Why Run the Alphabet?

When I first read Judy’s post way back in April (and then later Darlene’s) listing places traveled and races run according to the alphabet, I thought it would the perfect way to reminisce about my own races. I challenged myself to create a similar list; however, it took seeing it as a prompt for the Tuesday Topics Linkup, to get me motivated to finish.

Focusing only on races and not just places traveled, I took many liberties by listing races of all distances and used either the city, state, or race name to match up with the letter of the alphabet.


Running the Alphabet: A – I

A is for the Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K (and 10K) which has been an annual event for my family and friends for many years. Going back to 1997, I’ve run 3 10K’s and 9 5K’s and always finish with a huge smile on my face.


B is for the Boston Marathon, a race I ran only two of the 20 times I qualified – after my first and last BQ’s. My first trip to Boston was a 1998 weekend getaway with my hubby and the second trip included my Cruiser friends in 2010.


C is for the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run which I’ve run five times (1998,1999, 2001, 2002, and 2008) and where I set my 10-mile PR of 1:16:22 (7:38 pace) in ’98. It’s also the race (2002) where I had the best finish line hair. LOL


D is for Dulles Day On The Runway 10K which I ran in 2015 and became a must do race after seeing my friend’s picture running in front of a plane. A flat race on the tarmac of Dulles International Airport, it had the potential to be a fast race, but I wanted to savor every moment of being out there and stopped to take many pictures. As much fun as I had, this was a one-and-done type of race.


E is for the Inaugural Debbie’s Easter Bonnet (DEB) Marathon, an unofficial race held the day before Easter in 2003 when Bill and I were scheduled to run our final long run of 20-22 miles before our taper for the Frederick Marathon. Since I had a day of Easter cooking ahead of me, I wanted to get a head start and met a friend at the trail early. When Bill and our other running friends arrived, I already had 12 miles under my belt and because I could always be convinced to run a few extra miles, I ran 12 more miles with my friends. When we finished, I was at 24 miles and my friends Bob and Terri convinced me that since I was so close, I really needed to run 2.2 more miles and make it a marathon. We did just that and I finished my unofficial marathon with a time of 4:08:17.

My friend Bob even made a finisher’s certificate for me and had it hand delivered by a courier!


is for Fredericksburg where I ran my very first road race in 1980, the Twin Bridge Volkslauf Fredericksburg Heritage Festival 8K, as a fresh out of college middle school physical education teacher. A lot has changed with running since then… I no longer wear a regular bra under a cotton t-shirt and underwear under non-lined shorts, these days my shoes are designed for runners, and I don’t eat a stack of pancakes on race morning. I made a lot of mistakes that day, but somehow finished and enjoyed it enough to register for another race later that summer.


G is for the Georgia Marathon which I ran with my friend Terri in 2008. It was rainy, cold, hilly, it downright miserable, but we earned every mile as we suffered to the end. We chatted the entire race which ranked as our third slowest marathon together (10:41 average pace).


H is for the Hungry Mother 25K Trail Race which I ran in 2018. Located near where I grew up, I’d run parts of the trail, but not all. It was a beautiful course on at nippy spring day where the 50K runners were treated to snow before they finished. My husband volunteered to be an unofficial photographer and captured some great pictures, including this one.


I is for For The Love Of It 10K which I first ran in 2015. And yes, I realize I’m really stretching it here with I is for It, but that’s the best I can do. I ran this fun winter race twice and always enjoyed being able to hang out inside the warm school until it was time to toe the starting line.


Stay tuned next Tuesday for Running the Alphabet: Races and Locations J Through R.


  • • In what year did you run your first race?
  • • Have you run any of the races I’ve listed?
  • • Where was the most unusual place you’ve raced?



I’m linking up with Kim at Kookyrunner and Zenaida of Zenaida Arroya for their Tuesday topics Link-Up. Be sure to check out not only the hosts’ posts, but those of the other great bloggers joining in on the fun!