RACE RECAP - South Jersey Paper Products Scholarship 5K
The whole week leading up to the race I had been checking the weather obsessively and it wasn’t looking great. Nice temps in the mid to high 40’s for the morning, but something like 80% rain all day. No matter. You can never really trust a five day forecast anyway.
Race morning came and it was looking a little more promising. It rained through the night but had let up some time around 8 am and looked like it might stay clear up until the start. Which is exactly what it did. No one saw a single drop until about a minute before the gun went off. Even at that, it wasn’t much and everyone there was obviously prepared to run in the rain anyway. Around mile 1 is where the rain started to kick in; and so did the runners. By the turnaround point in front of Wallace School, it was essentially a downpour. Clothes were soaked, shoes were squishing louder and louder with every foot strike, but people were smiling. They were actually smiling.
Some might say running in the rain is a less than desirable experience, but here’s what’s cool about it:
Everyone looks like a total badass.
It motivates you to move quicker.
The common consensus was that people were surprised by how well they did. This was Opening Day for #RunVineland Season and pretty much the whole SCR crew was catching up for the first time this year. Some of the crew hadn’t run in a few weeks or had been out of shape due to being sick or working too much. Despite all that, we saw some pretty impressive times and very strong finishes.
25 of 32 finishers crossed the line under 30 minutes
11 of them were from Vineland
13 of them were over the age of 40
18:21 - Fastest Male
20:54 - Fastest Female
Full results here
Awards were given in the middle of this huge trade show SJP was hosting in conjunction with the race, and it was pretty cool because there was a built-in audience clapping along to all the awards being given. Not to mention all the free samples. I’m pretty sure a saw a runner leaving with an award and 2 pints of cotton candy. This was one of the coolest post race ceremonies I’d ever seen. In addition to really nice glass trophies, the company got so many great items donated to give as prizes for the AG winners. Gift cards, baskets, bottles of wine, you name it. As someone who is impartial to race medals and just has them scattered amongst junk drawers and boxes, this was a really nice perk to participating. Between awards and the trade show, everyone went home with something.
On top of all that, the fastest male and female each received $500 scholarships to the school of their choice. So, not only did they get in the race for only $5, but they left with $500. That’s friggin’ awesome! Where else do you see that? I’m blown away by the generosity of that company. Something Vineland (and all communities) needs more of is businesses engaging the community beyond just the buyer-seller relationship.
SCR got linked up with South Jersey Paper in the summer of ‘18 when they offered to donate all of our paper needs for the Grand Prix, so helping them to promote this race was already a no brainer. The whole point of Second Capital Running is to not only put on running events in the area, but to also build up the already existing races so they can grow and further benefit the community. 5k attendance around these parts isn’t always the best, especially for the newer races. The average local 5k around here probably sees something like 30 or so runners. Races that have been around longer have the benefit of being well established and so they get much better attendance. SJP was happy with the level of growth compared to last year and so were we. Gears are already turning to ensure next years race is even bigger and an even better experience for runners.
Do you have an event in the Vineland/Cumberland County area that you’d like to bring to the next level? Hit us up with your thoughts and lets see if we can make something happen!