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?