Running along Highway 30 — sort of

Jogging can get monotonous at times so I’m constantly searching for new places to jog to give me new things to look at. One of my favorite locations that I have searched out is along the bike trail, which runs by Iowa Avenue and then by Highway 30 southwest of Marshalltown.

It can be confusing for some drivers as there are portions where the actual trail is not evident, only the person using the trail. So sometimes it appears I’m just jogging in a ditch along the highway.

This past spring, I was in the thick of a good run when a motorcycle went by. The passenger woman on the back of the motorcycle was staring at me like I was a bear who escaped from the zoo. After she stared me down I decided to give her a thumbs up.

I started doing more thumbs up gestures lately since I think they are more positive than waving.

Well, she still stared at me as if to say “Who is that tall, goofy-looking guy and why is he running along the road?”

I didn’t think about it until later but I hope she didn’t think I was hitchhiking with my thumb in the air.

My most recent run on this trail had me thinking. For dozens of people that see each run I do along Highway 30, I’m the face of Marshalltown.

Sorry local residents but, yes, that mug that you see in this column is most likely the only person they will see from Marshalltown as they zoom by our fair city.

I’ll try not to do anything too weird because we all know we are all normal here in Marshalltown. Right?

You get a different perspective running along a highway. One thing I notices is people throw garbage out of their cars way too much. It’s probably a small percentage of the drivers on Highway 30 but it still makes a mess along the road. Come on people, can’t you wait until you get home?

Also, sometimes road kill gets pulled down into the ditch to get it off the road. For several months, there was a decaying deer carcass that made for some less-than-appetizing smells along that stretch of the trail.

So, if you see me jogging while on Highway 30 give me a wave or a thumbs up.

It’s a lot better than whipping your garbage out of the window at 55 miles and hour.

Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or