One of my favorite things about being home is going on runs. Yes, I do enjoy running along the Charles at school — but nothing beats being home and running for however long I want and never risking getting lost.
I am from a small town in New Jersey — a suburb of New York City. For many in larger towns or cities, seeing familiar faces while running is a rare occurrence; however, in Glen Rock it’s more odd if I don’t see at least 5-10 (depending on the length of your run) people I know/know of while running.
This seeing-random-people-while-running thing is kind of fun. It gets my mind off of my tired legs or the horrid hill that I may be running up momentarily; it reminds me that I’m home. Ranging from a friend’s parent to a random person I went to the same elementary school with for a year to high school classmates to friends, it’s always fun to see who I’ll run into next on a Glen Rock run.
There’s nothing like the familiar sidewalks of your hometown. Of running in the middle of a sunny summer day; of running your long-loved routes over and over again each week. Or of hearing the pitter-patter of the rain outside and deciding to run around your neighborhood; returning with a smile and puddle-soaked shoes. Hometown streets are lined with myriad precious memories; pockets of your past. Running past friends’ houses, schools, or other memory-infused landmarks makes long, hard (sometimes mundane) runs that much more interesting; more colorful.
And for me, there’s something about running at home — something about exploring the town on foot, of making my mark on the pavement with each step of my bright purple Asics, that makes Glen Rock feel a little bit more like home.
What about you? What do you like best about running in your hometown? Do you prefer to run through neighborhoods or on trails?