Always 70 and Sunny
Always 70 and Sunny

Oral History: Our Grandfather’s Run


F3, as we know it here in Richmond, began (give or take) in the late summer/early Spring of 2014.  It will be 6 years old this August(ish) and continues to grow.  What was once a workout at Gridiron a few times a week now has close to 30 workouts happening throughout the week at locations all over the Richmond area. Literally, hundreds of guys (and women) have found their workout/exercise home with F3 on a weekly/daily basis and several of those lives have been changed for the better.

Yet, there wasn’t always 25 people at an AO, and there wasn’t always four weeks of signups filled for a workout.  In the beginning, there were just a few guys trying to figure it out and make it enjoyable for everyone. 

Sometime between August of 2014 and Mid May of 2015 they began RAMM (run at Mary Munford).  Just like it’s sibling 45MOM (45 Minutes of Mary) RAMM started and ended in the parking lot of Mary Munford Elementary.  It was slated on Friday mornings at 5:45am…in the gloom. 

The original route was relatively simple—it started at Munford…it headed east on Grove to Boulevard then west on Grove to Tuckahoe Ave, Libbie or Three Chopt…then back to Grove. 

This is the Oral History of that run…

Swirly—We wanted a route we could all remember that didn’t have any turns, or really any big hills, or creativity.  So we decided to run back and forth on Grove.

Saab—I hated it from the very beginning.  There was nothing worse than running by the starting point and not being halfway home.

TYA—It reminded me of the original 10k that happened in Massachusetts. Many people think the first 10K happened in the Tidewater area…but they couldn’t be more incorrect…the original 10k was a run in New England where you ran to a rock, turned around, ran to another rock and then back to the original rock.  We wanted to replicate that run.

Bleeder—It was lit.  Not lit in the way that most of the kids are using the word now, but it was literally lit…with lights on Grove.  That was nice.

Swirly—I wholeheartedly agree with that.  It was lit.

Saab—Yeah, there was nothing better than seeing Mary Munford and then running right by it.

Swirly—I remember wondering what that high pitched noise was.

Sippy Cup—It was great for me because it was only 3 miles away from my house.  That meant I could run there, and run the route, then run another 10 miles and then run home…and I could still be at work 7:15am.

TYA—Sippy would show up and wouldn’t even be sweating.

Bleeder—It was pretty lit when he did that.

So the guys continued each Friday, running this same route.  Past the VMFA, turn around, run back past the flag to Grove and Libbie.

BT—It really made no sense to change it up.  We knew the route. We knew the distances.  No one needed a sticky note or a laminated card.  We showed up, we ran back and forth, we went home.

LockJaw—I was never a big fan of it.  You can’t create any cool names from running up and down on Grove. Plus, what’s the fun of signing up for 19 consecutive weeks if you ran the same route each time?

TYA—The original runners in Massachusetts ran the same route for 15 consecutive years.  To the rock. To the other rock. To the starting rock.  I didn’t see any need to mix it up. 

Bleeder—In the back of my mind I knew there were other routes out there.

Saab—It sucked.  10 weeks in a row. Then 15 weeks.  I would dream about the dental office right before 195.

Sippy—At one point I think I remember someone, maybe Bleeder, mentioning that we could possibly cross Boulevard on Grove and enter the Museum District…TYA shot that down pretty quickly.

Swirly—It was a great idea but TYA had no time for it.

BT—I was there that day…it was right before the COT…Bleeder said ‘have we thought about going past Boulevard and maybe making MM the start and end point’…but TYA immediately pushed back.

Bleeder—It got awkward and fast.

Loose Goose—Until then, it had been a pretty cordial group. In fact, many of us doubted that TYA was even from the North, considering how accommodating and friendly he was up until that point.  We thought ‘there’s no way this guy is from Massachusetts’.  That changed that day for good.

Saab—We left that prayer knowing for sure he was from up North.

Sippy—I speak up against stereotyping people…but it was pretty obvious after that conversation that TYA wasn’t born below the Mason Dixon line.  That was an accent I had never heard before.

Loose Goose—There were words used that I hadn’t heard since college.

LockJaw—He used one word as four different parts of speech—adjective, noun, adverb and a gerund.

BT—It was flat out terrific.

Saab—It did open some doors to new language during Qs.

TYA—(edited for content)  Look, we were going to run that (edited) route until I (edited) (edited) left the group.  The settlers in (edited) (edited) (edited) Mass didn’t run to a far away rock, turn around and run to the beginning (edited) rock.  There were three rocks.  (edited) (edited) (edited)

Sippy—We didn’t talk a lot about changing the route after that.

Toga—Some of us thought about leaving the group and moving away.

Fudd—I thought about creating my own run. Something through the hills of Westham.

TYA—To this day I can’t believe that we changed that original route.  (edited) Reverse Carrillon.

The 5:30am jaunts continued each week.  PR’s were bested, more people joined.  In Mid May, over lunch at Lunch Bleeder invited a 40 year old VCU employee, Robby Robinson to the group. Robby showed up at the height of the Tom Brady deflate-gate, and immediately knew he was in the right place.  He got the nickname “MARV” because he did the VCU games on the radio and Marv Albert was a notorious play by play guy who as once arrested because he bit a woman’s back while he was wearing a slip.

Toga—Hemorrhoid was still available.

Marv—I had been trying to figure out when to work out…5:30am seemed perfect.  Loose Goose led the Q that day and I was sold.  The very next day they had a run.  And I like to run…so it seemed perfect.

Bleeder—You know the young guy in ‘Shawshank Redemption’ that shows up with all the energy and everyone immediately likes? Marv was not that guy. But it added to our numbers, so that was cool.  

Sippy—He showed up for the run wearing headphones.

Saab—I couldn’t believe someone had the nerve to show up to run in headphones.

TYA—(edited) headphones on this (edited) guy.

BT—The headphones were an…let’s say…interesting choice.

Marv—To this day I’m not 100% sure why I was looked at like a leper when I showed up in headphones.

Hardywood—Why use headphones when you can just sing at the top of your lungs?

Rosie—There are days I wish I had headphones.

Garbage Plate—Now the dude just turns on his music and listens without headphones.

Hardywood—I think it’s DC Talk music.

Splinter—When he does that…I either slow waaaay down or speed way up. 

Marv—After about three weeks of running up and down Grove, I asked if we had considered another route.  You know, something that ran on other streets.

Swirly—Oh boy.

Sippy—We all looked at TYA and closed our eyes.

Splinter—Marv asked the question that had been on everyone’s mind. Other than ‘I wonder if there’s someone in the group that can calibrate all of our attendance on some website.’

Saab—It was about time we brought it up again.  It had almost been one year of running in a straight line.

Marv—How was I supposed to know that subject was taboo?  I mean, there’s two things in my life that I know…1—the first Thanksgiving was in Virginia.  2—it was hideously boring running in a straight line each week.

Conspiracy—I would purposely show up late and run a different route and pretend that I ran the same route. Then I would get mad.

TYA—I decided right then and there that I was going to kill Marv.  Either that, or I was going to build him his dream house.  One of the two.

Splinter—I run with MARV a lot…he has a bunch of crazy ideas and says some crazy things….this may have been the craziest.

Bleeder—TYA asked where else we could go. What other possible routes could there be in that area?

TYA—Seriously, it’s not like we had a lot of choices…I asked the Q to name three better routes right then and there and I’d consider it.

BT—That was a bad move by TYA.

Sippy—That’s when the routes started to come out…

Marv—I said that Monument Ave had a route where tens of thousands of people pay upwards of $60 to run on it.  We could do that. For free.

Splinter—On Good Friday we could run like a cross.

Lab Rat—There was the Carrillon route.

Bleeder—We could run laps between Hamilton and Malvern

Copernicus—As long as we stay out of Windsor Farms we could go anywhere.

LockJaw—After Duke games we could run Grace to Allen. Grayson Allen….get it.

Saab—We could do just about anything and it would be better.

Swirly—We could take a left on Hamilton and run by the greatest building ever built in the history of Mankind.

LockJaw—Surely there was a dangerous industrial area we could run to.

Circle K—Haiku to UofR and back.

Sippy—I could wear a light on my shoe and we could split up into three groups and we could chase each other.  It could be snowing.

TYA—edited for content

Lab Rat—We could run back and forth in the neighborhood north of Munford.  There could be one part where the road ends and everyone could guess where to go.

Toga—The snake route.

Marv—I hate the snake route.

Splinter—The snake route sucks.

Hardywood—There’s not a better route in the world than the Snake route.

The group decided that the next week they would try one of the 25 routes that were deemed different than the Grove to Boulevard to 3 Chopt to Munford.  And from there, that route became less and less of an occurrence.  Except for today…January 24, 2020.  It was the day that route came back…for nostalgic purposes. And because no one signed up on the spreadsheet. 

TYA—What a great (edited) Q today, boys.


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  1. That is one of the best BB I have ever ready Marv. This should be required reading for new PAX members. I laughed through the whole BB.

    I did not realize how controversial having different routes were. By the time I came to my first runs in the summer of 2016, we were already doing various routes.

  2. This is the beginnings of an F3 screenplay. I can’t wait to see Marv at the golden globes trying not to get insulted by Ricky Gervais. Marv would just overwhelm him with facts.

    Well done Marv.

  3. Just in time for Oscar season. BB of the year already locked up.
    Maybe we rename Marv to Amadeus, inconsistent BB posting forgiven by exceptional BB writing talent…

  4. Swirly (F3 Corporate) on

    Marv – this is one of the all time greats – up there with Toga’s Balls !
    Very well done !

  5. Wedding Singer on

    Alas I resolved to read this after much chatter. T claps to Marv, well done, top 5 blackblast for sure! Was OG route to Three Chopt and back? I can recall many a day running that – wind, rain, icy roads, didn’t matter. Touch Three Chopt and return.