Are you a historic preservationist and a runner? If so, raise your hand high! Recently a friend pointed out to me that most of my friends here in Vermont are (a) lawyers – specifically environmental lawyers – and (b) runners. More specifically, they are running lawyers. Is there a connection between being a lawyer and a runner? The lawyers say that it’s Type A personality and the need for stress relief that drive them to run. And I started to wonder: where are the running-preservationists?
Running-preservationists, you must be around somewhere. I’m thinking you’re in the south, mostly, based on the 5K races I could find. This year was the 8th Annual Race for Preservation, hosted by the Historic Savannah Foundation. And the National Trust has just announced that a team of PresNation folks will be running in the Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon/Half Marathon/Relay on November 8, the Saturday before this year’s Preservation Conference.
A few others I’ve found:
- Historic Wilmington (NC) Foundation 5K Race for Preservation;
- Uptown Rhodes Race 5K for the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation;
- Historic Mitchelville 5K (Hilton Head, SC);
- Friends of Fishtown (MI) 5K
- Delphi (IN) Diamond Dash 5K
Do you have any others? Are you a runner?
I’m a runner and a preservationist, two of the first ways I’ll describe myself. Both are deeply rooted in my soul. The two go hand-in-hand. I love running in new places; it’s the best form of sight-seeing because it’s faster than walking, more adventurous, and safer than biking or driving. Running is the easiest way to get to know a place, to learn street names and landmarks, to observe it, to study it. When you run, you see place in all of its forms: waking up in the morning, in the afternoon glow, or settling in for the night, in all sorts of weather – good and terrible. You move swiftly through neighborhoods and blocks, almost unseen, though you see so much. When I run, it’s my time with my town or city and I get to understand how the streets wind together. I memorize which sidewalks are uneven, which houses have barking dogs, and other nuances.
I know I’m not the only runner-preservationist (or would you prefer running-preservationist). Speak up! Let’s get together for a city running tour, especially at the next conference.
p.s. more running + preservation posts: Running in the Evening Light,Running Notes, Historic Running Tours, Sounds Beneath Your Feet & Old Memories, New Memories: The Evolution of My Favorite Place.