I signed up for this race about two weeks ago with my roommates just for fun, and as a bonus it supported a great cause (it benefits Larc School, a non-profit organization that helps children with disabilities). The course was completely different from the places we usually run – it started in New Jersey, went across the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philadelphia, then turned around and went around Camden, NJ for about 2 miles before finishing in the outfield of Campbell’s Field.
I woke up at 5:25 (which didn’t feel too bad – thank you time change) for breakfast of oatmeal mixed with banana and peanut butter and 2 cups of coffee before heading over at 6:45 with my roommates and another friend from running club. We took public transit to get to the bridge, then ran across the bridge to the NJ side of the Delaware River where the race start/packet pick-up was. That ended up being about 2.5 miles though – it’s a long bridge!
I was concerned with how crowded things like packet pick-up/bag check/bathrooms would be since it was all basically being held in a really small baseball stadium, but it was fine. Despite there being around 3500 participants, lines weren’t bad anywhere and we were able to start pretty close to the start line.
I ran with my (girl) roommate the whole race. Our guy roommate is ridiculously fast… he ended up in the top 20 overall.
The first mile was actually the hardest (8:23). Maybe it was because of the wind and the fact it was slightly uphill, but at that point I really didn’t know what I’d gotten myself into for a “fun” run. I wanted to run faster than 50 minutes because in past year’s results, the 15-19 female age group winner was always right around 50-51 minutes, which I knew I could beat, but at that point I thought it could be a challenge.
As soon as the bridge went downhill, things started to improve. The wind wasn’t as bad after the turn-around, which happened a little before mile 2 (7:32). Mile 3 went by really fast (7:19). Mile 4 was when we were heading back into the area around NJ… also went by really fast with the new stuff to look at (7:16). Mile 5 though was where things started getting tough again… I was just trying to keep up with my roommate at that point (7:19). We race really well together though. Mile 6 still felt tough, but I knew it was almost over and just pushed through (7:08). The final .2 wasn’t bad at all. I live for the feeling of almost being done with a race, haha. We saw our other roommate and his dad who had come to watch at that point, which was fun!
Me and my roommate
The race finished in the middle of center field, but you had to run along the perimeter of the field to get there, and the curves felt really weird. It was hard to pick up speed and make a gradual turn like that. It was fine though. Finish time 46:33 - a new PR, down from 47:20 at the Peachtree Road Race (admittedly a much hillier course) in July.
I got 2nd place in my age group!
It was a really good race… I’m feeling confident for the Philly marathon in just under 2 weeks!