Jay and I are quickly approaching 11 years of wedded bliss. There’s a lot we have in common, the core being that we are both nerds. We totally and completely geek out over things that we are passionate about. For example, we were both at the Veronica Mars movie Friday night, giggling and chair dancing. (Okay, maybe I was the only one chair dancing.)
Some things he geeks out over, I just… I don’t understand. Like Lord of the Rings. Let’s not even talk about the fact that I didn’t see Star Wars until he forced me to watch it in my late twenties. Or his reaction when I fell asleep while we watched.
To be fair, the pendulum swings the other way as well. I geek out over running. And try as he might, he just isn’t at the same level of Running Geek as I am. Bless his heart! That’s why when he actually signs up for a race and seems slightly excited for it, it makes me even more stoked. Think puppy with peanut butter.
I’ve participated in the Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k for the past three years; the first year I was fairly new to racing and he was there for emotional support, last year he joined me on the course for his first ever 5k. This year we decided to stick together so that I could help him PR.
This race is in its 9th year and the reason why I think it’s an area favorite is because of one simple fact- it’s a race for runners, by runners. The Haddonfield (Moorestown/Mullica Hill) Running Company has been in business for 17 years and hosts the event; they know what runners want.
Close parking – CHECK
Packet pickup both prior to and on race day – CHECK
Fun/fast course – CHECK
Party after at the store – CHECK
Another party that evening at a bar – CHECK (not that we were there, but parties are always a good time!)
Since it’s a favorite among the area residents, we always see a good handful of people we know at this race. It’s not uncommon to post “Who’s going to be at the Adrenaline 5k?” on Facebook and have resounding YESES come back at’cha.
It was a bit rainy prior to the race which was a surprise and we all watched the clouds overhead to see what Mother Nature was going to throw at us. However, she was just playing around this time. Probably because she knew it was Megan’s 40th birthday!
Close to 9am, Jay and I moseyed on over to the starting line, waving to our fast friends and placing ourselves toward the back of the pack.
The game plan was pretty straight forward, we’d run the first straight away and then switch to 1:1 intervals for the remainder of the race. I decided to ditch my watch and just go with what Jay felt comfortable with, taking my cues off of him for pace.
Promptly at 9am, the race started and we crossed the mat around 1:06. From there, I followed Jay. The first half mile or so, I hung directly behind him so that he could weave and find a comfortable spot in the pack. The race is through the local town which is super cute, so I spent a good portion of the run checking out the houses and waving to the residents along the route.
We took advantage of the down hill (that comes before the uphill in this race) and Jay grabbed a quick drink of water around 1.8 miles. There’s one uphill and it comes just before the mile 2 mark. I wasn’t sure how Jay would approach it but when I tell you that he FLEW up that hill, I’m not exaggerating. He seriously pushed and it was crazy impressive!
As we wound our way back to the main road and the final stretch of the race, I could tell that he was ready to be done. During these times I tried to push the pace on the walking intervals so that he wouldn’t slow down too much.
There were adorable little girls giving high fives in the middle of the street that helped make that last stretch more fun (I was having fun the entire time but I was trying not to be too rah-rah cheerleader). You can see the finish line about a quarter mile down the road and it definitely helps the morale to know you’re nearly done.
Once we were about a tenth a mile away from the finish, Jay was ready to push hard and finish strong. Right around this time, our friends were along the route, cheering as we went by! We crossed the finish line, he stopped Runkeeper and realized he’d hit a personal record, cutting his time by nearly a minute.
Brandi and Sean found us and we got a couple of post-race snacks (they had an assortment of bagels, bananas, oranges and water) before heading over to the Running Company store for the post-race party!
The store hosts an ah-mazing party, with food from the local catering company, Apron. There was an incredible sweet potato salad that was called Born to Run salad that was so good, it would have made Bruce sing. We chatted with friends, snacked on food, and drank beer (yes, at 10am). And since we were there, Jay and I got our long overdue running shoes.
All in all, an incredible time, as expected! We’ll be back and maybe, just maybe, I’ll turn Jay into a full-fledged Running Geek.
What do you geek out about? Ever run with a friend (or a husband or a wife) and “help” them PR? Did you see Veronica Mars? (Because we should TOTALLY geek out together over that.)