I joined the Rhode Island Road Runners Club about a year ago, full of enthusiasm for participating in all their activities. I was particularly drawn to a challenge they have called the New England Cup which is awarded to any member who runs a race in every New England state in the year.
For the geographically challenged, New England consists of six states; Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut. In total it's about 72,000 square miles, so it's smaller than each of the 17 largest US states. Not vast by any means.
I can do that, I thought. In fact I can do even better. I will run a half marathon in all six states in 2010.
I started well. I did a half-marathon in Rhode Island in May. Another one in Massachusetts in June. Then the weather got warm, and I started running less, and I never did run another half-marathon last year.
The New England Cup for running gave me another idea. I could sail a Laser regatta in all six New England states in 2010.
I started well. I sailed a Laser regatta in Rhode Island in May. Another one in Massachusetts in August. Then the weather got cooler, and I started sailing less, and I never did sail a regatta in any other New England state last year.
I'm not going to make the same mistake again this year. Clearly I set my sights too high last year. I need more realistic objectives this year.
I was thinking about this as I was perusing the lengthy beer menu at Aidan's Pub in Bristol yesterday lunchtime and pondering what beer would go well with bangers and mash followed by bread pudding.
Then it struck me. The perfect challenge for me this year would be to find a favorite beer that is brewed in each of the six New England states. I am already a fan of Newport Storm from Rhode Island. And last summer at Aidan's I regularly enjoyed a couple of glasses of Long Trail Ale from Vermont after Tuesday night sailing.
Hmmm. I see they have Old Thumper from Maine. I tried it. I liked it. I had another glass.
Three states down. Three to go.
This year I will achieve my goal.