Where Are the Running Preservationists?

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:

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.


Brand new running sneakers. I know you’re not surprised that they are pink. I did not choose them for their color, seriously!

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.


5 thoughts on “Where Are the Running Preservationists?

  1. Chad says:

    Nice shoes. What brand are they? I fell in love with Asics.
    Savor running while you’re young. I use to love to run (I loved running in the rain too!) but my knees were shot by my late 20s. I remember running and thinking to myself, enjoy it now because it won’t last forever. Hopefully you’ve got good genes.

    • Kaitlin says:

      Pearl Izumi. I’ve been running in Brooks Adrenaline for years and years, until finally I thought I’d have my stride analyzed. Turns out, they were no longer meant for me. So I took a jump to these, which are supposed to be more efficient for me. Fingers crossed! I have a race coming up at the beginning of May.

  2. pjsarecomfyn says:

    Can I call myself a “Moving-Preservationist”? A long-long time ago, I wrote back to my freshman college roommate after receiving her “about me” letter and told her I was a runner too! I then discovered she was an ACTUAL runner, like crazy distances and sooo fast!….since then I have been gun-shy by defining myself as a runner. I run, but slowly (which gives me lots of time to look at buildings!) and anything further than 3 miles most of the time feels like too much to me. Last year I did a 10K and afterward I was like ‘Woohoo! I did it….I am okay with not doing it again!’ (but I said it in an enthusiastic voice). So I feel like “Moving-Preservationist” is probably more accurate 🙂

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