Helvetia is a small village in the heart of West Virginia that was settled by Swiss/German immigrants in 1869. The town still holds that original charm and is like stepping back in time. In fact, I had to tell my assistant at work that she wouldn't be able to get a hold of me because I wouldn't have cell service.
When you arrive in Helvetia you make the 3 mile journey into the woods on a dirt road to Mr. Dan Lehmann's house. Sometime after you arrive you will be asked to participate in a hash run that doesn't leave the Lehmann property and is guaranteed to leave you with mud splattered legs and cuts from brier bushes. After you've finished the hash and set up your tent for the night, everyone gathers around the fire for some good food brought by good friends (we brought brownies and watermelon from the garden). If you don't get carried away in conversation, you might choose to go to the square dance in the community hall. We have done this a few times in the past, but we forgot about it this year. It will probably be more fun next year when Eileen is a little older anyway.
In the morning we woke and got ready for the race. I had planned to try and get my long run in along with the race, so I was going to run from Dan's house down to the start and then add on a couple more miles. In doing my long warm up with training partner Ron, I forgot all about the kids race. Don had Travis down to the start in time to participate, but I missed it.
Once I got my 4 miles in, it was time to head to the start line, that is after I gave Don a bottle for the baby and changed shoes. The race is a fun 10k with the first 3 miles on pavement and a little grass/dirt, then you start to head up to Dan's house on his dirt road. Once you pass Dan's house you have a half mile uphill climb that will leave you walking. When you hit the top you want to get your stride back so you can use the extreme downhill mile back to the finish to make up some lost time. I won the race with a 48:50 and 10 miles already done. I ran 4 miles while waiting for the awards to get going.
Every year Dan tries to mix it up with the awards. This year we got some nice pottery that just happened to match some awards I've gotten form other races. We also get a free meal at the Hutte, which is the only restaurant in Helvetia and well worth the drive.
So once Don and I went back to the house to get showered and pack up the car, the family headed to the Hutte for some lunch before the 2 hour ride home. Another fun weekend spent in Helvetia!