I don’t know where the hip-hop run has been my entire life, but I need it to STAY in my entire life. Lately, I’ve been all about merging the things in my life that make me happy. Like when I moved to the Bay and met a group of people that I also like to roll with for hikes. Or, how my gym time is also my private, ratchet turnup time. The first San Jose Hip Hop Run happened last weekend and it so gracefully merged together my loves of hip-hop and running. Magic.
Let me share my favorite 5 things about the race.
The pre-game hip-hop run party
I rolled with one of my girlfriends, and as soon as we arrived to the race, it just felt fun. Races usually have some type of pre-game turnup so I expected that. But this one was extra special because of the music and. I mean, much of the music was your typical pop hip-hop (the “Hip-Hop Hooray’s” and “Baby Got Back’s” of the world), but it didn’t get all-the-way pop. And didn’t include that indistinguishable, monotonous house mix that people seem to love (duch duch duch duch duch duch *me imitating that annoying-ass beat*).
They also had some Groov3 instructors lead a hip-hop routine. Groov3 is like Zumba but with hip-hop moves (and only about a quarter as corny). They led us through a nice little warm-up with all types of old school moves like the Snake, the Bird, and Push It (hey JJ Fad hey). By the time danced and partied for a good 30-45 minutes, I felt warmed-up and energized. Ready to run.
The energy and music along the route
Ok. I didn’t know how to approach the music situation. I really like to have my headphones on at all times when running and I might have slight anxiety when I don’t have them. BUT this is the hip-hop run so I can’t NOT enjoy the music, right? I chose a compromise. I had my music playing for much of the route, and when I saw a DJ, I stopped it and listened to what was being played. This worked great.
There were also lots of energetic volunteers that cheered us along during the run, and that always helps. There’s something to be said about motivation from having a hype section (I mean, cheerleaders have a huge role in this world so obviously it works!)
There were also photographers along the route. You don’t necessarily think about the pictures before the race, but you need to! You’re going to want to share those photos and you want to look at least fairly decent.
Not that I have any Tyra Banks-level photos out there, but here are a few things that crossed my mind:
- Wear a hairstyle that you will want to see in photos (fail for me in this race. Those Minnie Mouse puffs felt like a good idea but…)
- Wear the race t-shirt. Especially if everyone else is doing it (I almost didn’t do this, but glad I did)
- Smile, do a peace sign, or do something interesting when you see a photographer.
- Have your number in the front and unobstructed so that your images can be located based on your bib number (because searching through hundreds of photos with no reference absolutely sucks)
- Take lots of pictures because…why not?
Can we just talk about this f***ing, ridiculously amazing swag? The race itself was tight, but the swag had to be the most perfectly executed part of the entire event. The t-shirts were a play off of the iconic Run DMC image and the medals were imitation gold chains. I mean, how could you do it any more perfect than that?
Speaking of swag, and therefore appearances, for next year’s hip-hop run, I want to go all out! There was one guy that showed up in a fly-ass gold sweat suit. He stole the show. Then there were hip-hop influenced outfits from others here and there. As a whole, I think we can rock this thing out with all types of hip hop gear next year.
Without question the best outfit at the Inaugural Hip Hop Run- San Jose. #hiphopmusic #hiphopculture #run #runners #runnerscommunity #fitness #fitnessgoals #personaltrainer #trainer #fitgirls #fitmen #trainhard #race #run #funrun #runners #sponsor #community #family #costume #mchammer #goldchain #medalmonday #hammertime
My personal wish list (with no real intention of doing any of these):
- Someone runs with a boombox on their shoulder the entire time
- Running in Tims and baggy jeans
- All Addidas everything…shirt, white-stripe track pants, shell toes, headband
- Lots of spandex and gold, with the goal of being Salt n Peppa or DJ Fad
- Somebody have a stack of fake dollar bills and make it rain on the course
- Stock up the post-game party with hip-hop drinks like Hennesy and Crown Royal
What did I miss?What would you wear to a hip-hop run? Click To Tweet
So, there’s a wish list just to make it even more hip-hop-ier next year 🙂
The post-game hip-hop party
I didn’t know exactly where this race was going to start and end, so it was a nice surprise for the finish line to be at the minor league baseball stadium. Once we entered the park, there was more cheering and live music. I was absolutely exhausted (more on why shortly) so I sort of umm collapsed, but I eventually got up and partied to the music. The band played a lot of old school R&B, which was….interesting. Probably a stretch to call that hip-hop but I guess they wanted to cater ot all audiences.
There was a hip-hop show with local/small-ish artists and true to your typical hip-hop show, it started late (not my favorite part about hip-hop culture). There were a couple of smaller artists, and the real party started with a DJ. Honestly, we were starving and had to leave at that point, so we didn’t stay for much of the DJ. Bummer. I hope they start with the DJ for future runs.
Photo courtesy of hiphoprun.com
My PR – 8:19 miles!
Have you ever had a personal record during a run? Well, if you have, then you know it is like the best feeling ever (the opposite being more typical situation where you come nowhere close to the time you wanted…that was me a couple of years ago). I ran this 5K in record time for me and averaged 8:19 miles.
I finished 14th overall and 3rd in my age group! How cool is that? It’s crazy because I haven’t been keeping track of my speed at all. I’ve just been focused on not dying when I run up hills. The good thing about running on elevation is that when you’re on a flat surface that s**t is soooo much easier. I used my Fitbit to keep track of my pace and after the first mile I was aware that I was going way faster than usual (I’m more of a 9:20 type of girl) but I kept with it. Once I had this speed, I felt too much pressure to stop it so I pushed through to the end.
It was nice to finish and get that lovely, gangsta medal around my neck. But oh my God, I was beyond tired at the end! (Thus, the collapsing that I mentioned earlier.)
In a random, unrelated note, do no guys in San Jose like hip-hop? Out of 395 people, only 90 were men. Geez dudes.
I definitely hope they do it again
The race is organized by the owner of one of my favorite bars, Freddie J’s. I’m so impressed that Freddie made this race happen. Not only did he do it, he did a great ass job.
I can see this race taking place in several other cities, so I hope they expand and share the love. I went to the Drake concert the next day, and I have to say, that is a true testament to how hip-hop is so universal. All different age groups, races, genders, personality types – so many people love hip-hop. Add a run to that and you have magic.
So that’s my recap. Boyeeeeeeeee……