Race Schedule

I started running in October of 2011, here is a list of my past races and my upcoming race schedule.

Upcoming Races:
9/16/2017 Boulder Field 50k, Jim Thorpe PA, 50k, trails
10/1/2017 Blues Cruise, Leesport PA, 50k, trails
10/21/2017 Baltimore Running Festival, Baltimore MD, marathon
10/29/2017 Oktoberfest 13.1, Pennypack Park PA, half marathon
11/18/2017 JFK 50 Mile, Hagerstown MD, 50 miles, mixed
1/13/2018 PHUNT 50k, Elkton MD, 50k, trails
4/21/2018 Hyner Challenge 50k, Hyner PA, 50k, trails

Past Races:
8/2/2017 Flying Pig, Pennington NJ, 5k, trails; 21:59, 19 of 69
7/22/2017 Montour 24 Endurance Run, Danville PA, 24 hour endurance trail race; 51.2 miles, 42 of 74
6/24/2017 Pineland Striders Independence Races, Medford NJ, 10k; 48:19, 16 of 96
6/3/2017 Worlds End Ultramarathon, Worlds End State Park PA, 100k, trails, DNF
5/18/2017 3 Days at the Fair, Augusta NJ, 72 hour endurance race; 122 miles, 12 of 33
4/1/2017 Naked Prussian, Leesport PA, 50 miles, trails; 12:52:33, 39 of 42
3/18/2017 Looney Leprechaun (Looney Double), Tyler State Park PA, 5k & 10k, trails; (5k, 28:26, 13 of 65) (10k, 1:04:15, 14 of 93) (Double, 8 of 48)
3/4/2017 Naked Bavarian, Leesport PA, 40 miles, trails; 8:52:20, 62 of 98
12/3/2016 IAS Woods Winter Wonder Run, Princeton NJ, 6k, trails; 26:05, 7 of 73
11/24/2016 Hopewell Valley Turkey Trot, Pennington NJ, 5k, trails; 21:18, 32 of 715
11/6/2016 Alexa’s Thunder Run, Newton NJ, trail half marathon; 1:59:24, 21 of 106
10/23/2016 Oktoberfest 13.1, Pennypack Park PA, half marathon; 1:43:49, 80 of 309

10/15/2016 Baltimore Running Festival, Baltimore MD, marathon; 3:56:20, 557 of 2352
10/2/2016 Blues Cruise, Leesport PA, 50k, trails; 6:09:13, 144 of 308
9/17/2016 Boulder Field 100k, Jim Thorpe PA, 100k, trails; DNF
9/5/2016 Hot Diggity Dog, Mercer County Park NJ, 10k, trails; 45.55, 11 of 82
8/12/2016 Ragnar Relay, Bruceton Mills WV, team relay, trails; 25:33:16, 80 of 176
7/23/2016 Montour 24 Endurance Run, Danville PA, 24 hour endurance trail race; 54 miles, 41 of 89
6/26/2016 REI 5k, Smithville Park NJ, 5k, trails, (times weren’t recorded but I was 22:30, finished 6th or 7th of about 80 runners)
6/18/2016 Running With The Devil, Vernon NJ, 12 hour endurance trail race, 28 miles, 11:44:44, 9 of 17
6/4/2016 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut, Pennypack Park PA, marathon; 4:38:43, 56 of 102
5/12/2016 3 Days at the Fair, Augusta NJ, 72 hour endurance race; 111 miles, 71:37:06, 35 of 57
5/1/2016 Bucks County 10 Miler, Washington Crossing Park PA, 10 miles; 1:18:47, 36 of 242
4/16/2016 Rumspringa 13.1, Adamstown PA, half marathon; 1:53:06, 78 of 260
4/9/2016 IAS Woods Run, Princeton NJ, 6k, trails; 27:51, 11 of 84
3/12/2016 Looney Leprechaun (Looney Double), Tyler State Park PA, 5k & 10k, trails; (5k, 23:58, 8 of 91) (10k, 54:20, 17 of 148) (Double, 6 of 34)
3/6/2016 Naked Bavarian, Leesport PA, 40 miles, trails; 9:22:55, 91 of 101
1/1/2016 Hamilton Hangover, Veterans Park NJ, 5 miles; 41:15, 118 of 445

12/5/2015 IAS Woods Winter Wonder Run, Princeton NJ, 6k, trails, 28:07, 16 of 96
11/7/2015 Trenton Half Marathon, Trenton NJ, half marathon; 2:08:30, 485 of 1082
10/11/2015 Sloppy Cuckoo, Pennypack Park PA, 12 hour endurance trail race; 26.2 miles, 9:30:30, 56 of 61
9/27/2015 Fernbrook Farm Run, Chesterfield NJ, 5k, trails; INJURY
9/12/2015 Spartan Super, Vernon NJ, 8 miles, obstacle course; 3:10:36, 1044 of 5700
9/7/2015 Hot Diggity Dog, Mercer County Park NJ, 10k, trails; 52:01, 22 of 116
8/15/2015 Spartan Super, Marseilles IL, 8 miles, obstacle course; 2:42:06, 1014 of 5968
8/5/2015 Flying Pig, Pennington NJ, 5k, trails; 21:39, 23 of 120
7/18/2015 Running With The Devil, Vernon NJ, 12 hour endurance trail race; 30 miles, 11:38:28, 13 of 27
7/11/2015 Spartan Super, Palmerton PA, 8 miles, obstacle course; 3:55:21, 965 of 5873
6/13/2015 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut, Pennypack Park PA, marathon; 4:22:03, 44 of 90
6/6/2015 Spartan Sprint, Tuxedo NY, 5 miles, obstacle course; 2:13:01, 1098 of 5105
5/30/2015 Spartan Sprint, Tuxedo NY, 5 miles, obstacle course; 2:54:24, 2909 of 5730
5/16/2015 3 Days at the Fair, Augusta NJ, 24 hour endurance race; 66 miles, 23:55:12, 17 of 46
5/9/2015 Bucks 10k, Tyler State Park PA, 10k; 45:37, 2 of 61
5/3/2015 Bucks County 10 Miler, Washington Crossing Park PA, 10 miles; 1:15:25, 18 of 229
4/18/2015 Spartan Beast, Vernon NJ, 13 miles, obstacle course; 7:28:33, 4505 of 5545
3/29/2015 Naked Bavarian, Leesport PA, 40 miles, trails; 9:33:36, 38 of 48
3/28/2015 Phillies 5k, Citizens Bank Park PA, 5k; 21:11; 63 of 5011
3/14/2015 Looney Leprechaun 3, Tyler State Park PA, 10k, trails; 55:07, 13 of 122
2/14/2015 New Hope For Love 5k, New Hope PA, 5k; 21:53, 16 of 145
1/1/2015 Hamilton Hangover, Veterans Park NJ, 5 miles; 37:13, 44 of 410

12/6/2014 IAS Woods Winter Wonder Run, Princeton NJ, 6k, trails; 25:09, 5 of 129
11/29/2014 Gobbler 5k, Medford NJ, 5k, trails; 23:42, 7 of 116
11/27/2014 Hopewell Valley Turkey Trot, Pennington NJ, 5k, trails; 22:13, 40 of 518
11/15/2014 Rocky Balboa Run, Philadelphia PA, 10k; 47:08, 133 of 3252
11/8/2014 Trenton Half Marathon, Trenton NJ, half marathon; 1:44:43, 161 of 1439
10/19/2014 Atlantic City Marathon, Atlantic City NJ, marathon; 4:12:38, 324 of 820
10/11/2014 Parx Octoberfest 5k, Bensalem PA, 5k, 21:21, 10 of 139

9/20/2014 Spartan Beast/World Championship, Killington VT, 16 miles, obstacle course; 8:52:07, 2614 of 4963
9/6/2014 Spartan Super, Vernon NJ, 9 miles, obstacle course; 3:19:13, 1993 of 6642
9/1/2014 Hot Diggity Dog, Mercer County Park NJ, 10k, trails; 54:56, 23 of 126
8/16/2014 Bradley Beach 5k, Bradley Beach NJ, 5k, 23:07, 118 of 771
8/6/2014 Flying Pig, Pennington NJ, 5k, trails; 23:38, 25 of 85
7/19/2014 Running With The Devil, Vernon NJ, 12 hour endurance trail race; 30 miles, 11:25:23, 19 of 33
7/13/2014 Spartan Sprint, Palmerton PA, 5 miles, obstacle course; 3:06:56, 2302 of 4443
5/18/2014 Hair of the Dog, Working Dog Winery NJ, 5k; 21:51, 42 of 1122
5/10/2014 Washington Crossing 5k, Washington Crossing Park NJ, 5k, trails; 20:40 (course mismeasured), 9 of 117
5/4/2014 Bucks County 10 Miler, Washington Crossing Park PA, 10 miles; 1:16:29, 25 of 246
4/26/2014 Asbury Park Half Marathon, Asbury Park NJ, half marathon; 1:47:37, 130 of 1131
4/13/2014 Donor Dash, Philadelphia PA, 10k; 47:08, 98 of 1011
4/5/2014 IAS Woods Run, Princeton NJ, 6k, trails; 26:45, 7 of 78
3/22/2014 Phillies 5k, Citizens Bank Park PA, 5k; 22:08, 138 of 4747
3/15/2014 Looney Leprechaun 2, Tyler State Park PA, 10k, trails; 52:58, 23 of 159
2/8/2014 Cupid’s Chase, Princeton NJ, 5k; 23:39, 15 of 154
1/1/2014 Hamilton Hangover, Veterans Park NJ, 5 miles; 37:46, 81 of 495
12/14/2013 Mistletoe 5k, Mercerville NJ, 5k; 23:19, 15 of 153
12/7/2013 IAS Woods Winter Wonder Run, Princeton NJ, 6k, trails; 27:59, 16 of 106
11/28/2013 Hopewell Valley Turkey Trot, Pennington NJ, 5k, trails; 23:45, 124 of 667
11/9/2013 Trenton Half Marathon, Trenton NJ, half marathon; 1:48:38, 261 of 1476
11/3/2013 Cooper Norcross Run The Bridge, Camden NJ, 10k; 48:46, 529 of 3400
10/26/2013 Spooky Tails & Trails, Washington’s Crossing NJ, 5k; 22:40, 22 of 162
10/20/2013 Seaside Half Marathon, Seaside Park NJ, half marathon; 1:57:15, 235 of 678
10/12/2013 Tomm May 5k, Robbinsville NJ, 5k; 22:32, 16 of 105
9/28/2013 Spartan Sprint, Citizens Bank Park PA, 3 miles, obstacle course; 1:01:42, 865 of 4383
9/21/2013 Spartan Beast/World Championship, Killington VT, 14 miles, obstacle course; 9:29:29, 2651 of 3124
9/15/2013 Rock N Roll Half Marathon, Philadelphia PA, half marathon; 2:07:26, 8657 of 24295
9/7/2013 Spartan Super, Vernon NJ, 9 miles, obstacle course; 3:10:42, 2722 of 5269
9/2/2013 Hot Diggity Dog, Mercer County Park NJ, 10k, trails; 1:00:41, 42 of 129
8/25/2013 George Wah Memorial, Veterans Park NJ, 5k, trails; 23:11, 102 of 228
8/7/2013 Flying Pig, Pennington NJ, 5k, trails; 23:08, 44 of 97
7/13/2013 Spartan Sprint, Palmerton PA, 5 miles, obstacle course; 1:56:32, 1875 of 5624
7/4/2013 Revolutionary Run, Washington’s Crossing PA, 10k; 54:53
6/25/2013 ETS Firecracker 5k, Princeton NJ, 5k; 23:36, 61 of 460
6/9/2013 Princeton Healthcare 10k, Princeton NJ, 10k; 49:48, 100 of 551
6/8/2013 Run For Your Lives, Medford NJ, 5k, mud run obstacle course; untimed/non competitive event
5/23/2013 CYO Memorial Day, Veterans Park NJ, 5k; 22:15, 8 of 38
5/19/2013 Hair of the Dog, Silver Decoy Winery NJ, 5k; 22:05, 37 of 930
5/4/2013 Miles for Isles, Mercer County Park NJ, 5k; 22:09, 17 of 96
4/20/2013 Asbury Park Half Marathon, Asbury Park NJ, half marathon; 1:52:27, 273 of 1204
4/13/2013 Spartan Sprint, Citi Field NYC, 3 miles, obstacle course; 1:19:47, 2300 of 9663
3/16/2013 St. Patty’s Day 5k, Bordentown NJ, 5k; 22:37, 37 of 507
1/1/2013 Hamilton Hangover, Veterans Park NJ, 5 miles; 40:22, 140 of 459
12/15/2012 Mistletoe 5k, Mercerville NJ, 5k; 22:34, 19 of 199
11/22/2012 Hopewell Valley Turkey Trot, Pennington NJ, 5k, trails; 22:46, 83 of 591
11/10/2012 Trenton Half Marathon, Trenton NJ, half marathon; 2:00:03, 596 of 1400
10/27/2012 Spooky Tails & Trails, Veterans Park NJ, 5k; 22:41, 22 of 197
10/13/2012 Race to Restore, Ewing NJ, 5k; 22:45, 9 of 57
9/22/2012 Carnegie Center, Princeton NJ, 5k; 23:51, 107 of 546
8/12/2012 Runyon at Yankee Stadium, Yankee Stadium NYC, 5k; 28:31, 241 of 2944
8/8/2012 Flying Pig, Pennington NJ, 5k, trails; 24:29, 55 of 149.
7/15/2012 Spartan Sprint, Palmerton PA, 5 miles, obstacle course; 2:38:58, 701 of 2011
7/12/2012 Strides for Stroke, Veterans Park NJ, 5k: 23:28, 40 of 203
7/8/2012 The Color Run, Philadelphia PA, 5k: untimed/non competitive event
7/4/2012 Revolutionary Run, Washington’s Crossing PA, 5k: 23:50, 41 of 412
6/17/2012 Run for Dad, Mercer County Park NJ, 5k: 24:43, 144 of 516
5/24/2012 CYO Memorial Day, Veterans Park NJ, 5k: 25:07, 21 of 72
5/20/2012 Hair of the Dog, Silver Decoy Winery NJ, 5k: 25:14, 110 of 934
4/29/2012 Run the Vineyards, Heritage Winery NJ, 2.5 miles: 22:40, 6 of 90
1/1/2012 Hamilton Hangover, Veterans Park NJ, 5 miles: 45:26, 224 of 470
11/24/2011 Turkey Trot, Newtown PA, 5 miles: 53:48, 651 of 781
10/2/2011 Sowebo Landmark, Baltimore MD, 5k: 37:08, 97 of 182

I will update this page as races are finished or added.

Central Jersey Parks and Beyond!

I’ve been wanting to write this entry for over a year. As a runner and living in Central NJ I’ve grown accustomed to having so much so close to me. I’m located in Mercer County, just outside of Trenton, the State’s Capitol. I’m lucky to have so many great places to train for the races that I participate in. Whether it’s fast flat trails, rugged trails, hilly trails, flat road or hilly road; there’s something for every type of run that I need to do to become a better runner. Here are my regular places that I run in the Mercer County (and beyond) area:

Veteran’s Park (Hamilton NJ)
http://njtrails.org/trail/veterans-park/
This is my local park. It’s a small but beautiful and well maintained township park. I mainly use the paved trails as short recovery runs, short speed runs or shorter runs under 8 miles when there is a time constraint. It’s possible to use area around the park itself to extend your mileage. The trails, though short, are beautiful. Flooding is common along the trails by the lake. Park tends to get crowded on the nicer days, mostly on the main path and around the playground. Generally parkgoers use proper etiquette and are very friendly but the nicer days bring out folks who don’t always pay attention to their surroundings. There is plenty of parking with 4 different entrances, 2 permanent bathroom facilities open year round but water fountains are turned off during the winter. Preferred shoe: Road

Clayton Park (Imlaystown NJ)
http://njtrails.org/trail/clayton-park/
My most run trail. 100% off road. Usually pretty quiet. On the busier days it’s still uncommon to run into others. You’ll mostly encounter cyclists, whom are very vocal and use proper etiquette, and dog walkers who mostly are well aware of their surroundings. You’ll occasionally come across a dog walker with their dog off leash. The trails themselves can be tricky depending on leaf coverage and the time of day. The sunlight and leaves tend to hide the roots that are common throughout the park. The main perimeter loop in the park is 4.2 miles long and contains some rolling hills that bring total elevation climb to about 400ft. There are about 2 more miles located within the perimeter loop. Add in the perimeter of the farmland that shares the same grounds as the park for an additional 2 miles. The perimeter around the farmland is generally well kept by the farmers but sometimes there is tall grass so watch for ticks. Bring DEET and be sure to check yourself. The dirt parking lot is the only lot available, holds just over 20 cars, a porta potty is next to the parking lot. Preferred shoe: Trail

Tyler State Park (Newtown PA)
http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/tyler/index.htm
It’s almost a half hour drive from the Hamilton area but worth it. One of my favorite places to run. You’ll find a lot of long, seemingly endless hills. You can find close to 15 miles worth of paved paths throughout this huge park. There are also another 10 miles of unpaved trails that you can run. Like my local park, Veteran’s Park, you’ll find Tyler State Park very well maintained. On snowy days you’ll find the main paths always plowed, this may have to do with the historic homes that are located on the park grounds. It’s a great park for long runs and the elevation really adds up. You run here all the time you’ll do well. My biggest problem with Tyler are the people that go there. This park gets VERY VERY crowded on nice days, especially on weekends when almost every lot is full, especially around the boat house. Runners and cyclists use proper trail etiquette. Signs are posted entering the park about proper trail etiquette but for some reason most walkers ignore those signs. I’ve never had this big of a problem at any other park I’ve ever visited. The paved paths are wide but you’ll still have groups of people 4 or 5 wide across a path and despite attempts of notifying them, they don’t always move over. Most walkers there are generally unaware of their surroundings and sometimes completely ignore runners. You’ll sometimes find dogs off leash or dogs on leash on one side of the path while their owner is on the other creating a leash tripwire in the middle. It is such a problem where if the weather is nice I avoid going there altogether. I often get frustrated at walkers when I run in this park, I often voice my disgust with them and they become argumentative with me when I do that. If you want to go there during the summer I suggest early AM just after sunrise is your best bet. I tend to go at busier times so I may be asking for trouble. There are many entrances to the park and many parking lots as well. The most popular parking lot is by the boathouse. It’s the first to fill up on the nice days. There are also other big lots close to the boathouse that will fill up as well. Other large parking lots are also scattered nearby as well as at other entrances. There are 5 or 6 permanent restrooms on the boathouse side of the park but none on the other side (Neshaminy Creek separates the 2 sides). I think all restrooms have water fountains but may be turned off in the winter, there are also 2 other water fountains on the ‘other side’ but also are turned off during the winter. Preferred shoe: Road (trail if using trails when in poor condition)

Manasquan Reservoir (Howell NJ)
http://njtrails.org/trail/manasquan-reservoir/
This “park” can also get crowded. You’ll sometimes find walkers or runners on their left rather than their right, this can be a problem when taking a blind turn at race pace and running into someone coming from the opposite direction; trail etiquette signs are also posted there. For the most part the path is wide enough so any issues are most avoidable. The perimeter loop is just over 5 miles long and is a soft cinder that’s very forgiving on your feet and knees. There is an additional trail off the perimeter loop that adds about a mile. What I like about here is that I can do a lot of miles by running additional loops; I reverse the course to make it a little bit more interesting. Runners who run additional loops leave a drop bag at the start with water or nutrition in it. Go there early on a Saturday morning and you’ll come across a lot of runners; both high school athletes and more experienced runners. I find the running here to be similar to a typical race, so it’s a popular place to prepare to train. It’s mostly flat with slight elevation changes. There is a massive parking lot by the visitor’s center, as well as large clean permanent restrooms and water fountains (which may be turned off during the winter), the visitor’s center is actually a great place for literature and to warm up in the winter months. There are also 2 other lots along the trail, a large one is at the environmental center (which includes nearly the same facilities located at the visitor’s center). There are also 3 or 4 porta potties every mile or so. Preferred shoe: Road

Baldpate Mountain (Titusville NJ)
http://njtrails.org/trail/ted-stiles-preserve-at-baldpate-mountain/
With about 400ft elevation from it’s lowest point to it’s highest point it’s the closest my area has to replicating some of the mountain races that I do. The terrain is rocky, there are rolling hills, some steeper climbs and some faster running sections. If you know the park well you can get in over 15 tough miles there and really rack up the elevation! Some paths are singletrack and if there are other hikers/runners on the trail it may be difficult to get around them, it can be a popular place to hike. When you get back to your vehicle be sure to check for ticks. The park isn’t the best maintained and foliage tends to overgrow certain trails there so be sure to check for ticks and bring your DEET! There are a few places to park to gain entrance including 2 large lots located on Fidler’s Creek Road and Pleasant Valley Road. There are also bathroom facilities including a water fountain found at the visitor’s center near the summit. Preferred shoe: Trail

Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath (Titusville/Princeton NJ)
http://njtrails.org/trail/dr-canal-state-park-bulls-island-to-trenton/
http://njtrails.org/trail/dr-canal-state-park-trenton-to-new-brunswick/
I’m not a fan of out and backs and if you don’t have transportation waiting for you further down the towpath then an out and back is the only way. The portion from Trenton to Bulls Island I find to be nicer and better maintained than the section from Trenton to New Brunswick. But there are many sections along the New Brunswick portion that are beautiful. Both sections go through many historic buildings and villages. Running along the Delaware River is gorgeous in the fall. It’s hard to find a flatter terrain than the towpath and it’s the cinder/crushed gravel so it feels great on your legs. It’s great for speed runs or LSD (long slow distance). The out and back isn’t so boring along the Trenton portion because it’s somewhat popular so you’ll often find other runners and cyclists to say high to. There are many trailheads along the towpath. I have yet to do it but many runners will start at Washington Crossing and instead of doing an out and back will run the 7 miles or so to Lambertville, cross over into New Hope, run down the PA portion of the towpath and then cross over again back into Washington’s Crossing. A nice alternative to what could possibly be a boring out and back. There are dozens of entrances to the towpath. Some of the access points may have a porta potty. There is a permanent restroom at the Washington’s Crossing entrance that I know of for sure, I think they have a water fountain as well. If you plan on running a lot of miles there be prepared! Luckily there are many shops along the way that will have water/food for purchase. Preferred shoe: Road

Washington’s Crossing State Park (Titusville NJ)
http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/washcros.html
A well maintained and historic state park. The paved portions are hilly but only come out to be about 5 miles, the trails is where the real secrets are. It’s easy to get lost because the trail markings aren’t too obvious and often intersect with each other but you can get in a lot of miles of slightly rolling hills here. Want to add more mileage, you can take the footbridge over Rt. 29 onto the towpath. Want to add even more TOUGHER mileage, you can cross into Baldpate Mountain. There is an entry fee to the park on weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day, however, parking at the towpath and crossing over from the footbridge will get around that. Just like it’s neighbor, Baldpate Mountain, you’d want to check for ticks. There are many large lots located within the park as well as a few permanent restrooms and water fountains. Notably at the playground and visitor’s center. Preferred shoe: Road (trail if using trails when in poor condition)

Union Transportation Trail (Cream Ridge NJ)
https://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/page.aspx?ID=3777
The recently completed Union Transportation Trail has quickly become one of my favorite places. Like the towpath it’s just a flat easy out and back, the only elevation changes are in a small section by Cream Ridge golf course. Just like the towpath it is composed of cinder/crushed gravel so it feels great on your body. The entire trail is only 9 miles long so an out and back is really the only option. However, there are multiple parking lots/trailheads along the trail and I found that started closer towards the middle makes the out and back less brutal. What I love about this trail is that it’s relatively quiet. Even on nice weekends you won’t find many folks. It might be due to it’s relative young age but I like it. The are a bunch of road crossings, most have little to no traffic but there are a couple, mainly Rt. 539, that will cause you do lose your pace or momentum. There are 3 or 4 parking lots along the trail. Two porta potties are available, one at the start and one near the mile 3 marker. No water fountains available, so if you are planning on a long out and back it’s best to be prepared. There is a great take out spot near the mile 6 marker that has water/food for purchase. Preferred shoe: Road

Belle Mountain (Titusville NJ)
http://hiddentrenton.com/beautiful-walk-belle-mountain/
There are more trails here than I know about, mostly on the “other side” of the mountain. But when I come here I just run up and down the main ‘hill’. The main hill, up and down, is a third of a mile long with 170ft elevation, so basically 3 times up and down will equal a mile totalling about 510ft of total elevation climb. I’ll do multiple “loops”. Sometimes when I need a breather I’ll take one of the longer gentler side slopes up or down. It’s also pretty quiet out here so chances are you’ll be alone. Leave a drop bag at the bottom to give yourself some hydration. Bring your DEET because it is often unmowed and ticks are very common. Even though this is a Mercer County property it’s not maintained by the parks department. There is a large gravel lot at the base but no facilities of any kind are available. Preferred shoe: Road or Trail

Lawrence Hopewell Trail (Lawrenceville/Pennington NJ)
http://lhtrail.org/
Still relatively new and in the process of being completed. When complete the trail will be 22 miles long and incorporate many other parks, trails, businesses, schools and more. The trail is mostly asphalt with some nice cinder/crushed gravel sections. I’m unsure how long the trail currently is and there are some pieces being added in the coming months but it currently includes 2 of my favorite parks (parks that I decided to include within this entry than create separate ones); Rosedale Park (Pennington) and Mercer Meadows (Pennington). Each of those parks offer about 7 or 8 miles each and can be linked together through the LHT. What’s great about the LHT is its diversity. You can run trails through Rosedale and Mercer Meadows and then run through a Bristol Myers Squibb campus and the historic Lawrenceville School, not to mention though the Pennington Equestrian Center and an old converted trolley line. It also links to the D&R towpath. There are many road crossings, some could be busy roads. Depending on the day some of the parks along the LHT could be crowded too. There are many trailheads that you could park at to avoid crowds. I’m looking forward to the entire 22 mile loop to finish. As it is now you’d have to do an out and back but the diversity helps a bit. There are many parking locations along the trail. Most of those locations have permanent restroom facilities and some off water fountains as well. If you are planning on running large portions of this trail at once it’s still recommend to carry water but you can rest assured knowing that you can always fill up within a few miles. Preferred shoe: Road

Steinert High School (Hamilton NJ)
http://www.hamilton.k12.nj.us/HamiltonEast.cfm
It’s my local high school track. I added it because I do sprints here. It’s also the location of my Uptown Gentlefriends 12 Hour Track Attack that takes place every spring. Generally a pretty good, well maintained facility. You’ll find an occasional walker that uses the inside of the track but it’s rare. Jump in and train with the track team. They love friendly competition. The school’s parking lot is massive. Don’t count on a porta potty by the track but sometimes there is one. No luck on a water fountain either. Preferred shoe: Road

Other places in the area that I run on less common occasions:
Mercer County Park (West Windsor NJ)
http://njtrails.org/trail/mercer-county-park/
It’s more local than many places on my list but it’s one that I frequent the least. If I do run here it’s usually just the 2.5 mile road that intersects the though the park. I’m not sure why I’m not really crazy about this park. If you include the trails and paved paths you can get some decent mileage in but it’s not the most exciting mileage. I’m just underwhelmed by the paths and trails here. However, when most parks are snow covered I’ll run the main road here because it’s almost always clear. Plenty of parking throughout the park. Many permanent restrooms that also provide water fountains that may be turned off during the winter. Preferred shoe: Road (trail if using the trails when in poor condition)

Sourland Mountain (Hopewell NJ)
http://njtrails.org/trail/sourland-mountain-preserve-somerset/
A great place to train for some of the mountain races I do. It might not have the total elevation you could get from Baldpate but the initial climb is tough and beautiful. Great rock outcroppings to run by and a steep climb to get to another great boulder field. However, once you’re at the top the trails flatten out and it turns into rolling hills. I don’t run here too much mainly due to it being about 40 minutes from Hamilton. If it was closer i’m sure I’d be there more often. There is a porta potty near the parking lot but nothing else. Preferred shoe: Trail

Rancocas State Park (Westampton NJ)
http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/rancocas.html
The trails around the nature center are gorgeous. Very well maintained and beautiful. Very short though. You’ll have to add some miles in the neighboring Indian reservation to make the run more worthwhile. Still only gives you 5 or 6 miles at the most. The nature center trails are so beautiful that it makes it worth the trip. Bring your DEET, especially for the trails on the Indian reservation side, they are overgrown and seemingly filled with ticks. There is a small lot at the nature center. Permanent restrooms are in the nature center itself but I am unsure if there is water available. Take your time while you’re in the nature center, it’s a great place with some great people working there. Preferred shoe: Road or Trail

Dash and Deciduous 5k

Dash and Deciduous 5k trail run

Saturday, June 10th 2017, 10 AM Start

***REGISTER ONLINE FOR FREE***

The Uptown Gentlefriends present the Dash and Deciduous 5k trail run at Clayton Park. This is a FREE timed 5k group run. Despite the fact that this is a FREE 5k, registration is required due to the field size being limited to 40 runners. Once the field limit is reached additional runners will go on a waiting list in the order they registered.

Handmade awards will be given to the top male and female. The awards will be handmade using objects found around the farmlands at Clayton Park. “Easter eggs” will be hidden throughout the course for runners to find which can be returned for prizes.

Do not expect to get a 5k PR at this course. This is a fun timed group run. I would consider the course to be an entry level course for a trail runner. Beginners may find the course challenging with over 310ft of combined elevation climb with some sections loaded with ankle twisting roots that appear to come out of nowhere. Veteran trail runners will find the course to be fast and fun with a few short very runnable sections that will allow you to gain a lot of ground on the leader (or keep the lead). The course will be well-marked and no one well get lost. There will be a self-serve water station at mile 1.1 and again at mile 2.6. This may be an unmanned water station so runners will need to stop to get their own water.

The course is very spectator friendly. Cheer on your friends and family at the start and then again at mile .75 before the runners enter the woods. You’ll have the chance to cheer them on again by taking a short walk to the 2.2 mile mark (see course map) just after they complete a difficult uphill section and need your cheers to lift their spirits for the rest of the run. Be sure to congratulate them at the finish line!

Refreshments will be served post-run at the picnic area near the parking lot.

Post-run party will be held down the street at Screamin’ Hill Brewery starting at 12 noon. The brewery is located on a small farm and has an excellent selection of hand crafted beers. They do not have any dining options, however visitors are allowed to bring their own food. I suggest Phil’s Take-Out which is located 6 minutes in the opposite direction but has some great sandwiches and entrees at low prices (they open at 11). Parking is very limited at the brewery, I suggest making friends at the 5k and carpooling the 3 minutes down the road.

Thank you for participating in the first Uptown Gentlefriends 5k. Keep in mind this is a group trail run and NOT a race. You are responsible for your own safety. Clayton Park is a wonderful place to run but can be challenging, never underestimate the course and the dangers that come from trail running there. I would consider myself a veteran trail runner and Clayton Park is the ONLY park where I have tripped on roots and rocks. Not just once, but many times. Give Clayton Park respect and it will respect you!
– John Beck
Run Organizer

Click here for the interactive course map on Strava

Clayton Park
161 Emley’s Hill Rd, Imlaystown, NJ 08526

Screamin’ Hill Brewery
83 Emley’s Hill Rd, Cream Ridge, NJ 08514

Phil’s Take-Out
173 Route 526, Allentown, NJ 08501

LINKS
Like the Uptown Gentlefriends on Facebook
Follow the Uptown Gentlefriends on Twitter
Join the Uptown Gentlefriends on Strava
Dash and Deciduous 5k event page on Facebook
Team Uptown Gentlefriends group on Facebook
***REGISTER ONLINE FOR FREE***

Uptown Gentlefriends 12 Hour Track Attack

Uptown Gentlefriends 12 Hour Track Attack: April 29th 2017, 6am to 6pm
https://www.facebook.com/events/730105377139297/

In 2016 the Uptown Gentlefriends invited their friends and families to join them for a 12 hour training run at the local high school track. At the end of the day over 40 people showed up and every one of them logged AT LEAST 1 lap. Some did well over a hundred laps! As a group they logged 984 laps – that’s 246 miles!

In 2017 we hope to get even more people involved and top our 2016 mileage! Join us! We will have several coolers with cold drinks and delicious snacks. We will also have chairs and a canopy to relax under. Bring your families! Several kids ran last year; all ages are welcome!

Come out, get some fresh air and get some steps in. Walk a lap or run many. Or bring a book and just hang out with us all day. A few of us are using this as training for upcoming endurance runs, so your presence alone will motivate us – we need the help!

Runners will be responsible for counting their own laps. Those with a Garmin GPS device can install an app that will count laps, such as Auto Lap Counter (https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/4ae5506a-0d33-4948-a101-d1b2128f3bbc). This comes in handy as it will only count laps once the “start zone” is crossed, so any additional mileage, such as aid station breaks or bathroom breaks, won’t be counted. A more advanced app option is Loop Ultra Racer (https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/d647721e-5147-4a84-9914-e023236b1f13) which can be configured to not only show the number of laps but the projected total laps/mileage based on your lap times during the 12 hours. There may be other options available for other brands of watches or an old fashioned method of physically counting each lap. It’s up to you!

There are currently no bathroom facilities. We’re hoping that a port-o-potty appears once spring starts. They usually do. Otherwise there are permanent restrooms at the park located across the street (about a quarter mile away).

Rain date will be the next day; April 30th.

Follow the Uptown Gentlefriends on Strava:
https://www.strava.com/clubs/gentlefriends

Follow the Uptown Gentlefriends on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/U_Gentlefriends

2016 Finisher’s awards and more!

Baltimore Marathon

Ran the Baltimore marathon this past weekend. It was such a great race. A lot more challenging than I thought it would be. Such a great city. Great course. Great spectators! I can hardly wait to do this race again. Definitely going to stay for an extra night. Also, the race has the sweetest finisher’s medal that I’ve ever received!

REI Trail Series 5k at Historic Smithville Park

The Arms of Velae

Added a new video to the artwork section. It was a video I started in 2013 and then gave up on. I revisited it today and finished it off. It’s alright. I guess. At least it’s short.