If Virginia is for lovers then Boston is certainly for runners and as I ran along the scenic Charles River providing a splendid and serene, panoramic view of the Boston skyline as well as parts of Cambridge and the veritable MIT, I was vividly in my elements.
Amazingly for May, the last two days in Mass, the temps broke the low 90s, like DC without the stickiness (as we ran the Freedom Trail from Boston Common to the mighty Constitution yesterday, savoring every minute of American history and early beginnings).
But this morning, the temps had reverted back to the more typical Boston spring -- chilly, overcast and windy in the high 50's -- making this particular run more energizing, effortless and invigorating. As I ran, I could imagine what it was like running in the dead of winter, with snow covering the blacktop running path and the Charles River packed in snow, wind whipping harsh across the river.
The run from the Holiday Inn at Beacon Hill over the Longfellow bridge and onto Cambridge territory was really special -- which despite me not being at my best in shape was one reason why I found this run to be particular pleasant and peaceful.
The running was so much unlike what I was used to in DC. In Beantown you had tall buildings, the mighty Charles River instead of the meek Potomac and lots of avid runners from all ages sporting a wide range from a fast sprint to a nice leisurely stroll along the popular River route.
But then that's when it dawned on me -- as special and renowned as Boston is for runners, this New England city did not sport something that is unique and indigenous to DC -- the sight of tourists interspersed and entangled amongst passionate runners, sweating it out.
All yesterday, as we hiked along the venerable Freedom Trail (from the Old State House to the Paul Revere house) we were hard pressed to find even a single jogger darting around tourists. It seems that most die hard Boston runners completely avoid the tourist-filled Freedom Trail. Instead other well known running spots like the scenic Charles has become a mecca for runners of all ages and style.
But in the city where I learned to run and admire it with such passion and drive, the tourists, adventure seekers, business suits, and yes, the ubiquitous runners are all intermixed in this hodge podge swirl that we call the Nation's Capital as well as THE CAPITAL Running town in this world that I know.
Yes, DC sports the manicured GW Parkway and the isolated Haines Point -- but besides these well-marked trails that are mostly dominated by runners, bikers, and even inline skaters, the rest of the Nation's backyard, the National Mall, is a cornucopia where all people from all races, and cultures, and yes, all walks (no pun intended) have learned to peacefully and painstakenly co-exist.
It is the DC I know, it is the DC I love.
Thank you Boston, for a great run along the beautiful Charles, but to each his own.