August 25, 2015
I’ve never been to Mystic. I’ve passed it hundreds of times speeding on 95 and wondered about what might be there. I’ve seen the movie that it famous. This summer I moved Mystic to the top of my to-do list.
I also hadn’t run in awhile. I’ve almost completely failed at all of my running goals this year. The summer was full of trips where I couldn’t run, and once I’d broken my streak, I was much less motivated to run every day. All that speed training I planned to do to break some records just never happened.
To make me feel better about that, Mystic has a statue of John Kelley just as you enter town. He won Boston in 1957 (the year they re-measured the course). Curiously, he was the first BAA member to win the race. The local running shop, Kelley’s Pace, has his name.
Running around Mystic is flat along the water, but you might get held up at the draw bridge which cuts the town in two. In the couple of days I was in Mystic, I got held up twice at this bridge. Don’t try to set any course records with this thing in the way!
It gets a bit hilly on the west side, where you’ll find Mystic Pizza. It’s almost nothing like what you’d see in the movie and I don’t know if it ever had a secret recipe that impressed a pretentious foodie
A little past that is Baptist Hill and Union Baptist Church, a pre-Civil War church that was operating in the same place with a different building before Meville even knew there were whales. The newer buildings in this town come from the age of whaling and most of them have their date if building on them. I wondered if I’d here things like “1840! Here comes the neighborhood”.
Going up Baptist Hill I ran by lots of cute homes (and there are even more historic ones in the other parts of town). It’s a nice little hill that doesn’t get much traffic. Hill repeats anyone?
There were other bits of the run that were much more boring. I skipped over Mystic Seaport, which seemed like charging people money to look at boats they could see on their own, but I might have been annoyed by the long and highly trafficked road that reminded me that cars are everywhere. I like to get away from cars.
At the end of my trip I visited the Mystic Aquarium, which I think has seen better times. You can buy reproductions of art made by the animals though. Ask at your B&B for discount tickets. If you don’t have a B&B, try The Mermaid Inn, which I found delightful.