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Guest Opinion

Running through Mason County: An introduction and explanation

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

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As most of you know by now, I'm the sports reporter for the Journal. In April, I wrote about how much I hated running, but then I ran a 5K and enjoyed it. Now that the sports season has slowed down a little bit, I decided to take this column space in a different direction.

I have decided I'm going to run in Mason County and write about it. The great thing about running is all you need is a pair of shoes.

Since I started this job in September, I haven't gone anywhere else in the county except the high schools. Now, I have some time to explore. If you haven't noticed, Mason County is beautiful.

Three weeks ago, I went up to Lake Cushman for the first time. My socks were knocked off as I looked at the pristine water and soaked up all of the natural beauty. It made me realize I haven't explored this area enough.

I'm not a fast runner by any means or a hard-core runner. There are days when I hate running, and there are days when I love hitting pavement. I don't know if I'll ever fall in love with running, but I love the adrenaline high after a run.

After running a 5K in April, I have set a personal goal of running a half marathon in October. I think it might be one of the craziest things I've decided to do, but I'm excited to tackle this challenge.

Through this column, I hope I can also share little tidbits about health and other fitness things I discover. I know you've seen and heard that Mason County could use a push in the right direction fitness-wise; so could I. The United States in general can use some help in becoming overall healthy.

It's important to remember that we should all move to just feel overall healthy. If you have a number you want to hit weight-wise, great. If you just want to be able to tackle stairs without losing your breath or you want to have more energy, that's even better. It's important we all just move.

I feel like running is something every former athlete or someone who is looking to get healthy can fall in love with. When I swam, I was a distance swimmer and didn't enjoy my longer swims until I was halfway through. I feel the same about running. I hate the initial first mile, but once I get into a rhythm I feel relaxed.

Summer is the perfect time to start something new. The weather is great for running, and you have long summer days that allow you to run in the morning or the evening.

So Mason County, whether you're in Matlock, Hoodsport, Shelton, Belfair, Harstine Island or anywhere else, let's run. If you have any favorite running spots, send me an email at My hope is that this running column will occur every other week.

I'm ready to run through Mason County and share my adventures with you Happy running, future harriers.

Alexandria Valdez can be contacted at or at 426-4412.

Summer is the perfect time to start something new. The weather is great for running, and you have long summer days that allow you to run in the morning or the evening.

Copyright 2016 Shelton-Mason County Journal, Shelton, Washington. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: June 23, 2016

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