Last weekend, I ran the Haddon Township Turkey Trot 5K. The race drew 660 runners this year and raised money for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International.
It's a fun, community event with a course that goes through Haddon Township and Haddonfield. The race T-shirt always features a hand-drawn turkey. We start at a fire station and end at a bar. Some people run with their dogs. The organizers also hold a 1K for children and those who want to walk. After I crossed the finish line, I waited for my mother to finish (and set a new 5K PR), and then we headed to the Collingswood holiday parade.
It was a picture-perfect, late-fall running day with the added bonus of raising about $9,000 for charity. But the day was almost wrecked by one person who decided he or she needed to get somewhere in a hurry.
I was cruising down Mount Vernon Avenue in Haddonfield, somewhere in the middle of the race pack, when I saw a bunch of runners ahead of me move in a hurry, but not forward.
They veered sharply to their right because someone started backing out of a driveway. This didn't look like an "Oops! I didn't see you" situation. That's impossible. The runners were all decked in neon, and were in a thick pack at that part in the race.
No matter. The driver backed out hard, then cut quickly, and zipped down a side street.
As much as I love running, I get part of the anti-running movement. The joke of "How do you know someone's a runner? Don't worry, they'll be sure to tell you" is funny because it's true.
We can be obsessed, even if we're never in contention for winning anything. We talk about shoes and gels and pace and mileage and schedules like everyone understands or cares; and when we're not talking about running, we're talking about fueling for a run or eating a big post-run meal or what we're going to run next. We litter Facebook and Twitter with posts about our training, and with pictures of finish lines and Instagrams of race medals and post-race beers.
So I can get being annoyed, even mad, and wanting us to shut up.
But I can't get backing your car into a group of runners participating in a community event that raises money for a juvenile diabetes charity because you're in a hurry. Especially when it would have taken maybe another 15 minutes for everyone to pass, or just a few minutes for the pack to thin out.
I went back to Mount Vernon the day after the race to try to identify the house from which the car left, but I couldn't remember which house it was. I was too far away when the incident happened. I don't know what I'd say to the driver if he or she was home, just like I was tongue-tied when a woman flicked her cigarette butt at me a few years ago, or when a truck turned hard into a crosswalk and almost hit me and a woman running with a stroller, after which the driver gave us the finger.
If you don't like runners, that's fine. That's your business. But don't try to kill us. It's the least you could do.
Plymouth Whitemarsh High School Baseball Jingle Bell Jog 5K/1-mile. At the high school. Onsite registration begins at 7 a.m. Race at 9. Fee: $25 preregistration, $30 after
Dec. 1. brynmawrrunningco.com
BCRR Winter Series: Covered Bridge 5K, Bucks County Running Club. The Boathouse, Tyler State Park, Newtown, 9:30 a.m.
Reindeer Romp, 5K, fun run/walk, 3 p.m. The Oakmont School Darby and Eagle Rds., Havertown. Fee: $25 adult, $10 children. reindeerromp.org
Browning Ross Winter Series. 5K every Sunday, through Feb. 23. Rowan University parking lot on Bowe Blvd. Race: 1 p.m. Race day registration only. Age group awards. Contact Ringo Adamson 856-904-3543 or email@example.com
Rivalry Races - The Nation's Race,
8 a.m., Team Army vs. Team Navy, 10K/5K obstacle points races. Art Museum. rivalryraces.com
Freezer 5K run & 1-mile family fun walk. Horsham, along the power-line trail at Simmons Elementary School. Fun walk, 9:45 a.m., 5K at 10. Online registration: $25 at Freezer5K.com, ends Dec. 11. $30 race day.
BCCR Winter Series: Jingle Bell 5.3-mile race. 9:30 a.m. The Boathouse,
Tyler State Park, Newtown. Contact race director Steve Cickayat firstname.lastname@example.org or bcrrclub.com. Fee: $10.
Christmas is for Giving 5K, sponsored by NorthEast RoadRunners Club&Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 61, 10 a.m., PennyPack Park, Rhawn St. entrance, Northeast Philly). Contact Mike Clavelli 215-624-6715 of email@example.com.
Browning Ross Winter Series. 5K every Sunday, through Feb. 23. Rowan University parking lot on Bowe Blvd. Race: 1 p.m. Race day registration only. Age group awards. Contact Ringo Adamson, 856-904-3543 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Funky Santa 5K 3-person relay. Montgomery County Community College, 9:15 a.m. Registration closes Dec. 10, 2 p.m. Fee: $45. makebreak.com
BCRR Winter Series: Tyler Challenge 10K. The Boathouse, Tyler State Park, Newtown, 9:30 a.m. Contact Janet Lewis (email@example.com) or bcrrclub.com $10 per race.
Browning Ross Winter Series. 5K every Sunday, though Feb. 23. Rowan University parking lot on Bowe Blvd. Race: 1 p.m. Race day registration only. Age group awards. Contact Ringo Adamson, 856-904-3543 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BCRR Winter Series Cham-Pain 5K.
The Boathouse, Tyler State Park, Newtown, noon. Contact Janet Lewis (email@example.com) or bcrrclub.com $10 per race.