50 State Challenge Map

50 State Challenge Map
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Up next: West Virginia

So I'm pretty excited for my upcoming Half in W. Va on October 13 for reasons aside from the race itself.  I haven't blogged much about my interests outside of running and travel.  Well, this Half touches on one of them.  And that would be U.S. history.  Specifically, I've always enjoyed reading on the history of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.  The details and players surrounding these two major events in history have always fascinated me.  And it's interesting that this past weekend was the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.  The Half runs through parts of the famed battlefield.

The Freedom's Run Half in W. Va takes place in Shepherdstown.  The Half will run a short segment on the C&O Canal after leaving West Virginia across the Potomac.  I will actually get a chance to run the hills of Antietam and through the historic Civil War town of Sharpsburg, Maryland to return over the Rumsey Bridge and back to Shepherdstown.

The start takes place on a loop of Murphy Farm, a site where 12,000 Union troops surrendered to Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.  Today it provides beautiful and scenic views of the Shenandoah River.  We'll be passing the site where Lee retreated over the Potomac after the Battle of Antietam, the day where 23,000 Americans either lost their lives or were wounded.  I read on the race home page that the land and farms appear today as they did in 1862 thanks to the efforts of preservationists.

I'll be arriving on Friday, October 12, to pick up my race packet and get settled into my hotel.  I'm not certain of arrival times yet so I may be seeing the sites on Saturday after the race.  That has yet to be determined.  Regardless, it'll be a nice weekend of running and appreciating some of our nation's history.

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