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Of Beagles, Running Shoes, and Howlin’ Coyotes!

National Public Lands Day Howlin' Coyote 10K Trail Race is on September 27, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. at Caledon State Park.
 
And they are off!
And they are off!
 
Here is one man's story of how he started running, Part I from Justyn Cox
 
I began running the trails of Caledon State Park, then Caledon Natural Area, in the spring of 2008. I had just adopted a new beagle puppy named Sasha and forgot how much energy they take. Our walks began very spiritedly and soon I found myself running to keep up with her.  Eventually, our pace and distance increased and I found myself dropping pounds.
 
Justyn at Caledon State Park
Justyn at the start of the race
 
Running can be an addiction
 
The more you do it the more you want to do it. Very soon, my beagle pack included Roscoe P. Coletrane the newest adoptee from the rescue. Mostly, all my runs were at Caledon as the beagles required exercise first thing in the morning when I liked to run.
 
Caledon trail
Caledon trail
 
Running Caledon was easy, I lived on park property with my wife the Park Manager. Whenever I got the urge to run all I had to do was lace up and turn right out the door.
 
Our weekend runs included Belmont Trail, Fern Hollow, Laurel Glen, and Poplar Ridge. Occasionally, my wife would join us on the Boyd’s Hole Trail and then turn me loose to run back via the Belmont Trail sans beagles. As much as I enjoyed running with the beagles, I relished the opportunity to go out on my own and cut loose on the single track of the Belmont Trail. No stopping every five yards to sniff, or change direction because of a squirrel. Many times on my run my feet ended up in the air and my face on the ground when Sasha stopped mid trail on a downward lie because of something she had sniffed causing me to eat major trail dirt!  More and more people were coming to Caledon to run since there were very few places where traffic would allow running without having to deal with cars
 
After a year I had completed a 5k, a 15k, two Half Marathons, and my first marathon (the Marine Corps Marathon). 
 
By the spring of 2012, I had been running almost 4 years and was banking both trail and paved miles. I was very familiar with the running community in and around Fredericksburg and King George. It occurred to me and the park staff that, we should attempt to sponsor our own race. Sammy Zambon, Chief Ranger at Caledon State Park, and I sat down with Vic Culp of Race Timing Unlimited and started hashing out the details. Vic actually made it kind of easy! I had run in dozens of his races including one of my favorites: The Blue & Gray Half Marathon. I chose the best aspects of all these races and tried to incorporate them into our race.  
 
American Bald Eagle
American Bald Eagle
 
The first thing, the name
 
Caledon is open to many species of wildlife but lays its claim to fame with the Bald Eagle. If you go to Google and search for races with an Eagle in them, thousands show up! We wanted a name that had cool factor and was original. Rockin’ Raccoon was a choice but didn’t have the cool factor we were looking for. I can’t remember who mentioned coyote first but Sammy Zambon and I knew it in an instant and thus was born the Howlin’ Coyote. We even had chosen the name and the course for the kid’s race that very same evening but didn’t have time to prepare two races. That would have to wait.
 
Now we had a date, the plan and the name!  Want to know more? Please look for my next blog and my continuing story. Please see the information and links below to sign up for the race.
 
Dreams of racing at Caledon State Park
Dreaming of the race
 
Race Fees: 
 
Howlin' Coyote 10K fee until September 14, 2014 is just $20 and after September 14, 2014 the fee is $25. Wily Pup Trail Dash is $5 - 1 mile kids' dash ages 5-13.
 
Don't want to run the race but still have fun?
 
We need volunteers! Volunteers help the park staff with race timing, check in, manning water stations, and serving as course safety marshals. If you are interested in volunteering to help with the race please call us at the park office. We can't do this without you!
 
Almost there
Almost to the finish line!
 
Caledon State Park 11617 Caledon Road, King George VA 22485, near Fredericksburg. For more information on the race, please call the park (540) 663-3861.
 
Mark your calendars for the National Public Lands Day Howlin' Coyote 10K Trail Race on September 27, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. at Caledon State Park!


Published: 08/24/2014


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