Running in the US Virgin Islands

One of the reasons that I am so excited about the property we chose on St. Croix is that it is in a gated community, and I will be able to safely run through the community (I hope!) On my last trip to St. Croix, I ran a short distance on the North Shore road just outside Carambola resort, and it was interesting to say the least. First of all, I was running on the opposite side of the road compared to what I am used to at home. I always run facing traffic, but that meant that I was running on the inside of some blind turns. It was a little nerve-racking. There are also hills all over St. Croix. We have what might be considered “incline changes” in Dallas, but nothing like the mountains that I experienced on this brief run on the island.

I started a marathon training class in Dallas today. It was a really great experience (despite the thunderstorm), but as I was leaving, I realized that there won’t be classes like this once we move to St. Croix. It’s a great program that is really well thought out, and involves several hundred people. In contrast, St. Croix’s running program is in its infancy from what I have read.

I hope that running is a hobby that I will be able to continue once we make the move to the island. I’ve already started doing some research on the Internet. One race that I found is called “8 Tuff Miles“. This race runs from west to east across St. John. I saw fliers for the race when we were on St. John last year. I’m sure the race must be beautiful as St. John was one of the most beautiful islands I’ve visited, but it has got some crazy hills! The race climbs from sea level to 999 feet at the midpoint and back down to sea level. Even if you’re not a runner, you’ve probably heard about Heartbreak Hill in the Boston Marathon. I’ve never been to Boston (I’ve only done one marathon so far), but I’ve heard that it’s not the uphill that kills you, but the downhill that tears your legs to shreds. I’m sure I would have to do some serious training to run 8 Tuff Miles, but I am definitely intrigued, and as close as I will be to St. John, I am going to make running 8 Tuff Miles a goal of mine.

Another race that I will have to run after making the move is the St. Croix Marathon. It is supposed to be relatively flat (http://virginislandspace.com/marathonmap06.pdf ) and almost the entire marathon is along the water. Scenery is very important when running 26.2 miles – it’s good to have plenty of distractions. A big difference in this race compared to the last marathon I ran is the number of participants. The St. Croix Marathon is limited to 50 participants whereas the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego had over 20,000! Next year will only be the 6th year for the St. Croix Marathon so I am hoping that’s a sign that the island is generating more interest in running so that by the time that I am there, it will have some great events. In the meantime, I’ll have to find some hills in Dallas to get ready for the island.

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