Later this year I will be part of a 7-person team running the River to Sea Relay – 91 miles across New Jersey. Last month the team got together to try to work out an initial plan for who will run which legs. For some reason, and I’m still not sure why, I was intrigued to run the leg nicknamed “the beast”. It is billed as “hilly, tight, tough, long & hard”.
Someone was kind enough to record the entire route of the R2C relay on Map my run/ride (the course may be a little different this year depending on how things look following Hurricane Sandy).
I worked out from this that the leg known as “the beast” starts somewhere in Lambertville, NJ, which is a nice little town, so perfect for a family day out. Friday seemed to be the perfect day for this (kids off school, my work closed) so we all headed out for the day.
When we arrived I set up the GPS so Joy would be able to find me when I finished my run and they settled in to play in the park for about an hour while I ran. I didn’t try to find the exact starting point, as all I really wanted to do was see how bad the hills really were to decide if I wanted to persuade someone else to run it on race day instead. With my planned finishing point (not exactly where the finish is on the route map) I would end up with about 7.7 miles whereas the leg is listed as 8.6. As I was pretty much leaving out the mostly flat part of the course I figured this was good enough to decide if I wanted to stick with it.
There was only a short distance to the start of the first hill, which was also the biggest hill – it was fairly tough going, and I kept wondering when it was going to end, but ultimately I decided it wasn’t as bad as I thought. After that hill it seemed relatively easy and I seemed to be coasting along quite happily for the rest of the run. The scenery was really nice (I should have taken my phone out of my belt but didn’t think of it while running along), and I realized I was going to be quicker than I thought and would be waiting a little while to be picked up.
Here’s the summary of my run: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/290474221.
I got changed in the car and we drove back down to Lambertville where we had a very pleasant lunch at Lambertville Station, enjoyed with a local brew (River Horse Belgian Freeze) and a slightly less local brew (Weyerbacher Merry Monks).
After lunch we had a very pleasant wander around the town and stopped in a very friendly ice cream and espresso bar called Buck’s. The kids were happy playing with a girl they made friends with while we ate a brownie with ice cream and I enjoyed a coffee.
We walked halfway across the bridge towards New Hope, PA, but it was time to head back home (and pick up my bike from the shop where it had been serviced on the way back, so I could ride on Saturday morning).
Great day out.