A New Running Group – Haddonfield Running Co.

by Sara on July 31, 2014

“If you want to run faster, run with faster people”

IMG_0922When Ralph and I first moved to South Jersey and looked up all the local running stores and groups in the area I was pretty intimidated  and figured they were all too fast.  About a year ago we got over our fears and joined a running group, which was still intimidating at first but now that I’ve come to know all the other runners it’s not so bad.  We try to get to as many weekly fun runs as we can but it’s hard for both of us to leave work early ever week {they are a very punctual bunch}.  But also a lot of the people in the group are older, nothing wrong with that of course, but I’ve started to really want to connect with other runners our age.  Maybe even a nice married couple.  Maybe our future running BFFS and we could go on running double dates and hang out at each others houses and make protein shakes on Saturday mornings.  I digress.

A few weeks ago Ralph and I started throwing around the idea of going to one of the weekly group runs at Haddonfield Running Co.  Some of the people in our club had gone and they all came back saying how incredibly fast everyone was.  So naturally I was completely terrified and also excited to try it all at the same time.  Plus it could be an opportunity to meet even more new people.  Last week work schedules and running schedules aligned perfectly so that I had no more excuses not to just face my fears of being slow and embarrassing and just show up.

Of course I got semi lost, barely made it there on time, and was running up the sidewalk as everyone was getting ready to start.  So much for an opportunity to meet people {I really need to get working on my time management}.  I had glanced at the course map on Running Co. website long enough to know I was not going to memorize 6.5 miles and twists and turns, and I knew these runners were going to take off and my only goal was not to get lost.  Everyone started off wicked fast, my watch was clocking us at a 8:45 mile right off the bat.  I didn’t care if we were the last people of the whole group, if we were getting passed by 15 year olds {because I’m sure we were} or by 60 year olds {because there was some of that too I’m sure}.

The course winds through a lot of neighborhoods in the area and was overall pretty quiet and actually pretty scenic.  There were some insanely large houses along the route and gazing at all of them was much needed distraction from our brisk pace.  The first 3 miles or so were relatively flat with some very small inclines and declines, but nothing more than that.  So after 3 miles we were going along at a pretty good pace, we were no longer the last people, and we had managed not to get lost, I was feeling pretty confident.  And then we started climbing hills.  Small at first and nothing too bad, but each one was longer and steeper for the last.  Our pace slowed, and kept slowing, and my only goal at the end of our run was not to need to walk up the last hill.  The whole thing was challenging but a really good challenging.  I finishing feeling tired but good, and am already looking forward to making it to another run.

I was really impressed with how organized the whole thing was, there were volunteers at a few of the larger intersections helping to stop traffic and make sure everyone knew where they were going. There was water set out along the course as well as back in the store when we were done.  The only part that was really confusing was the last 1/2 mile where I got so turned around I had no idea where the “right” course was.  The turnout is huge, at least double the number that comes out for Thursday fun runs.  We could not believe that not only were there so many people willing to run 6 miles in the heat of summer, but that there were so many people who could run it as fast as they did.  I am really going to need to step up my game if I plan on hanging with any of these people.

See you soon Haddonfield Running Co. gang, and keep running fast so I’ll have something to chase after!

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