The other day I spent some time on a post regarding my background in Dubuque. Today, I drove through Dubuque on our way to return my son's dog to him after our dog-sitting for the past 6 weeks. As I drove past Washington Middle School, I remembered that my time there as a student (then called Washington Junior High) was actually the very beginning of my interest in running as an activity.
We moved to Dubuque and I was the new kid from out-of-town when I walked the halls in the fall of 1964. I saw a list of top 10 finishers from an annual cross-country race that was an intramural competition early in each school year. I took the challenge of trying to introduce myself by making the list and signed up. The race was all on the school grounds and started and finished on the football practice field built into the hillside behind the school. I stopped briefly today to take a photo of the site...that hasn't really changed since I was there 50 years ago!
I remember we had a choice of running up the longer, more gradual slope (on the far side of the first photo) or the shorter, steeper slope closer to the building (in the middle of the 2nd photo). I chose the steep slope and the move pulled me ahead of a lot of the others competing that day...ended up 5th overall and made the list in the hall. Turns out I also made the list for contact from the track coach for spring and I've continued to run ever since.