Back home tonight to a

Dec 16, 2001

Back home tonight to a cold apartment. We’d left the heat off, and winter weather finally started to arrive in Chapel Hill. I flipped on the heat and upped the thermostat, then made a roaring fire in our small fireplace. Anna warmed her feet by the fire, Erin went to pick up Italian meals and I unpacked from our fabulous trip south to Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

We drove to Kiawah Thursday afternoon in a caravan of 5 vans and cars; we were part of a large group, most of the people from a very sociable and outgoing church group, and we were driving to Kiawah to run in the annual marathon and half-marathon races at the island resort. Our friends Brian and Amanda Strong, part of this church group and our running partners, invited us along, and Art and Diane Belden, the amazingly generous sponsors of the trip, welcomed us with warm smiles. Kiawah on Friday was beautiful, and we spent the day at the beach and biking and walking around the golf courses … where Erin came within kissing distance of an alligator sunning himself on the path. Saturday, race day, was quite warm, with a cloudless sky and a strong sun. Erin ran the 5k race, and I set out on the half-marathon with 1500 other people. Unlike my father, who trains year-round for long runs, I had trained haphazardly, so I took Dad’s advice and set out slow on this race. I started slow and and kept going slowly the entire way, past million dollar homes and fantastic views of the marshes of the island. I finished in a sprint, ignoring the spiking pain in my left knee; my time was 2:21:01. I’m a bit sore now, but strongly considering a run with Dad at the Chicago Marathon next October. Anyone else want to join us?

This was a beautiful weekend, full of sunshine and relaxation and an abundance of generosity. Kiawah couldn’t have been more inviting, the Beldens went beyond all measure in their giving, and Amanda’s father, Richard Overly, offered therapeutic massages to many of us sore runners last night. Amanda and Brian are becoming good friends, and I’m grateful we met them. North Carolina (and South) continue to surprise us.

Anton Zuiker

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