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Eagle Run XV
January 29, 2006

Photos on Flickr

Gary Knipling, our host

It looked like the year that we would finally get screwed by the weather. The forecast was for 70 percent chance of rain. The rain was scheduled to occur during the all important "pizza" and "beer" stages of the run. What were we to do?

Answer. We put up the famous Davidson "make it not rain" awning. Just before the run, four incompetents put up the awning complete with rain covering. The result? It didn't rain on the party. No one spent a second under the awning. But it served its purpose. What the weather man at the Commerce Department had said would be rain turned into a couple of spits during the run and not a drop at the end.

The Crowd: Last year's Eagle Run was going to be the biggest ever until a snow storm cut down attendance. This year, the threat of rain was unable to do what last year's snow did. There were well over 100 runners at this year's Eagle Run. Probably a record, but we don't keep records like that.

The Eagles: As always, we saw eagles. We have seen more in the past and had more spectacular sightings, but we saw them. At least, we think we did.

Eagles as seen in 2006
Eagles on Pohick Bay
Picture from 2005. Hmmm

On closer analysis, we wonder. Are those real eagles out there or has Gary just put fake birds in the trees that we see year after year? Would the same eagle sit in the same tree each year?

Look at the tree at left. It's the same freakin tree as the one at right from last year. Are those the same two birds? Is this something out of Groundhog Day?

The Pizza Screw-Up Part Deux: Some may remember the great pizza screw up from last year. We had to wait five or even 10 long minutes for the pizza to arrive. Well, it happened again. We got our briefing at Gunston Hall and then went to the nice, warm visitors center to wait for the pizza. Since the pizza was a bit late, a couple of groups went ahead to the White Marsh Trail to meet the pizza there. Since no good deed goes unpunished, the people who went on got pizza alright -- one cold cheese pizza. Geez! There were yet again numerous demands for entry fee refunds. Those demands were cheerfully granted.

The Party: The party was the usual frivolity that can't be recounted here. The one new note was the plethora of beers with names like "Old Smelly Shoe" that Joe bought. True to his campaign promise, Joe produced the beer. Gary again had a fire to keep everyone warm. Overall it was a great day.

Major in his truck at 2003 Eagle Run

The Missing Man: For the first time in recent memory, a very important Eagle Run regular was missing. Major wasn't there. Major had been at every Eagle Run except for the first. He was always loyally watching over the festivities and waiting for the off chance that food might fall to the ground or someone might pet him.

Major and Gary went down the path of life as buddies. As many know, Major isn't with us anymore. (That was Moseby, Gary's daughter's dog, trying to fill in for Major this year.) We know that Gary misses Major. But Gary honored his buddy by keeping up his irrepressible good humor. So, Major, here's a hit of Knob for you. And next time we see you, we will bring a slice of pizza.

Let me repeat what I said last year. If you did not attend Eagle Run XV, but are considering Eagle Run XVI, please realize this is just a very skillfully written humor piece. None of this happened. Actually, it was cold, we were all miserable, and, while we did see eagles, they just look like geese to me. So don't come next year. You will be tired, cold, hungry, and, especially, thirsty. You will hate it. I will drink your beer. Don't worry.

Anstr Davidson
Happy Trails!

Here are a few links to Major over the years:

Thanks to Mike Bur who contributed to the writing of this article.

The Party at the Eagle Run

Virginia Happy Trails Running Club
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