Flying With The Fish

Meditations in Motion

On Saturday, the hubs and I traveled east to Somerdale, New Jersey, home of the Flying Fish brewery, to run the Flying Fish 5K.

We arrived early, could not figure out where to park, finally parked along a random side street near the finish line, and went to pick up our race packets. Meditations in Motion

The race premium for the 5K was a coaster. The race shirt cost an extra $20. Bill ordered one; I did not.

Meditations in Motion

The shirts were really nice. They were the type of poly-cotton blend that holds their shape but has a nice, soft feel. The women’s shirts had a  V-neck, which I like, and I contemplated purchasing one after the race, but, luckily for my pocketbook, they had run out of my size.

The morning was perfect for running – low humidity and sunny, with temperatures hovering right around 70 degrees. Bill and I picked up our bibs and wandered around the area near the race start.

Meditations in MotionThe race was held in conjunction with Somerdale Day. There were vendors’ stands, a tent where beer (Flying Fish, of course) was sold and a band was playing, community groups dispensing free frisbees, candy, pens, and magnets, games for kids, and corn hole and life-sized beer pong for adults. It was a happening place.

Meditations in Motion

We walked back to our car, pinned on our bibs, and got ready to run. Because a half marathon was on our calendar for Sunday, my plan was to take it easy in the 5K. This was to be a fun run, not an all-out mad dash.

I am notorious, however, for thinking I am going to run a comfortable pace, then getting caught up in the excitement of a race. My goal time for the 5K was in the 28-minute range, about the pace I usually run a three-mile training run. I had promised myself to run conservatively.

The 1,000 or so runners lined up at the starting line, listened to the national anthem, and were off at the sound of a horn signaling the race start.

The race took us past a school and through the neighborhoods surrounding the Flying Fish Brewery. There were a few rolling hills, but I would classify the racecourse as mostly flat. Roads were closed and, with one notable exception, traffic was not an issue.

I started the race, as my husband would say, like I was shot out of a cannon, adrenaline pumping. At the one-mile mark, I realized I was running much too fast and told Bill I planned to slow down. I immediately reduced my speed and Bill pulled ahead of me.

Just about that point, an older man backed out of his driveway (in his car) onto the closed racecourse. Parents running with children pulled their kids over to the side of the road in alarm. The cry “Car back!” spread among the runners in the area.

The driver was irritated about not being able to get out of his driveway. Runners were concerned about safety. Angry words were exchanged. The car accelerated to the next intersection, where a race volunteer removed the barricade to allow the driver to get off the racecourse. It was a dangerous situation.

The final miles went by without incident. I was running at a comfortably hard pace, one that I could easily sustain for a 5K. I soon saw the finish line come into view far in the distance.

When I saw the finish line clock, it was ticking towards 27 minutes. For some reason, I wanted to break the 27-minute mark, so I stepped on the gas for the final yards and passed over the finish mat just under 27 minutes. Because I started pretty far back from the starting line, my net time was 26:43, good enough to win my age group. Bill finished around half a minute ahead of me.Meditations in Motion We munched on some soft pretzels (one of my favorite post-race foods), sipped on our complimentary beer (a very tasty Oktoberfest) in our complimentary Flying Fish beer mug, and sat in the shade waiting for the awards ceremony. The award medal was very heavy, very nice, and also doubles as a bottle opener.

All in all, a wonderful morning.

Here is my (short) list of things I felt could use some improvement:

  • The registration fee was pretty steep for a 5K. Even though you received a coaster, beer mug, and beer with the fee, I felt as though the T-shirt should have been included in the price. The T-shirts, while very nice, cost an extra $20, for a total of $65.
  • When we arrived before the race, we had no idea where to park. Often there are race volunteers pointing you toward parking spaces. This wasn’t the case here. Some direction would definitely help the parking situation.

There were many things to like about the race. Here are some of them:

  • Plenty of communication from the race director prior to the race.
  • Efficient packet pick up.
  • Plenty of porta-potties. Very short lines.
  • Lots of helpful and friendly volunteers on the racecourse.
  • At many races where beer is distributed afterward, there is a long wait in the beer line. Not so for this race. The race organizers have beer distribution down to a science.
  • Soft pretzels, granola bars, fruit, and water after the race.
  • Lots of stuff going on in conjunction with the race, including live music all day.

After the race, Bill and I headed north to the site of our Sunday half marathon. Even though, strictly speaking, I did not keep my promise to run a calm and sedate pace for the whole race, I still felt fine afterward.

I believe I will be in good shape for Sunday’s half marathon. Time will tell. Race report to follow.


I am linking up with Running on the Fly and Confessions of a Mother Runner for their Weekly Rundown, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, Shank You Very Much for  Global Blogging, My Random Musings for Anything Goes, and Esme Salon for Senior Salon.










  1. I hate to hear stories like that about aggressive drivers. For the most part drivers are pretty level headed but there’s always that one jerk. I’m just glad no one was hurt.

    Nice job winning your AG! I’m sure you will be in great shape for your half next weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was pretty scary when tempers flared. I just didn’t want him to go plowing into a crowd of runners. Glad nothing like that happened. Thank you! The half was actually last weekend – right after the 5K! 🙂


  2. Wow! Congratulations on that AG win!! Yikes on the car! I can understand being frustrated at being locked in but perhaps he could have found a safer way? Soft pretzels sound like a great post-race food, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them. Maybe it’s a PA thing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, the car thing was pretty scary. I would be frustrated too, but I know the residents knew about the race ahead of time and it was at the beginning of a 5K. All the racers would be past the house in 10 – 15 minutes at the most. Maybe the pretzels are a PA thing. We have had them after several races.


  3. Awesome job, Laurie!!!! I don’t consider myself a competitive runner (or racer LOL), but for a 5K…since the distance is (relatively) short, it is tough to hold back. I”m usually running “by feel,” so I just go with what feels comfortable. That said, I have no concept of how fast/slow I’m actually going, so when/if I see a crazy fast time on my watch at the 1-mile mark, I really have to reign it in and ease up or risk burning out well before the finish line LOL I love that PA run shirt. Our daughter is actually moving back to Iowa in the next couple months, so the opportunity for future runs in PA is slim-to-none for me ;-( I’m gonna ask her to find me a shirt like yours 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • The residents were told about it in advance and it was at the 1-mile mark of a 5K. Runners are not that spread out. How long could he have been stuck? 10 – 15 minutes at most. It was kind of scary. Thanks, Wendy.


  4. So much for a fun run. Lol.

    Congrats on a great race.

    I do the same but tried to slow down for the 2nd half of my half yesterday. The hills were a great help.

    Hope the half went well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on finishing your 5K in such good time! The entry fees are getting steeper in my city, too. They usually include a technical shirt, finishing medal, post-race snack, and some promotional products. Enjoy your half-marathon. #senisal

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Natalie. Beer runs are often expensive. This run provided a whole afternoon of entertainment, so I didn’t mind too much, but I thought the T-shirt should have been included in the registration fee. The half marathon was really fun!


  6. I think trying to not race a 5k is next to impossible, it’s just so hard to not get caught up in a faster pace especially when the race is over before you know it! Congrats on the AG win! I have been avoiding paying extra for tshirts if it’s an option lately as well – that seemed especially expensive to add one on. How do you keep finding races with soft pretzels!? I love them and have had bags of hard pretzels after a race but never soft.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree…what made me think I could run a 5k without racing it? I must have been delusional. The T-shirt was really nice, but I just couldn’t justify spending $20m when I have sooo many other race shirts. I have done several soft pretzel races. It went great with the beer (at 11:00 am!!!)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on the finishing line and the beautiful medal.
    I understand the parking problem, I live near Rome but I prefer not to enter the “classic races” in the capital because it’s almost impossible to park near the start.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Was this race benefiting a charity? As one who used to help organize six races per year, I was always distressed by the ones that shut down roads or trapped people in their driveways without giving ample notification. One year, after finally opening an intersection where I was posted at to stop traffic, car after car drove by me telling me what they *really* thought of our race.

    Overpriced races are a pet peeve of mine. Several years ago, Eli wanted to do a knock-off color run with me at our local municipal park. When I went to pay, I found that entry fees were $35 and t-shirts were an extra $20. I paid but emailed the race director and said that his race was $40 over the market price for the two of us, and if I hadn’t already promised my son, I probably wouldn’t have sprung for the entry fee. His response: “making promises to your kid that you don’t want to keep isn’t in my job description” or something like that. On race day there were maybe 15 runners and the course covered about 2.1 miles. I was pretty pissed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The proceeds from this race were used to benefit Flying Fish’s environmental efforts, so the race sort of benefitted a charity. I am pretty sure that people in the neighborhoods where the roads were shut down knew about the road closures. The volunteer who had to move the barricade to let the driver off of the racecourse (the barricades were set up to keep cars out) yelled at the guy that he knew the roads would be closed and he should have parked his car at the back of his yard so he would have been able to get out without disrupting the race.

      I am with you on the overpriced races. My favorite races nowadays are small, inexpensive races. Easy logistics and often benefitting a great cause. The race you describe (and the race director) sounds awful. I think a lot of races associated with a brewery/winery are overpriced. If alcohol is that important to you, my feeling is, go out for a beer AFTER a cheaper race. I did pay the $45 no-shirt-included fee, though, so I have no room to talk! 🙂


    • Thank you, Linda. I am so cheap. I just couldn’t justify paying $20 extra for a shirt I really don’t need. Maybe next year! I have seen those quilts made from race shirts. They are very cool.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am cheap/frugal too Laurie. I’ve indulged myself on my little excursions this year to reward myself for my house horrors and finger fiasco. Yes, I think I mentioned my boss had several teeshirt quilts made – every time he finished negotiating a contract, he always asked the other side for some union swag (he is a management attorney), so he had one made as a wall hanging for the office (our office is filled with union-related/labor cartoons which he collects and labor paraphernalia), plus he has done walks/runs through the years – did a large quilt of those 5Ks and the rest was a quilt from travels. He took a year off work when he left the NLRB where he was an attorney/board agent for 7 years, then traveled around the world, bought teeshirts everywhere he went (no car, backpacked, stayed in hostels a lot). If you do it, look at “Campus Quilt” – he was really pleased with their work, selection of trim, backing, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Linda. I will check it out if I decide to get a quilt made. You boss sounds like an amazing guy! So cool to travel the world staying in hostels and backpacking. I need too many creature comforts, I think, to do that.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Laurie, a big congratulations for winning your age group. It just goes to show that sometimes best intentions are best left as intentions!… My husband would be tickled pink with the idea of getting a beer handed to him after a race. I know a lot goes into organising races, but $45 plus extra for the tee shirt is a little on the steep side… I’ve been trying to work out if today, Sunday 15th, is the day of your half marathon? If so I hope you did yourself proud again.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Deb. So true. Best intentions are not always the best plans. Our half marathon was actually last Sunday – the day after the 5K. It was awesome too.


  10. Congratulations on your win! And good luck in the half marathon. I hope the organisers take note of your advice to improve the race for next time. Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Congrats on running a great race and winning your age group, Laurie! That’s really scary about the man backing out of his driveway. What’s wrong with people? I agree that $65 (including the shirt) is steep for a 5K. Most of the 5K’s in our area are $35 and include a shirt with that price.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! The race was great, but the price was a little bit more than I would typically pay. There are lots of good races out there; I can’t justify paying $65 for a 5K.


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