- Posted October 28, 2012 by
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Autumn leaves 2012
Why I Run
This is part 3 in my iReport series on why I run. The purpose of this series is to try to explain in words and pictures why I love to run. Like the other runs I photographed in this series (each of which in a different part of the state), this route has been a staple of my Marathon training long runs over the years (I’ve run 10 Marathons and have qualified for the Boston Marathon 4 times finishing in the top 30% each time). It’s a very flat 8 mile loop with very unique scenery and is very popular with birdwatchers.
These pictures were taken using my iPhone while I ran through the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. This is a 7,800 Acre (32 square KM, 12 square mile) US national natural landmark and wilderness preserve in Northern New Jersey. It is the permanent habitat of more than 244 species of birds and is also home to many deer, fish, fox, turtles and other types of animals.
For this run I focused on finding trees that were the most colorful and getting up close and personal with them so that I could get some good pictures. This took me off of my normal route, which is good as it brought some variety into my run and allowed me to discover some trails I did not know about.
So, why do I run? The first time I ran the Boston Marathon 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 ran countless other races of a variety of distances as training runs to test my fitness level against other runners. Every one of my races has its own memories – something unexpected or special that will be great memories for the rest of my life (maybe a separate iReport to explain). Along the way, I’ve met people from all walks of life - people I would never have otherwise met or become friends with. But, we all share a common passion for distance running and support each other during our big races. It was days like the day I took these pictures that make me realize that Photojournalist Dan Eldon had it right - the journey is the destination.