The Covered Bridges Half Marathon of 2011 is now a distant, happy memory. As innkeepers, Bob and I look forward to this week-end all year. When we decided to purchase the Canterbury House, all those years ago, we didn’t know about half-marathons or for that matter, marathons. Neither one of us were ever runners, so why would we? Well, 13 half-marathons later, we consider ourselves “armchair experts”. We now know that the runners’ breakfast is pretty straight forward, (less is more) they like to “carb” up the night before, lots of water and of course…the beer tent is VERY IMPORTANT at the end of the race.
Now, with all of that being said, let me tell you about our wonderful half marathon guests. We have been fortunate for the last 4 years to have a houseful of repeat guests. Barbara, Eileen, Richmond and Mitch, (okay, Richmond, Eileen’s hubby, wasn’t here in person this year, due to work commitments, but was here in spirit) are the poster children for what makes this a wonderful week-end in Woodstock. They arrive on Friday and go home on Monday. They have their “half marathon week-end traditions”. Now, all of these traditions have a general theme FOOD! Friday night starts out with cheese, olives, wine, etc., on the patio (It is amazing the weather ALWAYS cooperates). Saturday, I always serve everyone French Toast and Sausage (Eileen would kill me if I didn’t!), then off to Mt Tom for the Trek to Taste hike. (Great event by the way, you hike Mt Tom to various food stations….. Mitch thinks ALL hikes finish with free food!). Shopping is always involved. Dinner on Saturday is always the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce Pasta Supper (quite tasty, with pasta sauce made by area restaurants, farmers market and decedent brownies for dessert (okay, here is the disclosure….I am biased about the brownies, because many of my fellow innkeepers and I make these tasty treats). The new tradition they added this year was lunch at Simon Pearce on Sunday. (They used to go to lunch at Simon Pearce on Sat, but they got too full at Trek to Taste, so adjustments had to be made.)
Okay, more about the Maryland gang later, let me tell you about our other great half marathoners. Polly and Jim have stayed with us 3 years, Neil and Colleen, 2 years (they missed last year, something about a wedding they had to go to) and lastly, Brian and Kelly, first timers to the Canterbury House and the half marathon. Now both Polly and Colleen ( who are childhood friends) have had babies in the past year, very cute babies, I might add, so as an “armchair runner” I am in awe of these two women. And by the way, another connection this group has is Brian and Neil are cousins.
That is a little backround on our group. All great people who, here it comes…..Are a wee bit Competitive!! Breakfast race day, everyone is “casually” talking about how they think they will do, but secretly hoping they leave each other “in the dust”. Okay, have Bob and I fueled this competitive air….YOU BETCHA! Remember Bob posts Canterbury House guest times on our website, with the House winner getting front page honors. Now, this year Brian (first timer for the house and race), won that honor. There were a few bruised egos that this first timer had the best house time…..next year could be very different, the Canterbury regulars, could put the new kid in his place!!!!
Lastly, a bit of braggin about our brood of runners and the event. Both Eileen and Mitch have been participating in the Covered Bridges Half Marathon for 10 years. Barbara has been running for 8 years. Isn’t that something? It shows you what a great event this Half Marathon is every single year. The REALLY terrific thing about this event, is that all monies raised go to various charities. It involves so many communities like Woodstock, Pomfret, and Quechee, who lend their support by volunteering or offer support by cheering every runner from start to finish. An all around “WIN WIN“ for everyone, don’t you think? Doesn’t get any better than this. Looking forward to next years’ race. See you June 3, 2012!