Running Mates

The Hoeys

In describing unity of a married couple over a long period, it is common to refer to the bonds that tie two souls together. In the case of Margaret and Fred Hoey of Oxford, Pa., those “ties” may well be laces on a pair of running shoes.

Running has been integral to their lives. At 73 and 75, respectively, Margaret and Fred radiate an energy and healthfulness that belie their ages — they could easily pass for half their ages. But their time together on the trails also reflects their close-knit relationship as a couple.

“I was an athlete all my life,” Margaret says. “I played field hockey pretty seriously through high school and college, which involved running. But this was back before competitive running for women was really an option.”

She originally assuaged her “need for speed” on horseback, competing in show jumping. But after a few scary falls, her family convinced her to switch sports.
“I said, ‘That’s enough of that,’ Margaret admits, “and took up running, which I always wanted to do anyway. It’s absolutely my passion. I love it.”

Although she has participated in the Boston Marathon and the Broad Street Run more times than she cares to count, running at Valley Forge National Historical Park is special.

The Hoeys at Valley Forge

She’s drawn by the challenge: “I can run through sections of Valley Forge Park without even breathing hard,” she describes. “But tackling those hills! Those parts of it are harder than you think.”

Her appreciation includes the natural beauty: “It is absolutely fabulous. I love it. You’re always safe there. It’s just such a great place to run. We go down on the trails behind the park, it’s a fabulous run, especially in summer.”

Last, Margaret describes the deep emotional pull of Valley Forge. When her children were living nearby in Collegeville, Margaret would pick up her toddler grandson, Jaxson, for a day’s outing. “Every single day, I put him in his baby carriage, from the time he was like three weeks old and ran him around the park,” she recalls. “We did that for two, solid years. That park holds such great memories.”

That exposure, Margaret explains, obviously had an impact; Jaxson, now 16, is now a nationally classed miler, competing on his own. “I often tease him that it all started at Valley Forge Park,” she laughs.

The Hoeys

Margaret Hoey runs last year’s Revolutionary Run alongside her daughter, Leslee

Her love for the site sparked an interest last year in the Valley Forge Revolutionary 5-Mile Run®, and Margaret and Fred ran the course for the first time. They’ve signed up for this year’s edition as well, taking place next Sunday, April 27, 2014. “We may run as a family,” she says. “Last year, I finished ahead of Fred. But this year, Jaxson may pace himself so that he and Fred finish together.”

I tell her honestly that given her age and drive, she is inspiring. It is a label she wears uncomfortably. “I would do anything to help the Valley Forge race. Not that Fred and I could run and inspire anybody. But we do run into that sometimes. When we were running yesterday, some kids ran by us who said, ‘Oh, they’re so amazing.’ And we knew it meant it was because we were so old. The notion was: ‘Look at you! You’re still running! Shock!’”

She continues. “But I don’t feel old. I’m always surprised when I’m running in the city, and I look in a shop window and see an old lady in the reflection. Because it’s such a state of mind, isn’t it?”

Indeed it is.

Although online registration for the Rev Run has closed, it is still possible to join in the competition. The office of the Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1000 First Avenue, King of Prussia, will be open for registrations on the following schedule:

  • Friday, April 25, 2014, 4–6 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 26, 2014, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Walk-up registrations are not available on race day at the park; although registered participants may take advantage of onsite packet pickup.

For more information on participating on any level in the 2014 Rev Run (running, walking, youth run, volunteering, sponsoring), see our website.

The Valley Forge Revolutionary 5-mile Run

The Rev Run on Sunday morning can be the anchor to a terrific weekend in Montgomery County, but there’s no need to pound the pavement looking for comfortable accommodations. To jog your memory about some of the best that we track, see the recommendations on our site.

This Weekend, Our Basket Overfloweth

The drab landscape of January, February and March is now but a distant memory in Montgomery County, as flowerbeds, lawns, gardens, trees and trails explode with color. Even the sky looks bluer these days.

Morris ArboretumOn Sunday, the local palette gets kicked up a notch with pink dresses, plaid bow ties, white hats bedecked with lilacs and, of course, jubilees of jellybeans that reflect every hue of the rainbow.

Just as colorful are our special events, activities, shows and entertainment options. If you’re in The Pursuit of a weekend that will make you “rabbit” with enthusiasm, we can make sure your good time doesn’t peter out. Now, hop to it!

The grand weather at Eastertide can inspire such joy that the only way to adequately express it is to dance. Just ask the students taking part in the Dance Ensemble Spring Concert on Friday, April 18, at Montgomery County Community College. These talented and energetic performers will explore many styles of dance, including modern, contemporary, tap and hip hop. Choreographed by the students, the performance encompasses a range of themes, from the Roaring Twenties to the circus, robots, greed and more.

This third week in April is peak time for the natural beauty of wildflowers. Celebrate fields dotted with daffodils and crawling with crocuses at the “Spring Beauties” presentation at Green Lane Park. This wildflower walk steps off April 19 from the Green Lane Park Office, from which a guide will lead visitors over hill and dale and point out the floral fireworks along the way. The presentation should interest nature lovers, but it is also a golden opportunity for photographers.

Flowers at Green Lane Park

“Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on… bunnies?” Well not, exactly. But Easter definitely means strengthening family bonds, celebrating the great outdoors and even singing, elements of the 1965 film classic The Sound of Music. The multiple Oscar winner (including Best Picture) gets the big-screen treatment at The Colonial Theater on April 19. If your Easter outfit is made from the draperies that once hung in your bedroom, this is the place for you.

When the family is dressed to the nines in Easter Sunday finery, where better to go than out to eat? Sunday brunch options for Easter in Montgomery County run the gamut from white linen tablecloths to kid-friendly casual:

  • Elmwood Park Zoo has options both Saturday and Sunday for brunch. Tickets include photos with Mr. Easter Bunny himself, as well as an egg hunt.

Elmwood Park Zoo

  • The Easter brunch spread at Sunnybrook Ballroom enables breakfast in the big-band era, as the setting was a common stop for touring superstars of the past.
  • Complimentary Mimosas provide adult refreshment at the brunch buffet at the Crowne Plaza – Valley Forge.
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House gives you a great reason to “meat” your family and friends this Easter, with a price fixe brunch menu in addition to the full-menu options.
  • Not all Easter candy belongs in a nest of plastic grass; The Shake Shack mixes it onto a “Shackbury Easter Egg Concrete,” blending frozen vanilla yogurt with caramel sauce and milk chocolate chunks.
  • The price fixe brunch menu of Sullivan’s Steakhouse offers traditional broiled lamb chops that can be made extra tempting with the addition of a lump crabmeat overlay.
  • The Capital Grille is plating a three-course brunch that can start with oysters on the half shell and end with chocolate espresso cake.
  • Chocolate of the melted variety is an integral part of the Easter Sunday fare at The Melting Pot and its three-course lunch experience.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Easter Bunny are the guests of honor at the buffet brunch laid out at the Valley Forge Casino Resort. While you choose from the carving station and the breakfast/lunch displays, your kids can get involved in the jelly bean contest.

Asher's ChocolatesEveryone knows the Easter Bunny brings candy, but less known is who his suppliers are. Surely they must include the generational excellence that comes from Asher’s Chocolates. It’s not too late to stop by and peep at the delicious variety of chocolate-covered eggs in all sizes and varieties: coconut cream, buttercream, fruit and nut, peanut butter, marshmallow and nut fudge. Then there are the zillions of jelly beans and other gifts for your brood. The Souderton store is open Monday—Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The factory, where you can watch the process of crafting all this deliciousness, can be visited weekdays, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Exquisite chocolate creations for Easter and year-round are also available at Bridge Street Chocolates.

For a real treat this Easter weekend, ride out your sugar rush in one of our area hotels, using the recommendations on our website. You’re sure to find a suite that is sweet.

 

6ABC Forecast for April 27: Showers of Support

6ABC Meteorologist Adam Joseph

6ABC meteorologist Adam Joseph is recovering from a hamstring injury.

But you’d never know it.

He strides into the studio’s lobby with his mega-watt smile beaming, and bounces up to where I’m sitting. Handshake. Welcome. The guy gushes good energy, and not just when the cameras are on.

We’re off to his office to chat, and in walking through the maze of cubicles, I need to step lively to keep pace.

We settle in to discuss the annual Revolutionary 5-Mile Run® scheduled for April 27, 2014, at Valley Forge National Historical Park. Joseph has participated in seven of the past eight editions of the race, and he has registered for year nine.

Adam at the 2013 Revolutionary Run

Adam at the 2013 Revolutionary Run

He admits up front that running in Valley Forge is special. “Everyone knows Valley Forge Park,” Joseph says. “It’s centrally located. It’s simple to get to. And if people don’t want to run on pavements, there are many other options: You can run Mount Misery and some of the trails there that are just awesome. And Mount Joy, across from the covered bridge — there are just so many.”

Adam

The surroundings also hold the opportunity for the television forecaster to unplug for a while. “It’s very quiet. There’s not a lot of distraction. When I run by the cannons or the monuments, it’s great to think about what happened there. And seeing the history that was made there. So a lot of times my mind will drift, thinking: What happened where I’m running, right here, right now? And if I’m huffing and puffing and struggling, I imagine what those people did on those same grounds. It’s a cool place to let your mind flow while running.”

Joseph’s early days as a runner included significant training with hills, and the rises throughout Valley Forge play to that particular strength. While working in West Virginia, he was invited by a friend to participate in his first triathlon. “It was in the mountains,” he recalls, “very hilly, and it poured rain that day. I remember going down the mountain on my bike and being really scared. The end of the race was running three miles back up the mountain. So I’m very familiar with hills,” he laughs. “That’s another draw for Valley Forge because if you’re a strong hill runner, the location is great.”Adam Joseph

Competitively, Joseph will use the hilly terrain to gain some time on his fellow runners. “It seems like I can catch people on hills,” he grins.

For novice runners considering the experience — and challenge — of the Rev Run, Joseph advises to go for it. “Five miles is a great distance. It’s not a grueling 10 miles or a 10k, which is 6.2 miles. But it just gets you to that point where, when you do it for the first time, you get the pride of being able to say, ‘Hey, I just did a five-mile race!’ Which is a big deal. And it’s a hard five-mile race; it’s not an easy five-mile race.”

He speaks of the event in surprisingly philosophical terms: “A lot of people wear headphones while they run. I don’t like wearing headphones in a race; it takes away from the experience. I love listening to peoples’ feet. A good way of getting into a rhythm is listening to other peoples’ feet. You’re also more aware of where they are when you can hear them, so you’re passing runners and calling that you’re on their left or right. It’s more respectful.”

Joseph continues: “It’s about good sportsmanship, so to speak. The sportsmanship is not only about you, when you’re running a race. It’s also about supporting everyone else around you, being engaged with everybody around you, encouraging everybody around you. The differences in runners’ ages and ethnicities and whatnot, don’t matter. You find encouragement in everybody. Give encouragement. Get encouragement.”

Enthusiastic Runners

One more important aspect of participating in the Rev Run for Joseph is recognizing the dozens of volunteers who support the event. “On race day,” he advises, “when you pass a volunteer, thank him or her as you go by. Because they’re standing on a chilly corner and have been there since six or seven o’clock in the morning. So a simple thank you is terrific.”

Fortunately, any of the “chilly corners” present on race day at Valley Forge will be more the result of the early morning start time rather than any meteorological menace. “Snow for April 27?” he laughs. “I think we’ll be okay by then!”

Registrations for the Ninth Annual Revolutionary 5-Mile Run® are still open. The Rev Run website has comprehensive information on all aspects of the day: running, walking, sponsoring, volunteering and spectating. The deadline for e-registrations is midnight, April 20, 2014. You can still sign up to participate, though, at packet pickup at our offices, 1000 First Avenue, Suite 101, King of Prussia, April 25–26. Lending your support, ensuring that Valley Forge remains vibrant, relevant and engaging for generations to come.

Adam Prepares

Adam is preparing. Are you?

A memorable capper to participating in the run would be an overnight in one of our fine local hotels or B&Bs. See our website for recommendations. And if your post-race traditions include raising a glass somewhere to celebrate, consider the handcrafted beers of Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery.