Running to Plymouth Rock

Cheryl Charles Plymouth Half Marathon Finish 2014

Showing off my finisher’s medal at the finish line in front of Plymouth Rock

Today Chuck and I ‘killed two birds with one stone’ so-to-speak by seeing Plymouth, Massachusetts (home of the infamous Plymouth Rock) while participating in the Run to the Rock Half Marathon. It seemed like a perfect fit for several reasons: We were in the vicinity, we wanted to see Plymouth Rock, I needed to do a long run in training for my Marine Corps Marathon for Team Running Strong on October 26th, and my training plan suggested a half-marathon this weekend as a practice run for my upcoming full marathon.

We got up VERY early this morning and made the drive from our campsite at Hanscom AFB in Bedford, Massachusetts in about an hour. The race started at 9am. It was an exceptionally hot and humid day for the area at this time of year (temps in the low 80s, humidity also in the 80s). I wasn’t worried, as living in Florida on and off for the past 20+ years has made me used to such conditions. However, we’ve been on the road for a few months now, and in the northeast for most of those months.

Plymouth Rock Half Marathon 2014 Runner Help

A runner recovering from the heat, humidity, and hills.

I found during the race that I’m not used to heat and humidity anymore, and have become spoiled by all the cool and dry weather we’ve enjoyed this summer, for a change! Still, having past experience with Florida-like running weather did come in handy, as I knew how to deal with it and didn’t really have any problems other than a bit slower mile splits than I have been running recently in training.

Unfortunately, others in the race weren’t as prepared, and I saw at least two runners go down and require medical attention. Chuck said he saw a few at the finish line in need of help as well, one nearly passing out as he crossed the line!


It’s a rock. And it’s small.

All-in-all, this was a good day and a great run, if a bit HILLY! I came in with a respectable time, and got some valuable practice for the real deal coming up soon in October! Chuck and I both got to see a bit of Plymouth and its famous rock.

“The rock” was a bit disappointing – much smaller than we expected and not in the greatest of locations aesthetically speaking – but we definitely recommend seeing it if you’re in the area.


Me & Chuck and The Mayflower II

Plymouth Rock is one of those Roadside America things you just have to do, and the area is full of history worth checking out. For instance, Plimouth Plantation, a 17th century living history museum showcasing life for the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians, is just a few miles away from downtown Plymouth. You can also step aboard a replica of the Mayflower II, which is docked in the harbor within sight of Plymouth Rock. The Plymouth Hall Museum is also downtown and directly across the street from Plymouth Rock. For more info on what to see and do in Plymouth, check HERE.

And if you’re in New England in September, give the half marathon (or 5K) a try. Surely it will be cooler next year. ;-)




I’m running the Marine Corps Marathon on October 26th for Team Running Strong – the ONLY charity running to raise money for American Indian Youth! We are turning MILES into MIRACLES! Will you help me? You can donate by CLICKING HERE. Thanks!

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