2019 Running Travels: A Powellville run for a fallen hero

I carried a piece of paper with the name of U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. John A. Chapman on it for my Memorial Day run.

With the end of the month approaching, I needed somewhere new-to-me, yet close, to run in May. I’d considered checking out a new-to-me trail with a group, but I decided to stay close to home because I painted the living room last weekend and wanted to finish that project.

I decided on Powellville, where I checked out Adkins Mill Park, which I’d never been to. It was also Memorial Day, and after writing about wear blue: run to remember for RunWashington, I decided to run in honor of a fallen service person.

I wanted to learn the story of someone new, so I signed up to get a name sent to me, and I was given the name of U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. John A. Chapman, who was killed March 4, 2002.

Here’s a short grassy trail at Adkins Mill Park in Powellville. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

Before I left my house, I wrote his name down on a piece of paper, and I ran with it during the run. I also read an article about his heroic, lifesaving actions.

For the run, I also wore a T-shirt that I actually got back in middle school in 2004 honoring the Fighting Checkmates (it’s tighter now, but it still fit). I was part of a group of eighth graders that had military pen pals stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach. We got to take a trip to Virginia Beach toward the end of the school year, and although my pen pal was in Hawaii, it was a fun trip. The program was called Crewpals.

I started out at Adkins Mill Park, and I knew the trail wouldn’t be long, but I still figured it would be fun to visit. There was a grassy path, on which I spotted a turtle, and there was also a boardwalk section along Adkins Pond, which was cool.

This boardwalk was less than a tenth of a mile one-way, but it was still unique to run on. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I was surprised to see my friend Rick at the park. I’d driven about 15 or so minutes outside of Salisbury and wasn’t expecting to see anyone I knew — but that was a nice surprise.

I ran less than a mile in the park, so I decided to run some on the streets of the tiny community. There was plenty of farmland to be seen, and I also got some views of the pond from the road. I’d seen military equipment outside of the VFW on my drive to the park, and since it was Memorial Day, I ran up to that, then turned around and turned right before turning around again, heading back to the park and taking another run up the grassy path.

Here’s the military equipment I saw outside of the VFW in Powellville. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I ended the run with four miles.

Adkins Pond can be seen from the road. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I set a goal to travel to at least one new-to-me place for a run each month of 2019. Here are the other places I’ve traveled to for runs this year:

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