July 2016: Running 52 in 52. It is a sultry day; the sun has drunk the dew from the grass*; the air is heavy, and every breath is wet. I have one run left…
I began my “Run Collection” in July 2015. It was a busy year, and we traveled the globe for work and for play. I’d rekindled the on-and off-affair I’d had with running. It has started as a flirting in college, became a serious romance in at 30, until a marathon cooled the relationship. After, it was on and off for a decade, until 2015.
It was then I set a goal to run a new city each week as I traveled around the world.
Starting the Collection: Sydney and Melbourne
Jean Miller and I were just wrapping up a stint in Australia, where I was leading a project for a client. We lived in in a tiny 35th floor apartment in downtown Sydney; it gave killer views over the CBD (Central Business District), Sydney Harbor and its sailboats, and Darling Harbor’s lights. The views and cool winter mornings often led me to lace up and run.
I explored Pyrmont and Miller’s Point, crossed the Harbor Bridge to Lady Gowrie Lookout, and looped through Hyde Park, Circular Quay, the Botanical Garden, the opera Opera House. I also ran King’s Cross and Woolloomooloo (sounds like a Dr. Suess word, doesn’t it?) with its fine Navy Ships. Sydney was to me a runner’s paradise; exotic and nearly limitless.
I traveled frequently to Melbourne to meet clients. Whereas Sydney is tropical and exotic, Melbourne seems a proper European city, gritty yet stately, with the Yarra river winding through. I frequently ran the river paths and through the 1956 Olympic Park early in the morning before work (there generally was no “after work” to be enjoyed… it was a busy project!)
Towards the end of our stay, we decided to cap our Australia visit with a weekend to visit friends in Hong Kong. We flew 9 hours in coach… for a 3-day weekend! But when would we be on this side of the world next? Of course, I had to run the harbor while there, just to say I had!
Ireland, London and Amsterdam
We returned from Australia to our Charlotte home for only a few days. We had a long-planned vacation to Northern Ireland with friends. So the running streak continued! Carnlough, Ballyliffin, Ballybofey, Cabra Castle, and Dublin. Then on to London to help with a couple of proposals and prepare for a conference in Amsterdam. More runs, new cities.
At some point in this time, I decided to start the “run collection”.
Running 52 in 52
Jean and I were finally home in Charlotte. Well, she was anyway! I leading Tech Innovation workshops for clients across the USA. Each week, one or two clients and one or two cities. In each new city, a new run, including a memorable Brooklyn ½ Marathon with friends. The weekly travel continued pretty much non-stop until July 2016, when I finally had a few weeks at home. As I looked at my run history one morning, I realized I had run in 45 different cities. Hmm… that’s only a few short of running “52 in 52”, a kind of Running Around the World collection! So off to Lake Norman, Rock Hill, Davidson, Cornelius, and Belmont in the last weeks of July to close out my running year.
I created a commemorative collage of the routes as tracked by Nike+. I will to continue to collect these runs as we explore new cities in our Journeys. Maybe there will be a second “running around the world” poster someday!
* Credit inspiration for the opening line to William Cullen Bryant’s poem “Summer Wind“