My iPhone jolted me awake at four-thirty this morning. It’s September now and the chill is in the air. I got myself out of bed, tiptoed past running buddy Griffin’s cage (too early for him), brushed my teeth, downed an espresso, and made the fifteen minute drive to meet up with the five o’clock Friday morning running group at Wegmans. It was great to be back after battling a pulled hamstring that finally required me to stop running completely for the past month.
There was a large group, around a dozen of us. We ran over ten miles on the Chester Valley Trail, illuminated most of the way by LED headlamps, and I didn’t keep track of the time. I’m guessing we were running somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00 minutes per mile. The run went by quickly as I got a chance to catch up with everyone and hear about their summer races.
The conversations continued over coffee inside Wegmans a little after 6:30 and I shared some of my summer running-related escapades since completing the ½ Sauer ½ Kraut Marathon in Philadelphia back on June 14th. Here are the highlights:
The Saucony Mile, June 20th
My daughter and I went to watch the Saucony Mile at the Pottstown-Limerick airport. The race was run straight down the single runway, around a turn, and then back up a taxiway to the finish. There were multiple heats ranging from elite through age groups and kids. It was great fun on a sunny summer Friday evening. I took the above picture of the lead group in the elite race, which was won in a blazing time of 4:10!
Downingtown Good Neighbor Day 4th of July Races
This is a very popular community 4th of July event that lasts all day and into the night ending with a fireworks show. I ran the 10K and won my age group. My daughter ran the warm-up with me and then she snapped a great action pic at the start:
We had Wawa coffee after the race:
in24 Urban Ultra Midnight Madness 8.4 Mile Race, July 20th
The Midnight Madness 8.4 Mile Race was part of the Back on My Feet (BoMF) in24 Urban Ultra weekend of races, featuring the 24-hour ultra race as the centerpiece. It was a different experience driving into Philadelphia late on a Saturday night for a road race.
As I approached the Spring Garden Street exit I could see the lights of Boathouse Row and I started to get pumped up for the race. I parked near the Art Museum and headed toward the start. There were runners dressed in glow-in-the-dark gear jogging and walking back and forth stowing their bright yellow swag bags in their cars and warming up. A midnight running vibe is a cool thing to step into.
I had a great time and got a chance to meet BoMF Philly Executive Director Scott Crossin as he greeted runners at the finish line!
2014 Advanced Sports Chiropractic Runners’ Pentathlon, Presented by the Greater Philadelphia Track Club, August 10th
This truly unique race-among-races was contested at Germantown Academy’s Carey Stadium & Athletic Complex, Fort Washington, PA 19034. The competition was open to all athletes 14-and-older. The event was sanctioned by USA Track & Field, and officiated by certified USATF officials.
More from the event website:
“Each runner competed in 5 track races (3000m – 200m – 1500m – 100m – 400m/800m), with a minimum of 30 minutes recovery time between races. Athletes chose either the 400m or the 800m for their fifth event (400m and 800m heats alternated). With an equal mix of sprints and distance events (order as above), this challenging (but fun!) competition pitted sprinter against distance runner to determine the best all-around track runner. Scoring was age-graded using the World Masters Association’s 2006 age/gender-graded tables. Points were tabulated for each race (the age/gender-graded percentage), and awards were based on the cumulative percentages for the five races. This meet presented a rare opportunity for men and women, young and old, to compete directly against each other on a level playing field. The 2014 individual winner was Nick Berra, who amassed 429.60 age graded points to win for the second consecutive year.”
My daughter and I volunteered to help run the race. I worked behind the scenes entering scoring data into a computer and posting results while she worked at the finish line assisting with automated timing. We had a great time and then went for a trail run after the meet was over!
It was toward the end of summer when my hamstring began to get worse and sidelined me for almost a month. It’s great to be running again, but I made an adjustment and switched from the full marathon to the half for the upcoming GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon because there’s not enough time left to ramp up to the distance I would need for 26.2. Can’t wait to toe the line for the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon!
Questions for you:
What races did you run over the summer?
What races do you have planned for this fall?
Good luck out there on the roads and trails!