Had a great time in two great communities this morning. Made the short drive over to Johnson City, TN and made a big time of it at the Tweetsie Trail Trek.
It was the grand opening of an all new, crushed rock greenway that connects Johnson City and Elizabethton. I wanted to double up on the fun, so I arrived around 7 am, got my race pack (thanks Daniel Reese for holding my pack from pick up the night before) and then ran the 4.5 mile segment from the finish to the start point in Elizabethton. When the race commenced, I ran the return leg back to Johnson City.
It was a great old school start with local politicians, a rendition of "God bless America," a ribbon cutting for the trail, a prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, the Star Spangled Banner, then the start...which was a blast on the whistle from a Tweetsie locomotive.
Runner went first, then walkers, and later in the day. cyclist. It was an "all in" event for everyone who wanted to participate.
The Tweetsie Trail links two vibrant communities. The path is picturesque, with periodic shaded areas that will shout fall colors in just a few weeks. Some parts of the trail are connected over road with wooden bridge structures. All new and the smell of fresh cut wood was in the air.
I'm not a short distance runner, so it was fun to double up and at least get nine. I enjoyed meeting a variety of people and hanging out at the finish area...apples and donuts and health food mix, several of the local bike shops had displays, and live bluegrass music. The finish also showcased the new Johnson City community center and surrounding property.
I enjoy engaging America, taking it a small slice at a time. Running is the glue that makes it stick.