Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We've long since established that running and cities are two of my favorite things. This time of year, however, brings back another of my very favorite things - college football. I am a HUGE college football fan, and this year marks the most exciting fall ever. My husband and I are are in our fifth season as season ticket holders at his alma mater Michigan State. This year we also purchased season tickets to MY alma mater, West Virginia University. Two sets of season tickets in one fall? Yes, please!

Posing with the WVU dance team at College Gameday in 2011 (WVU v. LSU)
The last few years I've incorporated my (and my husband's) love of college sports into running. I've run several races that ended in stadiums - in South Bend, Knoxville, and East Lansing.  It's become a fun game to try to find races that end in stadiums. That way everyone wins - I get to run a race, we get to travel AND we get to see a new college town and stadium.  As a bonus I have even more incentive to wear WVU gear during a race.

On the field at Neyland Staduim in Knoxville, TN in 2011
There is a magic of sorts to college towns. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when we visited State College, PA and again this past weekend as I went onto Michigan State's campus as the students are moving in. That was such a fantastic time of my life - my first independence, the first time I make my own adult decisions, the first time I could eat ice cream for dinner without anyone saying anything.  College football season brings back the novelty of that time for me every single year, even now, 16 years after I was a freshman in college (ouch).

Tailgating for the WVU/Pitt game in 2003 with my brother and friends
I love running in the fall, and the combination of college football and fall running - the chill in the air and the crisp fall smells - it pretty much cannot be beat.  I get teary eyed watching my Mountaineers play football and every time I hear "Country Roads". I get teary at the start of every race. And I have been known to find something I love in a city (I am particularly partial to downtown grocery stores) that can choke me up.  Doesn't a downtown grocery store do it for everybody?!?

Following the Sunburst Half Marathon (it ends in Notre Dame's stadium) in 2010
This Friday we kick off our college football seasons at Spartan Stadium against Boise State. I won't get to a Morgantown until the Maryland game on September 22. I will love every minute at Mountaineer Field...I can't wait to watch my team, travel to one of my favorite towns and run though it all. Let's go!


  1. Hey I'm also vary excited of WVU VS Maryland game. Me and my cousin going to watch live WVU football game 2012...

  2. I love that pic from 2003! What is Dana doing? Hilarious!

  3. That's Dana looking at me like he loves me. Obviously.