Here Ye, Here Ye
Those who are a part of the Williamsburg community
On May 15, 1776, the representatives in Williamsburg unanimously called for independence from England. The best interests of the citizens were in question, and these gentlemen became a part of something bigger than themselves when they moved for freedom. Just two months later, on July 25, Lawyer Benjamin Waller declared our independence from the steps of the Courthouse, just down the street from where that decision had been made. The same street that began as an Indian trail when Williamsburg was known as Middle Plantation. In 1699, when Williamsburg became official, it was ordered that its main street "in honor of his Highness William Duke of Gloucester shall forever hereafter be called and knowne by the Name of Duke of Gloucester Street."
Despite its sandy clay soil and humble beginnings, our Duke of Gloucester Street has been the focus of hometown history. Even before independence, King George I designated that Market Square be the site for commerce on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Every December 12th and April 23rd annual fairs were to be held so that trade could commence without local tolls or taxes. These events became celebrations where merchants displayed their wares, citizens danced and socialized, and contests such as foot races, horse races, and "catching a pig with the tail soap'd" were held for prizes. Traditions such as these are still held sacred to those who call Williamsburg home. We care for them as we care for each other. When the early 20th century brought progress to town in the form of concrete and electricity, citizens like the Reverend Dr. W. A. R. Goodwin, rector of Bruton Parish Church, sought assistance to restore Williamsburg and assure that it never be neglected again.
Today, this promise is kept. Our founding fathers knew the importance of the human spirit when they came together as one to declare independence. Much the same, Colonial Sports carries on the traditions of foot races for prizes and caring for the community with the 8th annual Run the Dog St. Challenge. On Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 the citizens of our community far and wide congregate on Duke of Gloucester Street to promote healthy hearts, healthy minds, and make history. Colonial Sports considers all members of the community and celebrates when events such as these bring together citizens of all ages and ability to achieve the accomplishment of a goal, improved aerobic fitness, a stronger heart, lungs and legs but most importantly a stronger sense of self-worth and community. Colonial Sports believes "Williamsburg is richer for this event and the community will reap the rewards later from the future civic accomplishments of these young participants."
This incredible opportunity to stride with fellow community members upon the same path our nation began is planned and prepared for year-round. Students in Elementary and Middle School running clubs throughout the area train and hold their own with some of the peninsula's top runners. The WJCC School Health Initiative Program (SHIP) kids find purpose in events like these and sign up for waiting lists to be a part of the team. Local businesses and organizations come together to sponsor these children, allowing them to train and participate when they may not be able to. Sponsorships are welcome and those interested in helping are encouraged to contact Jim Elder at Colonial Sports (757-253-0277) for more information. This race benefits the Angels of Mercy Medical Clinic, which ensures all members of the community are healthy regardless of ability to pay.
The 8th Annual Run the D.O.G. St. challenge is a USATF championship race. In the spirit of competition, the race state course record of 14.13 held by Ed Moran from the very first race has not yet been broken. In the spirit of community, we encourage you to challenge your competitors by creating a team of coworkers, neighborhoods or club members for the event. There are prizes for the fastest team, the largest team, and the one that raises the most money. Prizes are also awarded to the top Male and Female finishers in various age groups. Each year, finishers receive a unique and collectible medal. Sign up today or make a donation to become a sponsor for a young patriot. We will see you on Saturday, April 22, on D.O.G. St. for this Healthy Hearts! Healthy Minds! Event and together we will race through history on "The Most Famous Street in America."
This item was posted by a community contributor.