes Memorial 5K Run – Saturday, April 7, 2007 – Westminster/near Farm Museum – 2nd overall – 18:47
- Inaugural River Valley Run 5K – Saturday, August 25, 2007 – River Valley Ranch, Manchester – 5th overall (2nd in 20-29 age group) – 19:15 (clock), 19:13 (watch)
- 4th Annual Eldersburg Labor Day 5K Rogue Race – Monday, September 3, 2007 – Eldersburg – 7th overall (1st in 20-29 age group division) – 19:35.0 (best time at the event :)
- Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area (N.M.R.A.) Fools Frolic 22K (I ran the much shorter 5-6 mile route) – Sunday, April 1, 2007 – Fair Hill/Elkton – First person in, but it was not much of a race, just pretty much me and another gentleman chillin’ and chattin’ our way through – 1 hour, 21 minutes, 55 seconds
- Run4Fun 5K Run/Walk – Sunday, June 3, 2007 – Elkton – 5th overall (1st in 20-29 year-old age group) – 19:29
- Civista Health Services Run for Wellness 5K – Sunday, May 20, 2007 – LaPlata – 5th overall (1st in male 20-29 age group) – 19:14 (clock), 19:08 (chip)
- Dorchester Family YMCA Healthy Kid’s Day Fun Run (1.9 miles, mainly flat cross country) – Saturday, April 14, 2007 - Cambridge – 1st overall – 10:54 (ran negative splits too :)
- 11th Annual Frederick Steeplechasers Run for the Pie 10K – Saturday, July 14, 2007 – Frederick 4th overall (1st in the 20-24 age group) – 42:39
- 1st Annual Grantsville Days 5K – Saturday, June 23, 2007 – Grantsville – 8th overall (3rd in male 20-29 age group division) – 18:37 (clock), 18:36 (watch)
- 2nd annual Eden Mill 5-Miler (4.8 miles approximately) – Sunday, July 1, 2007 – Eden Mill Park, Pylesville – 2nd overall – 30:37 (clock), 30:35 (watch)
- Howard County Striders (H.C.S.) Weekly Winter Series (a.k.a. “Operation Iceberg”) # 3: Atholton High School 5 Kilometer – Sunday, January 21, 2007 – Columbia – 15th overall – 19:43
- H.C.S. “Operation Iceberg” #4: Thunder Hill Elementary School 2miles – Sunday, January 28, 2007 - Columbia - 30th overall - 20:17
- Penguin Pace 5K – Sunday, February 4, 2007 – Columbia – 8th overall (1st in 20-29 age group) – 18:43.86
- H.C.S. “Operation Iceberg” #6: Thunder Hill Elementary School 2 miles – Sunday, February 18, 2007 – Columbia – 2nd overall – 11:52 (my best time on that course J)
- Outback’s 5K for the YMCA – Sunday, March 11, 2007 – Ellicott City – 9th overall – 18:01.05 (clock), 17:59/18:00 (my watch – my best time on that course :)
- H.C.S. Spring Series Race (“Vernal Velocity) #1: Burleigh Manor Middle School 2 miles – Sunday, April 1, 2007 - Ellicott City/Columbia area – 2nd overall – 10:51 (best time on the course :)
- Inaugural Musical Madness 5K – Saturday, May 12, 2007 – Maple Lawn/Fulton/Scaggsville – 7th overall (1st in 20-29 age group category) – 18:48.71
- Damien F. Massella Run for Recovery 5K – Sunday, June 24, 2007 – Columbia – 52nd overall – 19:58.12 (clock), 19:55 (watch)
- Centennial Fun Run (one mile)#3 – Tuesday, July 10, 2007 – Ellicott City area – 1st overall – 5:11 (tied my second-best time on the course :)
- Centennial Fun Run (one mile)#4 – Tuesday, July 17, 2007 – Ellicott City area – 12th overall – 5:44
- H.C.S. Summer Series Race (“Summer Sizzler”) #3: Burleigh Manor Middle School 2 miles – Wednesday, July 18, 2007 – Ellicott City/Columbia area – 1st overall – 11:02
- PRE – Season Cross Country Races – Saturday, August 11, 2007 – Oakland Mills High School, Columbia
- 5K – 11th overall – 18:53 (best time on the course :)
- 3K – 5th overall – 15:12
- Emerson Community Fun Run (one mile) #6 – Tuesday, August 14, 2007 – North Laurel – 1st overall – 5:27 – Hit the fifty-races-per-year mark with this for the fifty-plus club :)
- Emerson Community Fun Run (one mile) # 7 – Tuesday, August 21, 2007 – North Laurel – 1st overall – 5:26 (my best time on the course :)
- H.C.S. Summer Series (“Summer Sizzler”) #7: Burleigh Manor Middle School 5 miles – Wednesday, August 22, 2007 – Ellicott City/Columbia area – 3rd overall – 32:33
- 16th Annual Police Pace 5K – Sunday, September 9, 2007 – Columbia/Ellicott City area – 16th overall – 18:37.69
- 31st Annual Chestertown Tea Party Distance Classic (10 miler) – Saturday, May 26, 2007 – Chestertown – 31st overall (2nd in 20-24 age group) – 1:15:01 (clock), 1:14:57 (watch)
- Gaithersburg Firebirds Track one mile race – Thursday, April 12, 2007 – Gaithersburg – 3rd overall – 5:04.88
- Comus Cross Country 5K – Sunday, August 12, 2007 – Comus/Dickerson – 10th overall (1st in age group division) – 20:29
Prince George’s (P.G.) County
- 49th Annual Larry Noel Greenbelt 15K and 3K (15K) – Sunday, September 2, 2007 – Greenbelt - 13th overall (2nd in 20-29 age group division) – 1:06:50
Queen Anne’s County
- Shore Christian Fellowship Church’s Inaugural Race to Impact (10K) – Saturday, March 24th, 2007 – Chester/Kent Narrows/Kent Island (it was all on the shaded Cross Island Trail) – 1st overall – 38:51
Saint Mary’s County
- National Trails Day 5K (it was a little more than that, probably closer to 3.5 miles) – Saturday, June 2, 2007. – St. Mary’s City area – 1st overall – 21:38
- 2nd Annual McCready Health Services Foundation’s Founder’s Day 8K Run & 2-mile walk – Saturday, May 5, 2007 (El Cinco de Mayo) – Crisfield – 1st overall(8K) – 31:58 (ran faster there this year than last year :)
- 60th Annual National Hard Crab Derby, 28th Annual Mike Sterling 10K – Saturday, September 1, 2007 – Crisfield – 4th overall (2nd in 20-29 age group) – 41:48
- Oxford Day 10K – Saturday, April 28, 2007 – Oxford – 1st overall – 38:35 (big improvement over last year’s 42:04 here, and a well-paced race on a relatively short amount of sleep :)
- Tom Ausherman Memorial Series #1 (2-mile/1-mile) – Tuesday, June 5, 2007 – Hagerstown – 6th overall(2-mile race) – 11:36
- Salisbury University Track & Field’s Seagull Home Opener Meet – Saturday, March 3, 2007 – Salisbury
- 1,500 meter run – 7th overall – 4:48.7
- 800 meter run - 2nd overall – 2:12.5
- 4X400 meter relay (alumni team) – 4th overall (1st alumni team) – 4:01.5
- 4th Annual Tim Kennard 5 mile River Run and 3 mile walk – Sunday, March 4, 2007 – Salisbury – 14th overall (3rd in the 20-24 age group division) – 31:25 (clock), 31:14 (chip – Nice performance for me that surpassed my expectations, especially after running three track races less than twenty-four hours ago :)
- Francis Scott Key Family Resort “Dash and Splash” Run/Walk Series 5K Race#3 at Stephen Decatur High School (on the track) – Saturday, June 30, 2007 – Berlin – 1st overall/only finisher – 18:52 (clock), 18:50 (watch) – Finished out the Maryland Eastern Shore portion of my endeavor with this event :)
Events outside of Maryland
San Diego County
- 30th Annual Scripp’s Ranch Old Pros Run and Bike 10K and 2-mile Fun Run (10K) – Wednesday, July 4, 2007 – Scripp’s Ranch neighborhood, San Diego – 73rd overall-39:08 (clock), 39:05/39:06 (chip)
- March Moonlight Madness 5K – Thursday, March 1, 2007 – Wyoming – 2nd overall (1st in male 20-29 age group division) – 18:28
New Castle County
- 2nd Annual Wilmington Games 5K – Wednesday, July 25, 2007 – Wilmington – 5th overall (2nd in 19-29 age group division) – 19:35 (clock), 18:35 (watch-probably would have been low-to-mid 19’s since I accidentally missed a turn and cut the course a bit short near the end)
- 25th Annual Y.M.C.A. 5-Mile Run/Walk – Sunday, July 29, 2007 – Deauville/Rehoboth Beach area – 13th overall (1st in 20-29 age group division) – 31:59 (clock), 31:57 (watch) – Completing this race, I have run in all three Delaware counties this year!!!!!!!!! J
- Seven Sisters, Four Brothers 6th Annual Venus on the Half Shell 5K – Saturday, August 4, 2007 – Dewey Beach – 9th overall (2nd in 20-24 age group division) – 18:36 (clock), 18:35 (watch)
District of Columbia – Washington
- Hugh Jascourt Memorial Four Miler – Thursday evening, June 21, 2007 – Northwest Washington D.C./C&O Towpath area – 17th overall – 26:04 (clock), 26:01 (watch)