>Tour de Saint Johns

>While a fair part of our country is gearing up yet again for a blast from Old Man Winter, this past weekend a good chunk of us had the great fortune to bask in sunshine and warm temperatures.  Warmth spread throughout the southeast, from South Carolina through Florida and westward towards Texas. 

My friends Paul and Jeff ran the Myrtle Beach Marathon, where the temps at the starting gun were in the low 60’s.  Both said it was hot and that the heat impacted their runs in one way or another.  Paul summed it up best by saying that the temperature was 40 degrees warmer than what he had trained in for his race.  Both had what I’d consider great races – finishing in 3:37 and 3:27, respectively.

Here in Northeast Florida, the weather was what I’d call “Chamber of Commerce” weather.  It was so dang beautiful you could almost imagine someone would take a picture of it and try to sell it as a reason for coming to Jacksonville.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the afternoon highs were in the low 80’s.  Zero humidity.  An outdoorsman’s paradise.

For the first time in 2011 I was able to get on my bike.  I went on a 20 mile ride with some of the folks from my tri club and had a marvelous time.  Apparently, nearly every other cyclist in the city had the same idea that we had, and hit the roads.  I live in a part of Jacksonville called Saint Johns.  This is a suburb of the city that alights both some urban areas as well as potato fields and pasture.  The roads are relatively new and wide, and the cycling is superior.  Needless to say, we saw literally hundreds of other cyclists out and about.  There were a few large groups, and some smaller ones.  Apres ride, I saw a group that easily had 50 riders in it.  It was a great morning for a ride.

I followed the ride with a five mile run.  I’d almost forgotten what it felt like to run after a ride.  I’d certainly forgotten what it was like to run when it was relatively hot (of course, this pales to what it will be like here in just a month or two).

Yesterday was spent out side as well.  We spent the entire afternoon watching some very high quality college lacrosse.  Jacksonville University hosted a large lacrosse tournament here that featured Georgetown University, Duke University and Notre Dame University.  The JU / Georgetown game was an offensive showcase – very high scoring.  The Duke / Notre Dame game was a rematch of last years’ college national championship, and didn’t disappoint. 

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