Run for the Hill of it 5 Miler (34:40)

The Run for the Hill of it race was held in the Wissahickon park. The park is just north of Philly.  Since I didn’t work I was able to travel a bit further for a race.  The name of the race should have given the course elevation away. I didn’t realize it was a trail race and the actual elevation profile. I assumed it was a race with a few rolling hills. I was wrong.

My original goal was to try and race the same pace as the Belmar Chase but once I realized the difficult of this course, I knew that was not happening.

I met Kara at registration and we warmed up together.

Kara and I

We arrived at the start and they announced it would start at 8:30 sharp.  I have to hand it to them…it did!

Once the race started, I found myself as fourth women overall.  Philadelphia is home to many incredible runners who are definitely out of my league.  The first mile was actually the easiest of the five.  I didn’t realize it was net downhill but it was my fastest mile of 6:37.  I passed one women and found myself as third!

During the second mile I passed two women. I didn’t feel great or terrible.  Wissahickon is a beautiful park so I was focused on enjoying the scenery.  I ran side by side with a couple of men for almost the entire race.  The park wasn’t closed for the race so we were definitely weaving around other runners (6:50).

The course was out and back so at 2.5 miles we turned around.  I saw the leaders come by about 3 minutes before I hit the halfway.  The leader didn’t look like he was trying at all despite being far in front.  Shortly after he passed, a few more males ran by as well as the lead female. I finally hit the halfway in exactly 17 minutes. While turning around I saw Kara who looked strong.  I like out and back courses because I know what to expect on the last half of the race.

The fourth mile was uneventful.  I ran side by side with the same men as earlier. The trifecta of three (myself and two men) didn’t part ways for most of the race.  We passed several people running in the park.

I didn’t realize we had gone slightly downhill the first two miles until we began running uphill for the way home.  The last two miles I just focused on finishing (7:04).

Once I hit mile four, I just gave all of my energy.  I wanted to finish the race as soon as possible.  I was done with hills and trails.  Don’t get my wrong, I enjoyed the race but I was exhausted.  We don’t have many hills in New Jersey and I barely run on trails.  It makes sense a hilly trail race would exhaust me more than a road race.  I finished the last mile in 6:58.

I crossed the finish line in 34:40.  I was second female overall.  I’m happy with the race because it was definitely a hard course.  It lives to the name of running for the hill of it.  I enjoyed a change of race scenery and I will be back to run in the park soon!

Questions for you: 

What is the hardest run you’ve ever done? 

Do you like running on trails, pavement, treadmill or the track the best?


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  1. Awesome job and congrats on your second place! Sounds like a beast of a course. I prefer running on roads, trails, and then tracks – I hate the treadmill! The hardest run…probably the trail race I did a few weeks ago, Quadzilla! Although I’ve run a few marathons that were less than ideal and ROUGH. Have a great day and great job!

  2. Congrats on 2nd! That is awesome 🙂 I don’t mind running on the pavement. I haven’t run trails really but I want to get into it so bad but don’t even know where to go around where I live!

  3. Wow sounds tough, but you did an amazing job! I love hilly courses, and living in Pittsburgh most races are hilly. I actually have better race times on hilly courses than flat! The hardest race that I’ve done was the Marathon on the Mountain which was at Seven Springs, which is a ski resort. Mountain is right, and it was SO freaking tough!

    Congrats on second place!

    1. From what I hear, Pittsburgh is crazy hilly. That has got to be some intense terrain to train on Gretchen!

  4. “The leader didn’t look like he was trying at all despite being far in front.” that always kills me!! how is it possible, and if it looks like they aren’t putting effort in, why dont they go EVEN FASTER?

    A slow poke

  5. I really just like running on the road. Trails usually leave me with scrapes and bruises although way more beautiful, track just no, and treadmill I’d rather not. Haha. I suppose the best way to run in my opinion would be boardwalk along a beach… I can dream right 🙂 Congrats on an awesome race!

  6. I LOVE trails and hills!! I like uphills more than downhills, down hills hurt my back. but uphills? my booty just carries me up! hahaah

  7. I did a turkey trot in PA one time that literally climbed a vertical hill at the start. Chris took video of it because it was so ridiculous. I’m glad you made it through the race hills! I bet the trails are really fun to run on (when you’re not racing, of course). 🙂

  8. Love the road still although I started trail running again about a month ago. Training for a half marathon trail race the end of next month. It’s tough stuff! Although I prefer the roads, the trails allow my mind to escape reality for a few moments.

  9. Congratulations on 2nd place! That’s an incredible feat considering how fast the field was and because it was a trail race with hills. Bah… don’t you hate when the leaders make the run look so effortless?? I too always feel like I’m about to pass out but sometimes people tell me I make it look easy. I guess it’s all about perspective. It’s fun you got to share the race with a friend and fellow blogger too.

    I prefer road races or running on the roads but I hit the track once a week. I like trail running, but I don’t really live near any trails to run them on a regular basis. Occasionally on holidays, some of us will take little field trips to run a trail or something and that’s always fun.

  10. Awesome time!! That sounds like a challenging but fun race! I have done 4 half marathons with my 5th in Sept. My hardest race would have to be my second half. It ended on an incline and it took everything in me to get to the end. I have never done a trail run, this makes me want to!

  11. Aw YEAH! The hills in Lake Placid were a serious wake-up call. I only run “hills” in Central Park once a week and plan to incorporate them more often when I start half-marathon training in the fall.

  12. Sounds like a great race, and congrats on second female overall! I don’t like hills. I don’t even like gentle hills. I’m generally a wuss. Virginia Beach has spoiled me for flat courses.

  13. Congratulations on your time and second place, it sounds like a tough one alright! I love trail races, I think they are so much more exciting. We have LOTS of hills in Northern Ireland. It’s not often we get a flat race ha 🙂

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