- Posted October 7, 2012 by
Far Hills, New Jersey
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Autumn leaves 2012
Why I Run...
I took these pictures Saturday using my iPhone (which I always run with) while running along my favorite marathon training route. It’s an 8 mile loop in Far Hills, NJ with some of the most spectacular scenery - lots of farms, streams and lakes to enjoy.
The Midland Run 15k race used to be held on this route. It would start at AT&T Mooreland farm (which is now used for the Far Hills Race Meet) and make its way along these rolling hills. There is a lot of history locally & nationally for this race. The Midland Run got a lot of attention in 1980 when the US boycotted the Olympics in Moscow because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. As a result, that year - the 15k race attracted an impressive field of elite runners. In the 1990s it was also the host of the 10 Mile US National Championship - something I got to watch while waiting to run the 15k.
The run itself takes you through one of the wealthiest communities in the state with many large Mansions and Estates. The King of Morocco once owned a 500 Acre Estate along this route (which was converted into a park after he passed away). Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis also had a home here before she passed away.
I can never afford to live here. I take great pleasure in knowing that my admission into this neighborhood comes at less than $100 (the price of a Shirt, pair of Shorts and running Sneakers). I have no problem (and in fact I prefer) enjoying the outdoors while everyone else here is enjoying their indoors.
This route means a lot to me and always cheers me up when I run it. Over the years, I've spent countless hours and miles running along this course. The best scenery is near the end - which is a great motivator to complete the run. It’s also a very challenging route (hilly) which I think helped me a lot with my marathon training (I've run 10 marathons and qualified for the Boston Marathon 4 times, finishing in the top 30% each time).
The run I did while taking these pictures were particularly enjoyable because of the weather and the changing of the color of the trees. I've also run this during the winter, which is always beautiful because the lake freezes over.
So, why do I run? For me - the first time I ran Boston I realized the race was to the starting line, not the finish line. To do that, I had to spend 6-7 months training 6 days a week for a qualifying Marathon, than without much of a break spend 5 months training for Boston. Along the way, I met people from all walks of life. People I would never have otherwise met or become friends with. But, we all shared a common passion for running. It was days like the day I took these pictures that make me realize Photojournalist Dan Eldon had it right - the journey is the destination.