Still a Runner

A Blog by Mary Lou Harris

10K + Brandywine Art = Great Mini-Roadtrip


2nd Floor atrium at Brandywine Art Museum

It’s travel Tuesday and I hope you’ll agree with me that a 2-3 hour road trip qualifies as travel. While running friends were scattered across the region at various marathons, I carved the weekend out for the Joy Hope Delaware 10-K, a qualifying race for the 2015 National Senior Games. I looked at this as a secondary opportunity to pay a visit to the nearby Brandywine River Museum of Art.

Speaking of art, there is an art to combining a day trip road race with sightseeing or shopping. It involves a dry change to street clothes, a tattered washcloth and towel from the bottom of your linen closet, a plastic bag, sunblock, and on a rainy day, a comb to run through your thoroughly drenched locks. Lotion, lipstick and mascara are optional as is a bathroom with running water.

The day’s 10K and art trek were equally successful. 6.2 rainy miles through neighborhood streets and rolling hills, slowing a bit on the uphill through Mile 5 and feeling the chill come on during Mile 6 ended with a finish time 55:08, meeting the National Senior Games qualifying time for W-AG 65-69.



After finding a corner of the crowded church bathroom, removing mud from my calves and practicing the art of the discreet wardrobe change, I found my way to the post-race food. I thanked the well-organized Delaware Senior Games volunteers, and chatted with some fellow senior  runners. I look forward to running with them again at the National Senior Games in 2015.

Through damp runners and spectator umbrellas, I made my way to the parking lot. A short drive took me past upscale outlet stores, Whole Foods, and a Trader Joe’s. I was tempted, but continued on to the nearby chosen destination for the day: Chadds Ford and the Brandywine Museum. The indoor/outdoor feel in the atrium welcomes the natural beauty that still abides in this valley.

Bucolic landscape and sculpture

Bucolic landscape and sculpture

The work of one or more generations of the Wyethe family is always found on display here, along with several temporary exhibits.

This is an art museum where you could spend the day, take a lunch break in the on-site restaurant (although the use of plastic dishes and utensils seems so at odds with the natural setting), enjoying a view of the Brandywine Creek through floor to ceiling windows.

Dining with a view

Dining with a view

A nicely kept secret, this nature and art stop-off can be found when driving near the Greater Philadelphia/Delaware area. From major highways, its easy to pop in, stretch your legs for an hour or so and be on your way, revived by the art, the natural setting and the sense of history.

Or, you can take a shorter break by simply walking down one of the many nature trails on the property. I did both.

Creekside Trail

Creekside Trail

If you have any tips on doing a road race day trip with other activities, please share. 




  Jane Murray wrote @

Wonderful blog! Your energy amazes me! Brandywine Museum may be using the latest in compostable tableware made from corn starch, just as Winterthur is. I took samples back to the head of Wilson College dining services, which quickly lead to the introducing the products on campus.

  Still a Runner wrote @

It would be great if that is the case.I will surely check with them. I love this museum and am looking forward to the Horace Pippin exhibit scheduled for April 2015.

  afastpacedlife wrote @

Running + art = a very lovely day

  Still a Runner wrote @

A lovely day indeed. I hope your weekend was as well.

  Red Hen wrote @

Congrats on making the qualifying time for the senior games! Unless I naturally get faster as I get older, I’ll never make it!

Looks like you enjoyed a really nice combination of activities for a weekend.

  Still a Runner wrote @

Thanks, and yes it was a sweet weekend. You may naturally get faster as you get older. It happened for me at some distances and I think some of that is having time allocated to train.

  trueindigo wrote @

I am a fan of many things Wyeth. Thanks for sharing your experiences on art and running!

  Still a Runner wrote @

You’re welcome. Some of Carolyn Wyeth’s work was showing that I had not been familiar with. Love her work.

  theexsaffa wrote @

Fascinating art and history would love to see it first hand. Well done on the qualifier,;)

  Still a Runner wrote @

Thanks for reading. Should you ever be in Eastern Pennsylvania, give a stop. It does feel in some respects like a step back in time.

  theexsaffa wrote @

It’s definitely on my ve….r…r…y large bucketlist of things I want to do;) thanks for the great insight.

  Jim Brennan wrote @

You are my kind of woman, Mary Lou. A friend and I exchange similar stories about places we change to transition from runner to tourist, or just everyday browsing around town. And I’m glad you wrote about the Brandywine River Museum of Art. It’s one I’ve missed but is in my region. Thanks!

  Still a Runner wrote @

Jim, once you visit I’m sure you will return. If not for the art exhibits, then for the myriad of trails on and near the museum property. I’ve only walked the river trail but plan to try some others when I return.

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