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Downtown Fredericksburg offers many opportunities for runners to connect with history and Historic Half Weekend is no exception. Several merchants and restaurants will offer discounts to runners as part of the Fredericksburg Main Street initiative. The Main Street program, a national network of over 1,600 towns and cities in more than 40 states, is organized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The program aims to get downtown avenues into top physical shape and create a safe, inviting environment for shoppers and visitors.
Several shops in the historic downtown Fredericksburg will offer incentives for runners who show their bib when making a purchase including:
15 percent discount from The Pa Dutch Food & Candy and Pa Dutch Tea & Spice at 1013 Caroline Street and The Griffin Bookshop at 723 Caroline Street. The Griffin's discount is on all books and merchandise, excluding consignment and coffee bar.
10 percent discount from FOODE located at 1006-C Caroline Street and the PONSHOP Gallery at 712 Caroline Street.
The Made In Virginia Store at 920 Caroline Street will provide a free sample of peanuts (as supplies last) and 10 percent discount.
Fizzlebottom's Cafe, 920 Caroline Street, will offer $2.00 Hot Dogs or 20% off Sandwiches.
OSCAR MIKE AWARD
And the 2013 Oscar Mike Award goes to… James Swisher, Vice President, Project Management and Continuous Improvement, Mary Washington Healthcare Center (MWHC).
Derived from the military phonetic alphabet for O and M, the Oscar Mike award translates to “On the Move” and is presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the Marine Corps Historic Half and the Fredericksburg community. Swisher coordinates the MWHC volunteer medical workforce, as well as provides oversight of the sponsorship that began with the first running of the Historic Half. His enthusiasm for this event, as well as the important role MWHC plays in support of the runners, is evident from initial planning through race day.
“Internally at MWHC, we begin our planning meetings a few months before the event and work on everything from emergency preparedness to marketing and communications.
“Mary Washington Healthcare Center is a proud sponsor, but we think of ourselves as more than that. We think of ourselves as a partner,” offers Swisher. “We staff and supply aid stations, support a water point, provide medical supplies and equipment, and collaborate with MCM and local EMS regarding medical care planning. Our goal is to ensure anyone who needs care during the Historic Half gets if quickly, safely, and effectively.”
Swisher takes an active role in ensuring this care is delivered. He is seen on his bicycle checking the course around MWHC and ensuring all the pre-race coordination is in place. He provides encouragement and support to his team by stopping at the aid stations and water points.
“As healthcare professionals, we love events that encourage a healthy lifestyle,” Swisher explains. “We also benefit from the cooperation of MCM staff, local law enforcement, and local EMS in hosting a safe, secure, and fun event.”
Though many runners may not see Hospital Hill as a fun portion of the course, Swisher acknowledges the success runners feel after tackling this portion of the course, located on the MWHC campus.
“I love to see the smile on the runners’ faces when they top Hospital Hill,” he enthuses.
Swisher’s enthusiasm, along with his dedication to the Historic Half, were paramount to his selection as this year’s Oscar Mike award winner.
“James has been a loyal partner over the last four years. He promotes this event both with his professional and personal actions and is engaged in all parts of the event. The Historic Half truly benefits from James’ contributions,” says Rick Nealis, MCM Director.
The Oscar Mike award will be presented to Swisher at a special ceremony during Historic Half Weekend.
“I'm so honored to receive the Oscar Mike,” emotes Swisher. “Of course, a lot of the credit belongs to Laury Ruding (MWHC’s Executive Assistant, Project Management and Continuous Improvement). I'm excited about this year's event and I'm already looking forward to next year.”
HISTORIC HALF HEADQUARTERS HOTEL
The Hilton Garden Inn Fredericksburg is located next to the Historic Half start, as well as the official finish line for the Half, Historic 10K and Semper Fred 5K. Complimentary parking for overnight guests makes walking to the Marine Corps Historic Half and Expo very convenient. In addition to a warm, friendly atmosphere, the Hilton Garden Inn Fredericksburg offers:
- Complimentary wired and wireless high-speed internet
- Mini-fridge, microwave oven and Keurig In-Room Single Cup Brewer in each guest room
- Indoor pool, Whirlpool & Fitness Center
- Hilton Honors Guest Reward Program
- 24-Hour Executive Business Center
- Great American Grill Offering Fresh Hot Made to Order Breakfast, Evening Dining & Room Service and Cocktails
The City of Fredericksburg will offer a free shuttle service from the Fredericksburg Expo & Convention Center on Saturday, May 17 for all Healthy Lifestyle Expo attendees. The shuttles will depart from the Expo Center continuously throughout the day from 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. to three historic downtown locations: the Williams Street side of Hurkamp Park; the 700 block of Caroline Street directly across the street from the Fredericksburg Visitors Center; and at 925 Caroline Street in front of the River Run Antique Mall.
All visitors to the Healthy Lifestyle Expo can catch the shuttle directly outside the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center.
The Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center is offering all Historic Half runners a one-year museum membership at half price. Membership provides a full year of free admission to the museum; access to members-only events and programs; first to know about upcoming events and exhibitions through our bi-monthly e-blasts and quarterly newsletter; discounts to The Museum Store and other local businesses. FAMCC presents more than 100 programs annually to the community and boasts eight permanent exhibitions and six to eight temporary exhibitions each year. FAMCC President and CEO Ellen Killough encourages runners and families to visit the Museum that weekend and become a member.