Hometown Runs

Matt Orlando
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Matt Orlando

Matt is a 30 something year old runner/father/husband from New Jersey. Along with writing for TheRunnerDad.com, he occasionally writes articles for other blogs and websites. He is an IT guy by day, with a passion for running, traveling, and photography.
Matt Orlando
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Belmar Beach

We’ve all got that place.  Whether it be a park, a hidden trail, a boardwalk, or even just the city streets, there is that place in our hometown that is our favorite place to run.  It’s the place where, even after years of being away, you instantly fall back into a comfortable pace and it feels like you never left.  It brings back memories of runs past, or, if you run it often, provides that sanctuary that allows you to escape the rest of the world and find that sense of peace you can sometimes struggle to find in the every day chaos of life.

Just recently my wife, son, and I moved back to my hometown to help fix up the house I grew up in to get it ready to sell.  The move was stressful, and being back in the house where I grew up has been surreal.  After a few days of just trying to unbox everything, set things up, run errands, and run back and forth to storage, I finally had the chance to just run.

Hurricane Sandy did a number on the Jersey shore.  Boardwalks were washed away and buildings and homes were destroyed.  The towns have done an incredible job of rebuilding.  The boardwalk where I run is new, buildings have been replaced by portable food trailers…the landscape has definitely changed.  Yet despite how different things looked, once I took those first few steps of the run it was like being home again.  As we strode down the boardwalk, me pushing my son in the jogging stroller and my wife running by my side, I was quickly reminded of so many runs here growing up.  The sun beating down on us, the beautiful beach to our sides, the sounds and smells of the shore in the summer…it was incredible.  I’m so grateful to be able to share that experience with my wife and son.

Yes, there are a few other favorite runs of mine near my hometown, but there’s something about running the boardwalk in the summer that is unmatched by any other running experience.

What’s your favorite hometown run?  Leave it in the comments below!

12 Comments

  1. Sarah (Shh...Fit Happens)

    While it is not my hometown, I do love running the boardwalks in NJ, DE, and MD! But my fave hometown run would be a local (flat) trail through the woods!

    Reply
    1. The Runner Dad (Post author)

      Yeah, I love trail running as well. It’s fun to get lost and explore the woods!

      Reply
  2. Richard

    There’s a local lake that has a trail around it that I enjoy running around. Twice around is about 5 miles, which is my average run. I haven’t been lately because it can be uneven and twisty and I’m being careful with some plantar fasciitis. I look forward to getting back there soon.

    Reply
    1. The Runner Dad (Post author)

      Sounds like a good run. That is the trade off with trail runs…they are more fun to run, but definitely more dangerous in terms of injury. Good luck with the recovery!

      Reply
  3. Chris @ Amplify

    We have a 10K in my town called the Tower Trot and its runs through many of the neighborhoods. It’s nice to run a race where people cheering for you actually know you.

    My other hometown run is when I used to live in Indianapolis – the Indy Half Marathon. Great run through downtown and onto the Speedway.

    Reply
    1. The Runner Dad (Post author)

      I couldn’t agree more. When you’re tired and feeling the pain in a race, it’s a nice boost to have people you know on the sidelines cheering for you. Keeps you motivated and gives you the extra boost you need!

      Reply
  4. Ann

    I live near Annapolis Maryland and there are a thousand wonderful places to run here but my favorite is a short run through the USNA. It is so beautiful and I am constantly surrounded by these young men in uniform that remind me of all that is right in the world. The fact that they, at 18 are willing to give up a normal college experience in order to serve their country is so very inspiring to me. It doesn’t hurt that after the run, downtown Annapolis is right there with a great big cup of coffee and a nice view for the cooldown.

    Reply
    1. TheRunnerDad (Post author)

      That sounds awesome!

      Reply
  5. Kate

    The River Front trail in Chicago! Quiet, tree-covered, isolated from the city, and great people watching. Good luck on the home rehab!

    Reply
    1. TheRunnerDad (Post author)

      That sounds really nice. I visited Chicago a few years back and ran along the lake. Loved it!

      Reply
  6. Jeff

    Blessed with many great places to run here in Orange County. Love to go down to the beach for runs along the waterfront-start and finish at the Stuft Surfer in Newport Beach. Favorite race is the OC Half Marathon the first weekend in May. Great views of the Pacific Ocean and Back Bay areas.

    Reply
    1. TheRunnerDad (Post author)

      I’m hoping to get out there one day…I would love to be able to run along the beach at sunset!

      Reply

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