"The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Star City

This morning’s run was a short 3 mile maintenance dash; the last before Saturday’s Star City Half Marathon.

Outside, it was brisk but not uncomfortable. The run was quick by my standards yet surely no records were in danger of being broken and overall, it was a good workout. I feel well prepared for the challenge which lies ahead.

For any readers unfamiliar with or confused by the origin of the name (Star City), it is the official nickname of our fair city (Roanoke) and is so named in honor of the man made star which sits atop Mill Mountain overlooking the downtown area.

Erected and first illuminated on Thanksgiving Eve, November 23, 1949 at a cost of $28,000, this 88.5 ft high star was originally conceived by the Roanoke Merchant’s Association, as a marketing tool to kick off the Christmas holiday season.

At a height of 1,045 feet above the city, the star is visible from the air for a distance of 60 miles. It contains 2,000 ft of neon tubing and consumes approximately 17,500 watts per hour as it burns nightly from dusk until midnight.

Many local business and groups have incorporated “Star City” into their names including our local running club, the Star City Striders. And while over the years, some have been known to decry the star as tacky and a bit of an eyesore, for those of us who grew up in its illuminated aura, the Mill Mountain Star is as much a part of our home as is the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.

“What is more agreeable than one's home?” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

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