Yesterday I participated in the 2d annual Falls Church Homeless Shelter Bike Ride, a charity bikeathon that kicked off on the W&OD Bike Trail not even 500 feet from my house. Perhaps you're supposed to bring a bicycle to a bike ride but I don't have one and the charity event supported a good cause, the local homeless shelter.
I tried to borrow a bike from a running buddy who was going to participate with me but he got sick at the last minute so I showed up to register a half hour before the participants were scheduled to take off down the trail, paid my $10 entry donation and mingled with the crowd. I chatted furlough stuff with a neighbor who edits the local Internet paper and talked running with a runner who asked me about my fancy running jacket, high-end swag from the most notorious race in the area, the Annapolis 10-Miler, which is run every August.
That race is known for its 4 Hs (it's hot, hilly, humid & hellacious) but is equally renowned for its presenting to every finisher each year a distinctive and useful item of running such as a fleece jacket in 2006, the year I finished in 1:19:05, or the fancy waterproof windbreaker with hood I was wearing from 2008, which I purchased in a thrift store for $6.95, representing probably a $50 value in a running store. The woman I was speaking with had participated a couple of years ago and said she barely finished; the thought of missing out on the cool race giveaway if she DNFed was the only thing that kept her going on her second trip over the high bridge in the last mile, she said.
Shortly after the bicyclists took off on the charity event I took off running down the trail a ways and back again, a 5K run in about a half an hour during which most returning bicyclists called out politely as they passed me except for one woman who silently overtook me at speed and barely missed clipping me. Returning to the post-ride festivities, I partook in the festivities for awhile, which included violin-playing by school girls and some sort of a raffle, and then returned home highly satisfied with my lengthy engagement with such a worthy local activity.