The #runchathunt and How It Changed My Long Run

My runs are pretty straight forward. I live in an area surrounded by main roads with wide shoulders and sidewalks so running outside is never a problem. I stick to these roads and rarely take routes I haven’t previously explored.

A lot of times my run is a simple loop through one part of the neighborhood or another. Many times it is a straight out and back. Nice and simple.

I present to you a sample run for reference:

longrun-map

Google Maps via Garmin Connect

 See. Nice and simple.

Now take a look at my long run from this past Sunday.

runchathunt-map

Google Maps via Garmin Connect

Look at that mess. And you know what caused such a chaotic run through the streets? A simple little hash tag, that’s what.

#runchat is a very popular hash tag on Twitter used for talking about running. It has become the go to tag for runners all over the Twitterverse. The fine folks over at therunchat.com have created a scavenger hunt that is being held between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That means it is going on right NOW!

Here is what you do. Snap some pictures of the things on the list while out on a run. Post them to twitter using the hash tag #runchathunt. For each picture uploaded you get an entry into a drawing for a ton of great stuff. If you want the full details check out the #runchathunt page.

Here is what needs to be found:

Inflatable holiday decorations 
Railroad Crossing/Tracks
Local coffee shop 
Body of water 
Mile marker (or historical marker) 
Santa (or someone in a Santa hat) 
Snowman (real or decorative) 
Picture with a runner you don’t know (get their permission to post!)
Animals on a farm 
Porta potty

So…as soon as the list was posted I started planning my next long run. I knew I could find a lot of these things in the neighborhoods right around my house. My first shot was to the railroad crossing less than two miles away. On the way there I passed a coffee shop. The rest would present itself as I ran.

I started moving down side streets and back roads, some of which I had never seen before. I found a nice little park I never knew existed, along with a very steep hill that led away from the park.

I ran over a little creek that I probably knew was there, but never paid much attention to. This made a nice little snapshot and I checked “body of water” off the list. I ran up and down two main roads expecting to see a mile marker I was sure would be there, but didn’t see one.

There was even a point when I thought I knew where a particular road leaded, but when I came out on the main road nothing looked familiar. I was forced to navigate based on the position of the sun and eventually found my way back to the main road I expected to come to in the first place.

When all was said and done I ran 11.11 miles, found 7 of the 10 things on the list, and had a fantastic run. I still have three more things to find, and I have about 23 more days to find them.

That shouldn’t be a problem. Right?

Photo Dec 01, 8 03 35 AM Photo Dec 01, 7 40 01 AM Photo Dec 01, 7 38 01 AM Photo Dec 01, 7 25 39 AM Photo Dec 01, 7 18 56 AM Photo Dec 01, 6 54 09 AM Photo Dec 01, 6 52 09 AM

You want to follow along? Find me on Twitter and search the hash tag #runchathunt or #runchat.

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One Response to The #runchathunt and How It Changed My Long Run

  1. David H. says:

    Thanks so much for joining in the scavenger hunt! Great job mixing it up.

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