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Friday, September 12, 2014

State #32: Louisiana, New Orleans Marathon

I loved NOLA!! The culture, history, food, and music was unbelievable.  There is no place like it, and I hope to return someday.  I was able to extend my stay a couple of days due to the first major snowstorm that hit the Boston area.  My flight was canceled, but I was happy to stay in NOLA a little bit longer.  I explored a lot! 

I met my friend Nicole @NixieTale from Chicago and we ran part of the marathon together and had a fun time exploring the city.  I also met up with my friend Nancy from Dallas which was a lot of fun.

I talked to a few locals and one local told me that she lost everything from Hurricane Katrina. 
She said, "What God takes from you, he replaces to you twice."-Jonecka


Delicious beignets!

On the marathon course!

Jackson Sq.

Hurricane drink at the Carousel Bar

State #31: Iowa, Des Moines Marathon

Prior to flying to Des Moines, I really thought it would be a boring city, but I LOVE DES MOINES! It's a great city with lots of things to do, but there is no ocean so I'd never survive there.

Des Moines is a battleground for several presidential candidates which made it feel special to be there.
We went to the Des Moines farmer's market which was huge! We also went to the Iowa Hall of Pride (tribute to Iowa's sports and farming).  I found out that track star Lola Jones is from Des Moines! I love her!

The marathon itself was a lot of fun, the volunteers were great and we even had volunteers on bicycles that had plenty of support for us (tums, electrolytes, salt, etc.).  The start and finish were right near the Iowa Capitol which is beautiful!  We toured the Capitol building which I loved!! I love seeing old capitol buildings, there is so much beautiful history captured in capitol buildings.

Nancy's 50th State!

Famous track at Drake Univ. Drake Relays are hosted here. We ran a lap on the track :)

State #30: West Virginia, Freedom's Run Marathon

I ran West Virginia with my good 50 Stater friend Alison Black.  We flew into Baltimore and drove to WV.  The downtown area of Sheperdstown, WV was little, but full of Civil War history.  We stayed in Harpers Ferry, WV which is where the Appalachian Trail runs.  

The marathon course was very challenging with lots of steep hills through the end.  The course went through several historical places: Murphy Farm, Harpers Ferry, C & O Canal, and the Civil War town Sharpsburg, Maryland. 

I loved running along the river that Lewis and Clark tested their river boats.  We also ran past the site where Lee retreated over the Potomac after the bloody day at Antietam.

It was so neat running through Antietam Battlefield, even though the hills were very challenging. On September 17, 1862, 23,000 Americans either lost their lives or were wounded in the bloodiest day of our history at Antietam. The land and farms were preserved to look the same way that they did in 1862. 

The history of the course was inspiring and helped me get through the last few miles.  It was definitely a tough course, but marathons aren't supposed to be easy.