Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Miler (24:13)

This was the second year I’ve run the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 miler.

In case you wondered, you do get both grilled cheese and tomato soup at the end of the race.  Not only are there a lot of extra race perks, but the race is a flat and fast course.  In ideal conditions, it’s a great PRing course…This year, however, it was 15 degrees.  In fact, this is 1 out 3 races that I’ve run in pants!

Since I spent the last 8 weeks in 70+ degree weather with high humidity, I wasn’t acclimated.  After returning to New Jersey, there have been a few cold days but not many. When I saw the weather report, I was loathing running outside.

We got to the race start around 9 am and did a quick warmup. Even after my deep tissue massage, I didn’t feel as bad as I anticipated.  My body was still stiff, but I felt comfortable.

The race went off promptly at 10 am.  The first mile was chaotic with people.  We went around a big loop with uneven pavement.  About 1k into the race, we went on Washington Crossing Towpath.  I ran with a big group of men for the first mile.

My husband was further up ahead.  I crossed the first mile in 6:10 which I was disappointed in.  Effort-wise, it felt like I was running faster.  My strategy for 4-5 milers is to race them exactly as I would race a 5k…just go.

Washington Crossing is a narrow path, so it made it difficult to pass anyone.   During the second the mile, there was more headwind. It was a boring middle mile, and I just focused on chipping away.  I crossed the second mile in 6:07.

During the third mile, we made a u-turn and went back where we came. Personally, I like out and back courses because I find it motivating to see and cheer for other runners.  I got to see one of my good friends and coworkers, Anita, as she ran to a PR.  I caught two more people and ran a 6:03 third mile.

Grilled cheese and tomato soup 4 miler

The last mile of a 4 miler is always tough because if you treat it like a 5k, the final .9 is just a bonus round…I just focused on finishing.  I was surprised that my legs weren’t as tired as I thought they would.  During the last .1, I felt someone on my heels.  After being passed in the final strides of the Pensacola Bridge Run, I didn’t want that again, and I surged. It turns out, it was a male behind me.

I crossed the finish in 24:13 and as first female and fifth overall.  I was able to break the tape again which is always a fun experience.  My husband was third overall which is impressive because he only started running again last week after his marathon.

Afterwards, I had a workout.  Since running with Mckirdy, I’ve slowly gotten used to doing workouts after racing.   I changed into the Saucony Freedom ISO trainers and ran 2×2 miles (6:43, 6:53, 6:49, 6:53) which I’m happy with.


This is one of my better races and workouts I’ve had lately.  I haven’t run a shorter race in a month, so it was nice to get faster turnover in my legs.  Despite the weather and how I personally felt, I was happy with my effort.

Questions for you:

What is the best grilled cheese you’ve had?

Do you run the same races yearly or do you like to change it up?



  1. A race with grilled cheese?! Sign me up! Best grilled cheese…I couldn’t pick. I love all cheese!

    I like doing the same races because I get into a routine of what to do and when, parking, etc. but at the same time I also like to explore! So really the most noncommittal answer ever.

  2. Congrats on the race! That sounds like such a fun one! The best grilled cheese I’ve ever had is a smoked gouda grilled cheese from a local place here in Richmond. It’s soooo good!

  3. grilled cheese and tomato soup after a race sounds positively dreamy. maybe i need to come to NJ for this next year.

  4. Nice race you did, it sounds like,fun.
    Umm I’d say I like my grille cheese with extra cheese ,i love the grille cheese at Stratford diner on whitehorespike.
    I’m starting to change up races,i like to try new races and courses. The only one I really like to repeat is the Richard river run 5k t copper was 1st 5k I did 3 years ago that got me into running.
    Anyway happy running hollie.
    Be safe.

  5. I can’t remember the best grill cheese I’ve had, but I do know the best tomato soup is from a local Italian restaurant here in Miami.

    Great race!

  6. Congratulations on a great race Hollie! Very proud of you for running a great time and winning and breaking the tape :). Glad the person behind you was a male but you were mentally strong with it. Oh, and I’m glad I’m not the only anti-pants runner out there!

    A 4 miler sounds like a lot of fun- just an extra .9 but probably so much tougher mentally. Plus you can’t beat a good grilled cheese and soup after a run, and it looks like this weather was perfect for the soup. I hope you’ve had a good recovery from the “race-out” (race + workout) and are back at it this week.

  7. Oooh this sounds great! I’d love some grilled cheese and tomato soup at the end of a race! I always run the Krispy Kreme Challenge which is a 5 miler: you start at the belltower at NCSU and run 2.5 miles to the Krispy Kreme, eat a dozen doughnuts (or don’t…I usually don’t because I don’t love doughnuts) and then run back. Kinda rough, but lots of fun! Congrats on a great race!

  8. Since I live in Ohio we have this great place called Melt. They are famous for there grilled cheese sandwiches. My favorite one is the Monte Crisco. Not the healthiest one but I like a challenge lol.

    As far as races go I do a bit of both. I find a few I really love doing and like to see the changes year to year. Then I like going to new races as well. Each Marathon is a different course. I’ve only run 3 of them but I would only run 1 of them again just because I ran that course a long time ago. Otherwise new Marathon new course. Great job in your race Hollie.

    1. Oh that does sound good, thank you for sharing Adam. I feel like it’s nearly impossible to make a “healthy” grilled cheese though.

      Do you have any marathons coming up?

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