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Rest in Peace 5K at Laurel Hill Cemetery

There were zombies, a whole family dressed as "Wizard of Oz" characters, artist Bob Ross & his Happy Little Tree, two T-Rex dinosaurs & a princess galloping on a unicorn among the colorful runners during Laurel Hill Cemetery's 10th annual Rest in Peace 5K on Oct. 6. 
Organized by the Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery, this Philadelphia race has one of the most challenging 5K courses I've ever experienced & also one of the most fun. For years I've enjoyed the Halloween tours & Cinema in the Cemetery events in the summer at Laurel Hill, which overlooks the Schuylkill River & Kelly Drive. I've always wanted to run this course, which weaves among the towering obelisks and weeping angel statues throughout the National Historic Landmark cemetery founded in 1836. Though it was a day after Kevin & I were in his brother's wedding, I thought we would be recovered to race by the 5 p.m. start.

Arriving about an hour early, since parking is limit…
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Bombardment 5K at Fort Mifflin

A 5K race at the site of my first date with my husband Kevin brought back a lot of memories. It might not often be described as a romantic place, but the Revolutionary War era Fort Mifflin is where we went on a Halloween themed tour almost eight years ago. When I learned they hosted a 5K race, I knew we had to signed up despite the muggy summer weather.

  Arriving about 8:30 a.m. for the second annual Bombardment Run 5K on June 17, we crossed the rain slicked bridge and walked into the courtyard. Located near the Philadelphia International Airport, the fort was commissioned in 1771. During the American Revolutionary War, the British army bombarded and captured the fort in 1777. After it was rebuilt, the fort later housed prisoners during the Civil War. It was decommissioned in 1962 and returned to the city of Philadelphia, while a portion of the grounds is still actively used by the Army Corps of Engineers.

  Wearing our patriotic attire, which was encouraged, we took off as s…

Rocky Run YMCA's new running club prepares you for annual 5K trail run

The warmer spring weather is a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and exercise outside.

“With the race season starting, I wanted to give our members an opportunity to get training advice and tips from our wellness coaches or possibly even others in the group and to build a social network and community among the members,” says Mike Bream, Rocky Run YMCA’s Wellness Director.

The new Rocky Runners Club meets at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesdays and at 9 a.m. on Sundays in the Y lobby. Led by Running Coach Francie McNally, the runners take off on a few scenic miles run around the Y property. 

“I love how simple running is. I can walk out my door and just go for a run. I love how great it makes you feel afterwards. There are so many mental and physical benefits to running,” says McNally.

McNally brings enthusiasm and over 14 years of running experience to the club. She was a member of a running club over a year ago, but lost the time to go to the runs and workouts.


Lake Powell Half-Marathon

Realizing I would be hitting a milestone birthday this year, I wanted to test my endurance and attempt my first half-marathon.

   So last March I heard about Vacation Races, a company that organizes half-marathons near national parks, and found the Lake Powell Half-Marathon. An October race in Arizona sounded sunny and cool, and so I went to register but then waited, then waited some more until finally in September I summoned the courage and signed up to run 13.1 miles.

   Flying on Oct. 13 to Phoenix, Kevin, Michael and I drove almost five hours to the tiny town of Page, Ariz., where we joined about 2,300 other runners. Our Knights Inn Hotel was perfect and conveniently across the street from the bib pick-up and race start at John C. Page Park, which eliminated so much stress. The only disappointment there was someone else's name on my bib. When I asked one of the staffers, she suggested that I just cross out the wrong name and write my name instead. Definitely not wan…

Philadelphia Phillies Charities 5K

Kevin and I got caught Phillies Phever by running the fifth annual Phillies Charities 5K on April 28.  While we have done races in December, this was by far the coldest 5K ever for us!  Every year this race has sold-out, and finally we were able to get a spot.  The race benefited Phillies Charities, the fundraising arm of the Phillies organization which awards grants to a variety of charitable organizations each year.
     Picking up our bibs the night before, we arrived at Citizens Bank Park around 7:15 a.m.  We definitely needed to get down there earlier, because the exit off I-95 was gridlock and for some insane reason the Phillies organization only opened up one parking lot.  Overly worried that we would not get there before the roads closed at 7:45 a.m., I was relieved when we finally arrived at the lot on Darien Street.     
     After making it to the starting line with about five minutes to go, we heard the gun and 5,000 runners made a right onto Darien Street and then an…

Yuengling Oktoberfest 5K

Prost!  What a better way to celebrate German culture and exercise than running in the inaugural Yuengling Oktoberfest 5K on Oct. 5 at Artsquest in Bethlehem.  As a fan of Artquests's Musikfest every August, I was excited to visit again and see what else they offer at the old Bethlehem Steel site. 
     It was a sunny, but chilly, day when we left for the hour-long drive to Bethlehem.  With about 4,000 runners, it was a bit confusing trying to figure out what lines to join to get our race bibs, our beer steins, where to drop off our gear and where the restroom lines started.  Waiting 20 minutes in line, there definitely weren't enough bathrooms.
     With the crowd of runners separated into corrals based on time, the race was slow to start.  It took about six minutes from the beginning of the race for us to even cross the start line and activate our chips.  Maneuvering down the tight roads was a challenge, and annoying, as runners had to avoid colliding with walkers befo…

Empower the Children 5K in Havertown

Knowing that this race took place in the Westgate Hills section of Havertown, I felt I was up to the challenge of running the rolling terrain.  With temperatures in the high 50s and sunny skies, Kevin and I headed to Westgate Hills Park on April 19.  Organized by the Child Guidance Resource Center in Havertown, the run and 1-mile walk benefited the center’s therapeutic summer camp program.
     At the sound of the starting gun, we headed down Oxford Hill Lane, before turning right on Westgate Road.  Trying to slow down and keep control as we raced down the steep downhill, we made a right on Green Briar Lane.  A left onto Crescent Hill Drive, the course was clearly marked and volunteers were at intersections directing traffic.  Heading onto Windsor Park Lane, I saw a runner take a quick break by sitting on a curbside coach, something I definitely felt ready to do.  The hills were difficult, and the biggest climb was coming up.
     With a right on Glen Ridge Road, I was not too h…