More Songs For Your Running Playlist

Just in time for your Autumn Long Runs…

607. Can’t Stop by Girl Talk

608. Here and Now by Letters to Cleo

609. Naked Eye by Luscious Jackson

610. Biko (Live Version) by Peter Gabriel

611. Inside Out by Eve 6

612. Constructive Summer by The Hold Steady

613. You Make Me Feel by Cobra Starship ft. Sabi

614. These Are Days by 10,000 Maniacs

615. Closer To Free by The BoDeans

616. Run by Vampire Weekend

617. Ready To Run by Dixie Chicks

618. Don’t Stay Home by 311

619. Hammer To Fall by Queen

620. Sirius by The Alan Parsons Project

621. Washing Over Me by Goldfish

622. Noticed by Mutemath

623. Hero of War by Rise Against

624. Survival by Muse

625. Running Free by Iron Maiden

626. Game On by Disciple

627. Hands In The Air by Flo Rida

628. Unsung by Helmet

629. Machinehead by Bush

630. When Worlds Collide by Powerman 5000

631. Working For The Weekend by Loverboy

632. Shake it by Metro Station

633. Clark Gable by The Postal Service

634. Runaway by Bon Jovi

635. Phantom Lord by Metallica

636. In For The Kill by La Roux

637. Declaration / Marching On by The Alarm

638. Meet Me Halfway by The Black Eyed Peas

639. Millions by Starf**ker

640. Cutdown by Matt & Kim

641. Electronic Fences by Computer Magic

642. Slight Figure of Speech by The Avett Brothers

643. Battle Flag by Lo Fidelity Allstars

644. Games People Play by The Alan Parsons Project

645. Running Like the Wind by The Marshall Tucker Band

646. Praise by Sevendust

647. I Don’t Wanna Stop by Ozzy Osbourne

648. Salute Your Solution by The Raconteurs

649. Indestructable by Disturbed

650. Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Pilots

651. Hold On by Alabama Shakes

652. Southbound by The Allman Brothers

653. Rockin’ Down the Highway by The Doobie Brothers

654. Autobahn by Kraftwerk

655. In the City by The Jam

656. Modern Love by David Bowie

657. Second Hand News by Fleetwood Mac

658. Going Mobile by The Who

659. Balls Out by The Bloodhound Gang

660. Awakening by Yellowcard

661. Well Thought Out Twinkies by Silversun Pickups

662. Do You Right by 311

663. Runaways by The Killers

664. Freeze Frame by J Geils Band

665. Candy-O by The Cars

666. Unbelievable by EMF

667. Road To Nowhere by Talking Heads

668. What You Need by INXS

669. Titanium by David Guetta featuring Sia

670. Reggae Music by Jimmy Cliff

671. Reboot The Mission by The Wallflowers

672. Take a Walk by Passion Pit

673. Sleep Alone by Two Door Cinema Club

674. Pretty Persuasion by R.E.M.

675. Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More by The Allman Brothers

676. The Descent by Bob Mould

677. Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars

678. Bullet In The Head by Rage Against The Machine

679. Control Yourself by Dr. Dog

680. Animal by Mike Snow

681. Walking On a Dream by Empire Of The Sun

682. The Future Starts Now by The Kills

683. Machine Gun Blues by Social Distortion

684. Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore

685. Panama by Van Halen

686. Another Hit and Run by Def Leppard

687. Bad Boys Running Wild (Live Version) by Scorpions

688. Runnin’ by Bizarre Tribe (Pharcyde/Tribe Called Quest mashup)

689. Rebirth Of The Cool by The Afghan Whigs

690. Too Fast For Love by Motley Crue

691. This Is It by Kenny Loggins & Michael McDonald

692. Great Expectations by The Gaslight Anthem

693. Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

694. See a Little Light by Bob Mould

695. Girl On fire (Inferno Version) by Alicia Keys ft. Nicki Minaj

696. Madness by Muse

697. Morning Glory by Oasis

698. Headstrong by Trapt

699. No Church In The Wild by Jay Z & Kanye West

700. Release by Timbaland ft Justin Timberlake

701. Too Close by Alex Clare

702. Feed the Machine by Red

703. Geek U.S.A. by Smashing Pumpkins

704. You’re Going Down by Sick Puppies

705. North American Scum by LCD Soundsystem

706. City Of Blinding Lights by U2

707. Just Can’t Get Enough by Depeche Mode

This Is Why I Love The Steamtown Marathon…

We receive messages like this from the Ass’t Race Director…

Greetings and happy Friday the 13th Steamtown entrants! Hope you didn’t trip over a black cat on your training run today.

Well, it’s only 81 days to the 17th annual Steamtown Marathon. By now your long runs should be getting pretty long so I thought I’d remind you in a very quiet, gentle, and meek way to MIX IN SOME DOWNHILLS ON YOUR RUNS!

Steamtown is a quad killer. The course features a 955’ net elevation drop from start to finish but the vast majority of the drop is in the first 8 miles. The course has so much downhill during the early stages that you will feel like you are “running through a cool rain forest without a tie on.”

Many of you are probably now saying to yourself, “Myself, since the early miles sound so easy and fun, I think I will run really fast early on and bank time. Then, I can take it easy during the later stages of the race and still meet my goal time.”

Wrong naiive runners! Banking time is a really bad idea and will result in agony and despondent thoughts when you hit the uphills (yes, uphills) in the later stages of the race. Your best strategy is to keep an even pace and try your best to run even splits for both halves of the course.

I strongly suggest you attend the race expo to listen to the presentation about our course from really smart running people. They will make you promise that you will try to run even splits and will hold you down and give you a pink belly if you refuse.

In the meantime, here are some links to pages on our Web site that I recommend you read:

Also, if you are seeking yet another great half marathon in Northeast PA prior to running Steamtown, why not give the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Half Marathon in fabulous Wilkes-Barre, PA a try?

Here is a link:

Well, that’s my story and I am sticking to it. Will drop you another line in a couple of weeks. Get going on those downhills.


Jim “Do you think he’s serious about the pink belly?” Cummings

Asst. Race Director

Meaningless Personal #RWRunStreak Stats

Streak length: 38 days (39 and counting for me)

Miles covered:164

Number of one mile days: Eleven

Number of US States covered: Two

Most days in a row I wore the same, unwashed gear: Three

Number of times I washed my bandanna: Not enough

Number of times I ran to music: Three (Yup, surprised aren’t you?)

Longest run: 12 miles

Hottest Run: 81 degrees in the AM (high 99 on 6/29)

Lowest humidity: 4% – Henderson, NV

Number of collisions with bugs: Seven (two of which were ingested)

Number of times I ran with my dog: Four

Number of times I ran twice in one day: Two

Number of times it rained during my runs: Zero

Number of races (one – 5K on 6/19)

An All Philly Running Playlist

Forgive me for being Phillycentric, but it had to be done. I selected songs from Philly area artists. Even if you’re not from the City of Brotherly Love, this playlist works. So, where are you from? Let me know, and I’ll work on a playlist for your hometown! Enjoy…

1. From Debris by Matt Pond PA

2. Baby Missiles by The War On Drugs

3. Free Energy by Free Energy

4. These Days by Dr. Dog

5. Christian Street by Marah

6. The Fire by The Roots

7. Like a Weed by Huffamoose

8. After the Party by Good Old War

9. You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates

10. Blacklight by Ben Arnold

11. Bang the Drum All Day by Todd Rundgren

12. Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now by McFadden & Whitehead

13. Bad Reputation by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

14. Punk Rock Girl by The Dead Milkmen

15. Gypsy Road by Cinderella

16. I’m Alive by The Hooters

17. I-76 by G. Love & Special Sauce

18. The Catfisherman by Marah

19. Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It by Will Smith

20. I’m Not Your Man by Tommy Conwell & the Young Rumblers

21. Motownphilly by Boyz II Men

22. Raise Your Glass by Pink

23. Go by Santigold

24. Last Light by Matt Pond PA

25. Return Address by The Fleeting Ends

26. 4 and 4 by The Districts

27. Eyes on You by Shark Tape


Need Songs For Your Running Playlist?

The Mother Of All Running Playlists grows by another 101 songs. Thank you for sharing some of your “Go to” tunes.  I’ve road tested many of them, and added some of my own. Enjoy the running and enjoy the music! Here it goes…

506. The Starting Line by Keane

507. Victory by Biggie Smalls and P Diddy

508. She Bangs the Drums by The Stone Roses

509. Knife Edge by The Alarm

510. Suffragette City by David Bowie

511. Roam by B-52s

512. Empty House by Delta Spirit

513. Lust For Life by Iggy Pop

514. Heaven by The Walkmen

515. When The Sun’s Out by James Maddock

516. Barracuda by Heart

517. Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake

518. It’s Time For War by LL Cool J

519. Turn Me Loose by Loverboy

520. Bawitdaba by Kid Rock

521. Freak On a Leash by Korn

522. Run by Spiritualized

523. Dry Bones by Lateef

524. Melt Show by Old 97s

525. Ride by The Vines

526. Sunflowers by Francis Dunnery

527. Good Times by INXS w Jimmy Barnes

528. Jump Around by House of Pain

529. Mothers Talk by Tears For Fears

530. Electric Fever by Free Energy

531. Caught Somewhere In Time by Iron Maiden

532. Break My Stride by Matthew Wilder

533. Better Off by Radio Iodine

534. Take On Me by A-ha

535. Forgotten Years by Midnight Oil

536. Nice Things by The Menzingers

537. Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel

538. Dustland Fairytale by The Killers

539. Come Back Around by Feeder

540. Colassal by Wolfmother

541. Soldiers by Otherwise

542. Gonna Make You Love Me by Ryan Adams

543. Bring Me The Dawn by Carlo Dall Anese & Fabio Castro

544. Shining Star by Nneka

545. Life Is a HIghway by Tom Cochrane

546. Desire by U2

547. One Foot in Front of the Other by Bone Symphony

548. Galvanize by Chemical Brothers

549. Tubthumping by Chumbawamba

550. You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid by The Offspring

551. Crazy On You by Heart

552. Day N Night by Kid Cudi vs. Crookers

553. Whatever Is Wrong With You by Marillion

554. Twenty Killer Hurts by Gene Loves Jezebel

555. Tear It Up by Delta Spirit

556. Underground by Men At Work

557. Spiderwebs by No Doubt

558. The Fighter by Gym Class Heroes ft. Ryan Tedder

559. Dark Horses by Switchfoot

560. Do You Want It All by Two Door Cinema Club

561. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) by Arcade Fire

562. Shooting Star by Owl City

563. You Wanted a Hit by LCD Soundsystem

564. Take a Walk by Passion Pit

565. Speed the Collapse by Metric

566. Wasted Years by Iron Maiden

567. Blackout by Breathe Carolina

568. The Suffering by Coheed and Cambria

569. Face Down by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

570. Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones

571. The Lion The Beast The Beat by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

572. Meet Me on the Equinox by Death Cab For Cutie

573. Raise Your Weapon by deadmau5

574. Let It Out by Girl Talk

575. Without You by David Guetta ft. Usher

576. Wrecking Ball by Bruce Springsteen

577. Welcome To Paradise by Green Day

578. Born Slippy by Underworld

579. Shipping Up To Boston by Dropkick Murphys

580. You Wreck Me by Tom Petty

581. Got Some by Pearl Jam

582. She’s On Fire by Train

583. Drive It Like You Stole It by The Glitch Mob

584. Sin Wagon by Dixie Chicks

585. Hurt So Good by John Cougar Mellencamp

586. Toes by Lights

587. White Knuckles by Alter Bridge

588. A Slight Figure of Speech by The Avett Brothers

589. Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani

590. The Kids Aren’t Alright by The Offspring

591. Break It Down Again by Tears For Fears

592. Run To You by Bryan Adams

593. Run the World (Girls) by Beyonce

594. Comeback Kid by Sleigh Bells

595. A World That We Never Made by Dear Landlord

596. Do Anything You Wanna Do by Eddie & The Hotrods

597. Like a Stone by Audioslave

598. Burn It Down by Linkin Park

599. Turbulence by Steve Aoki & Laidback ft. Lil Jon

600. Flux by Bloc Party

601. Steady As She Goes by The Raconteurs

602. Starry Eyes by The Records

603. Bombtrack by Rage Against The Machine

604. Dammit by Blink 182

605. Bohemian Like You by The Dandy Warhols

606. Around the World by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Hazards of Running

A week before I graduated from college, the seniors voted on class superlatives.  My award? No, not “Best Looking” or “Most Likely to Succeed.” Instead, I was voted “Class Klutz.”  Having this dubious honor, combined with bad eyesight and being left-handed (notorious klutzes), has made for a tricky, sometimes painfully dangerous running existence.

This got me thinking of some of the predicaments I have gotten into while running over the years:

There was the fire hydrant I ran into, which did more damage to my ego than it did to my knee. You see, I did this the first time I ever ran with a running club. What an interesting way to get to know new people.  Oh, it was physically painful, but embarrassing too.

Next, there was the street sign I clipped toward the end of a long run as I trained for my first Broad Street Run. No stitches were required, but it left a nice gash on my shoulder.

Third, one icy morning, I decided to use the treadmill.  A logical and smart idea, right? Well, where we were living at the time, the treadmill was in another building in our apartment complex, so I had to walk outside to get there. [This is the part where I slip on the ice and land horizontally on my back, cracking a rib and giving myself a foggy head]. I never even got to start that run.

Recently, I almost stepped on a snake (literally).  At first, I thought it was a stick; however, the stick started moving.  I jumped high, VERY high. I screamed loud, VERY loud. I am sure the snake was harmless, but I wasn’t sticking around to find out: Instant Fartlek.

I have been stung by a bee, which was nice enough to fly into my mouth at the furthest point “out” on an out and back run.

Let’s not forget the many dog chases and the many near misses with cars (I’m sure most of us have had those). My biggest near miss while running was a tree falling within 15 meters of me. Close call.

There are all kinds of predicaments we can get ourselves into after we lace up our sneakers and head out the door.

What kind of hazardous situations have you gotten into while running?

Race Recap – Pocono Run For The Red Marathon 2012

I gave blood to the Red Cross, just not in the traditional way…

A pilot will tell you that any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. As a runner, I’ll say any marathon finish you can walk away from is a good finish. This particular finish was in the Run For The Red Marathon, a race that benefits the American Red Cross. No records were broken. I was happy to survive.

I will simply focus on some highlights / low-lights:


  • The fellow runners – It was such a rough day weather-wise, which made the runners really supportive of each other.  We were all in it together.
  • Getting to run with TuTu Guy for Miles 16-18! Great guy and tough runner. He helped me delay my bonk.

Tutu Guy: Keith Straw

  • The course itself: Pretty and point-to-point (I like point-to-point) in the Pocono Mountains of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Great volunteers!  They were out there in the heat too.  The volunteers had to deal with carnage and improvising when running low on water/Gatorade at the water stops.
  • Proceeds were for a good cause: the Red Cross
  • Friendly EMT people (more on that coming up)


  • Faucet-like bloody nose at Miles 4 to 5 – I can’t explain this one (allergies?). Thank you to the EMT who checked me out and gave me the extra gauze for my run!  I was comfortably on Sub 3 hour pace up until this point.  The bloody nose broke my concentration, and temporarily took my head out of the game.  I recovered for a bit, running consistent 7 minute miles until Mile 11. Then, the weather began to take its toll on me.
  • No crowd support – Lonely…it felt like it was a training run.
  • Absolutely no music along the course.  Despite the name of my Blog, I won’t wear an iPod during a race. However, I usually look forward to the bands/musicians along the route that pump up the runners.  This course had nothing, not a sound.
  • The hills were much worse than I thought they would be.  They made the Boston hills seem easy. Maybe it was the weather.  Which brings me to….
  • The weather: Awful – A hot one – 84 degrees by the time we finished.  Not too much shade, not a cloud in the sky, and we baked on the blacktop.  I think I ran an extra mile zigzagging to find the shady side of the road. Some people are affected more than others by the heat (I am one of them).  I overheat like an ‘89 Honda Civic on such days.  It was ironic that it was warmer in the Poconos than it was in Philadelphia (this rarely happens).
  • Lack of course markings and guides: About 20 runners ended up taking a wrong turn and ran an extra .65 miles, including some aspiring BQ runners and the female leader (who ended up losing her lead).  Also, automobile traffic was on parts of the course (runners felt unsafe).

After my bloody nose incident, I thought about dropping out.  Normally, it wouldn’t have scared me, but I have had a weird three weeks with my body: irregular heartbeat, stomach flu, now the bloody nose.  I ended up slowing my pace (first voluntarily, then involuntarily). There is nothing worse than knowing you are “done” at Mile 11…knowing you still have 15 miles to go; however, I finished…a finish is a finish, and I am proud of myself for gutting it out.

Time: 3:26:14 (ironically, the same time I ran in Boston ’05…it was hot that day too).

So, I gave blood to the Red Cross. Ouch…

A bloody tough run (a well-named race!)

The Twelve Days of Taper

OK, it’s not Christmas, but I have monitored my body and mind over the last twelve days up to my next marathon (tomorrow: 5/20/12), so here it goes…

On the First day of Taper, the Running Gods gave to me: a pain in my left calf

On the second day of Taper, the Running Gods to gave me: two achy quads

On the third day of Taper, the Running Gods gave to me: three uninspired miles

On the fourth day of Taper, the Running Gods gave to me: four minutes worried about the sniffles

On the fifth day of Taper, the Running Gods gave to me: FIVE GU GELS !!

On the sixth day of Taper, the Running Gods gave to me: six stomach-flu crackers

On the seventh day of Taper, the Running Gods gave to me: seven moments obsessed with the race-day forecast

On the eighth day of Taper, the Running Gods gave to me: an eight-part continuous “miss the start” nightmare

On the ninth day of Taper, the Running Gods gave to me: nine times the normal pollen count!

On the tenth day of Taper, the Running Gods gave to me: ten minutes icing the shins

On the eleventh day of  Taper, the Running Gods gave to me: eleven moments obsessed with the race-day forecast

On the twelfth day of Taper, the Running Gods gave to me: twelve klutzy trips-over-nothing

Sometimes getting to the Starting Line with your sanity is half the battle.


The Running Playlist Grows…

Here are another 101 running songs for you.  Thank you for sending me some good ones to add to the list!  I still need to sort by genre and group by “workout intensity.” Some have asked me to group them into smaller playlists for certain races.  I can do that too.  Finally, I will add these to the Mother Of All Running Playlists post.  Here you go…

405.  Army by Ben Folds Five

406.  Fly Like An Eagle by Steve Miller Band

407.  Here Comes The Boom by Nelly

408.  Never Back Down by Linkin Park

409.  I Need a Doctor by Dr. Dre (Featuring Eminem & Skylar Grey)

410.  Hold Back the Rain by Duran Duran

411.  Sandstorm by Darude

412.  East Jesus Nowhere by Green Day

413.  Seether by Veruca Salt

414.  Mr. Brightside by The Killers

415.  Shut Up and Let Me Go by The Ting Tings

416.  Time to Pretend by MGMT

417.  Airplanes by B.o.B.

418.  Typical by MuteMath

419.  Your Hands (Together) by The New Pornographers

420.  Thread by Now, Now

421.  I See You Baby by Groove Armada & Fatboy Slim

422.  Baby Missiles by The War On Drugs

423.  The Fire by The Roots

424.  In A Big Country by Big Country

425.  Run Runaway by Slade

426.  Only Happy When It Rains by Garbage

427.  Midnight City by M83

428.  Lover to Lover by Florence & the Machine

429.  Sidecars by Kathleen Edwards

430.  She’s the One by Bruce Springsteen

431.  Let’s Go All the Way by Sly Fox

432.  Black Horse and the Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall

433.  State of Love and Trust by Pearl Jam

434.  Dancing Shoes by Arctic Monkeys

435.  Empire State of Mind by Jay Z & Alicia Keys

436.  Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel

437.  Back in Time by Pitbull

438.  Closer to the Edge by 30 Seconds to Mars

439.  Against the Wind by Bob Seger

440.  Keep on Running by Spencer Davis Group

441.  It Keeps You Runnin’ by The Doobie Brothers

442.  Sleep Now in the Fire by Rage Against The Machine

443.  B.O.B. by Outkast

444.  Can’t Stop by Red Hot Chili Peppers

445.  40 Day Dream by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

446.  Thickfreakness by The Black Keys

447.  Helena Beat by Foster the People

448.  Levels by Avicii

449.  I Like That by Richard Vission ft Luciana

450.  In Your Honor by Foo Fighters

451.  (If You’re Wondering If I Want You to) I Want you to by Weezer

452.  Everybody Talks by Neon Trees

453.  Blue Monday by New Order

454.  Pump It Up by Elvis Costello & the Attractions

455.  More Human Than Human by White Zombie

456.  That’s Not My Name by The Ting Tings

457.  Somebody Told Me by The Killers

458.  Paper Planes by M.I.A.—DFA Remix (no gunshot sounds used as percussion on this version)

459.  I’m Shakin’ by Jack White

460.  Epic by Faith No More

461.  The Only Place by Best Coast

462.  Rain King by Counting Crows

463.  Run Right Back by The Black Keys

464.  Moth’s Wings by Passion Pit

465.  Home by LCD Soundsystem

466.  Back Against The Wall by Cage the Elephant

467.  A New Chance (The Juan McClean Remix) by The Tough Alliance

468.  Pretty Piece of Flesh by One Inch Punch

469.  A Day Without Me by U2

470.  Electronic Renaissance by Belle and Sebastian

471.  Superman by R.E.M.

472.  Under the Milky Way by The Church

473.  Real Life by Tanlines

474.  Under Cover of Darkness by The Strokes

475.  Go by Santigold

476.  Into the Fire by Sarah McLachlan

477.  Blood Hound by 50 Cent

478.  Marchin’ On by One Republic ft. Timbaland

479.  Perfect Time of Day by Howie Day

480.  Opera (Attack Video Edit) by Matt’s Mattara ft. RockMan

481.  Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield

482.  Drop The Pop by None More Black

483.  Six Weeks by Of Monsters and Men

484.  When You Were Young by The Killers

485.  Born With a Tail by Supersuckers

486.  Doo Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill

487.  Mr. Jones by Counting Crows

488.  Hair of the Dog by Nazareth

489.  Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush

490.  Lovely Love My Family by The Roots

491.  Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran

492.  Running Free by Dylan Hyde

493.  Spirit of ‘76 by The Alarm

494.  Montana by Venus Hum

495.  I-95 by Francis Dunnery

496.  I Can’t Drive 55 by Sammy Hagar

497.  Marching Bands of Manhattan by Death Cab For Cutie

498.  Do It Again by Holy Ghost

499.  Get Some by Lykke Li

500.  Can We Start Again by Bane

501.  Get Back by Ludacris

502.  You Get What You Give by New Radicals

503.  Maniac by Michael Sembello

504.  Just a Girl by No Doubt

505.  Last Day in Bouville by Nothing

Race Recap: St. Luke’s (Lehigh Valley) Half Marathon 2012

ALLENTOWN, PA. This was my fourth St. Luke’s (FKA Lehigh Valley) Half Marathon, and I had more anxiety than I usually do for a race like this. Here’s why: Three days prior to the race, during a routine six miler, I experienced shortness of breath and heart palpitations. I ended up in the ER. The good news is everything with my heart looked normal (speculation is I had some kind of allergy attack or exercise induced asthma).

Despite my relief that my heart is fine, I was still worried that I would have breathing issues during the race.  It was in the back of my mind at the start, and throughout the race. Thankfully, I did not have issues.

The weather at the start: Perfect (low 40s, low winds). This was more welcomed news to  me.

The first five miles of the St. Luke’s Half are downhill to flat. The race starts at William Allen High School, and it is very easy to go out fast (Mile 1: 6:14). I missed the Mile 2 marker, but the combination of Mile 2 and Mile 3 was 12:31 (a little fast for my liking).

The race continues to Mile 5+ with an out and back along MLK Drive. I got to see my wife, and also heard words of encouragement from a friend from Muhlenberg College.  This part of the course continues as flat and fast.  I felt good, but found myself running alone with no specific pack to latch on to.

The next part of the race heads into the Little Lehigh Parkway. Due to safety concerns involving an unsafe retaining wall, the course had to be re-routed, which meant we had an additional hill as part of the course this year. The hill was not steep, but felt lengthy. Plus, since we entered the park at a different location than usual, it seemed like we ran on more gravel than usual (I could be wrong).

I did not see a mile marker until Mile 8 (so my five mile time from Mile 3 to Mile 8 was 31:52 – Still pretty fast for me in April).  However, as we got deeper into the park, which includes a beautiful covered bridge, the rolling hills slowed me down (Miles 9 and 10 were a combined 14:11). Also, I was still running alone.  I was “a runner without a pack.”

Once over the covered bridge, runners shift directions to the other side of the park. Here, you can see the runners behind you across the way and they can see you.  My wife (who was on her way to a PR!) said she saw me, and I was completely alone (her words).  This is a tough place to be as a runner in a race.

After climbing out of the park, the course slowly heads back passed Yocco’s Hot Dogs (Mmm) to Cedar Beach and toward the finish.  The last couple of miles are relatively flat, and I managed a couple of 6:45’s. As runners near the finish area, there is a very short hill that takes everyone to the entrance of the track where the race ends.

There are few things more fun than finishing a race on the track.  My rule usually is: “Nobody passes me on the track.”  However, I found myself alone.  There was nobody within 25-30 seconds of me (either in front of me or behind). I led a very lonely existence in this race. This is strange considering over 3,200 people ran it. Fortunately, on my way to getting a post-race snack, I bumped into another fellow Muhlenberg Alum, which was a pleasant surprise!

Official Results: 1:25:28

47th out of 3,240 runners

9th in age group (competitive age group)

My goal was to break 1:25, a slight miss, but I was only off my Course Record by 12 seconds. I’ll take it considering where I was three days prior. Also, I added on 6-7 miles after the race because this was my last long run before the Run for the Red Marathon on 5/20.  These were slow but necessary additional miles.

The St. Luke’s Half is always my favorite race at this distance.  It is well-organized, not too big, and has great post-race food.  You can’t beat Vegetable Pierogi Soup!  Also, there are lots of good bands along the race course. Two highlights for me during this race: 1) A solo acoustic guy singing “I Melt With You” by Modern English and 2) A fun band jamming to “China Grove” by the Doobie Brothers.

Oh, and you get your name on your race bib too!  This race was one of the first in the nation to start this trend, which is a blessing and a curse for someone named Gerard: “Go Gerald,” “Go Jared,” “Go George,” “Go [long pause] Dude!”

Lonely Boy: By the time I hit the track, nobody was within 30 seconds of me (either in front of me or behind me)