On the morning of March 18th, the Charlottesville Ten Miler race fired its shotgun at 7:15 am. The course of the race starts and ends near JPJ Arena and covers a picturesque path including landmarks, like the Downtown Mall, and also hilly neighborhoods and the north part of downtown. The history of the Charlottesville Ten Miler traces back to 1976, when there were only 42 runners who participated. Artists, volunteers and Charlottesville residents are staggered along the road and cheer for the runners. This year, over 1700 runners participated, and the winning time was 52:48.
James Cargile, a prestigious UVA professor from the philosophy department, has participated in the race for over 30 years. Back in the 1980s, Professor Cargile moved to Charlottesville and picked up running as a hobby.
“You just put on the shoes, go out the door and go wherever you want.”
Since then, jogging has been his main form of exercise, as well as the source of some of his philosophical thoughts and ideas behind his teaching.
“When I jog along, I can memorize those logic problems, go for a long run and think about them. And this is very rewarding and it is a source of ideas.”
When Professor Cargile was 65 years old, he was diagnosed with lymphoma and was receiving chemotherapy treatment at the same time as the the Ten Miler. The race was meant to be tough for even the healthiest of runners, but Cargile was not afraid of a challenge and decided to still run in the race.
“When I ran across the finish line, people gave me very warm welcome. It was quite inspiring and lifted up my spirit greatly”, said Professor Cargile when he recalled his experience vividly.
Cargile, having witnessed the change of the city for over 40 years, says that the Charlottesville Ten Miler still continues to create a bond within the Charlottesville community—it brings people closer together by giving them something to think about, a goal to strive for and a place to share and respect.