A blog for runners in and about Addison County, VT
June 15th, 2017 at 9:21 pm
Posted by Jeff Byers in Running

A little more than 6 months ago, December 7th, 2016 – a date that will live in infamy – The Middlebury Trailrunner suddenly, and lacking in any sense of deliberation found himself attacked by the ground forces of the steep road incline of Frog Hollow…..The Middlebury Trailrunner was at peace with himself and the cold dark night, and was in pleasant conversation with his fellow runners, looking forward to a beer at the conclusion of this run.……It will be recorded that while the distance from where this middle-aged runner deliberately pulled himself up off the pavement and walked it in to a stool at American Flatbread was just a few hundred yards, the aforementioned fall required many months to recover from. The attack on his body by the forces of pavement caused severe shoulder damage……

You may have noticed that it has been some time since my last posting. As luck would have it, an evening run on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, ended with a fall on an ice patch. This in turn, led to rotator cuff surgery and put me out of action as a runner for the better part of 6 months. The above paragraph was my attempt to channel FDR’s famous speech, twisted to introduce my story. In any case, as my recovery continues, I am starting to hit the trails again, and hopefully resume my posts on a more regular basis.

Given that it is almost exactly 6 months since my injury, and my runs are still of modest distance, I decided to describe one of the easier trail runs in town, the section of the TAM going around the golf course. This is a run which lots of people run, not necessarily noticing much. For instance, there is the often-seen gravestone at the 11th tee – but how many people actually stop to read it? The story of the poor gentleman interred here has been described elsewhere, but in a nutshell, William Douglas survived the French and Indian War as well as the Revolutionary war, and died when he got home when a tree fell on him. Sometimes life sucks, huh?

11th tee Gravestone

Continuing further, shortly after emerging by the 10th tee, I enjoyed the sight of a modest bed of flowers, with the Green Mts forming the backdrop. These look a lot like the Phlox that grow in my garden (no thanks to me), but mine bloom in August rather than June. Am I correct in my identification of this pretty little flower patch?

Phlox Patch

I was still feeling good when I hit Rt 30, just uphill from the Fitness Center, so I decided to continue this short run on the Class of 97 trail. Heading back into the woods, I came across a curious sign, which I knew was leftover from last year, warning runners of the resident attack birds. And yes, on one occasion last summer, I indeed felt the wrath of the avian kamikaze. I wonder if he/she will be back this summer?

Kamikaze Bird Warning

Entering into the fields just west of campus, I turned right, past the parking lot which until recently was the site of the college apartments known as “the mods” and followed the paved walkways up to campus, finishing with the shortcut through the town cemetery. I took a short detour past the famous mummy stone before finishing at the Fitness Center. This was a very short run for me, only 3 miles, but it feels good to be back on the trails. Here’s to more healing!

Google Earth of the Route

6 Responses to “A Date That Will Live in Infamy”

  1. 1
    Helen Young Said: @9:41 pm 

    Indeed, the flowers are Phlox. Cool story about the Mummy grave – I hadn’t heard that before. Congrats to be running again!

  2. 2
    Lily's Mom Said: @11:11 pm 

    Were you the guy in the baseball cap who came down the Class of ’97 trail when I was watching 2 owls and when you tried to run off they attacked your hat? One of them grabbed my hair as I tried to follow! Runner-hating attack owls!! Glad you’re back on your feet again.

  3. 3
    Jeff Said: @11:04 pm 

    Thanks Helen- now you have to find the actual gravestone!

  4. 4
    Jeff Said: @11:07 pm 

    I am afraid that was not me, although when the resident “bird of prey” swooped me I was rather confused! I never actually saw it, and it only deemed me worthy of one short, confusing attack. In an odd way, I hope he/she comes back this summer – it added an element of anticipation to runs on their path.

  5. 5
    Daisy Said: @4:27 pm 

    I’ll see your Roosevelt and raise you a Churchill!

    “Victory however long and hard the road may be. For without victory there is no survival.”
    Winston Churchill

    The battle is half over! Congratulations on getting back on the trail … bet it felt really good! Watch out for the bears. 🙂

  6. 6
    Jeff Said: @5:55 pm 

    Thanks for your encouragement! Cheers!

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