Party With Purpose 5K Recap

I love racing!

I love racing short distances!

Before yesterday, I had only raced three 5Ks, each a year or more apart. (Turkey Trots FTW.) I know we all (maybe?) get hyped up on marathons and half-marathons and long, endurance-y races. But man, the 5K is so fun!

A few months ago, my friend Emily — a New Jersey girl through-and-through — posted in the November Project Facebook group about her faaaavorite local race: the Party With Purpose 5K in Hoboken. Having just moved to New Jersey, I was all in. We ended up having a fairly large November Project contingent at the race, which was pretty cool. I loved having all my friends come out to my side of the river!

Party With Purpose 5K
My people! My party [with a purpose] people.
I don’t ever run evening races, so I tried to be pretty cautious about what I ate during the day. (Like I opted for avocado toast for lunch instead of the leftover sesame chicken calling my name from the fridge.) The race started at 7 PM, so I jogged the 4.2 miles to the start and, as usual, was there an hour and a half early.

Party With Purpose 5K
Shameless selfie on the way to the start. TO BE FAIR, I took this to send to my friend who texted me mid-run being like, “Whatcha doin?” I sent this back. I’m such a good friend.

I was excited that the course would be on the roads I run daily now. Familiar, flat territory! I picked up my bib, bopped around with my teammates, took a group photo, and had several dance parties on the Pier A grass. People, if you think you might want to run this race next year, do it, if only for the pre-race DJ. The music was so good. I didn’t even want to run. I just wanted to stay and dance all night.

Party With Purpose 5K
If you’ve been reading this blog for, oh, five years (anyone?), you may remember that I used to be OBSESSED with seeing cruise ships during my runs. Still am, I guess.

I didn’t have a goal for this race. I wanted to run hard, but didn’t expect a PR, and wasn’t running with a watch (still loving this method, BTW). I figured I’d just put forth my best effort and finish where I finished.

My stomach didn’t feel great pre-race, but I wasn’t too concerned since I knew I could probably hang in for 3.1 miles without too much trouble. (And I did! No stomach issues here. Victory!)

After some pre-race announcements and a lovely rendition of the National Anthem, we were off! If there was a start clock at the beginning of the race, I didn’t see one, so I don’t know what my time delay was in crossing the start line.

Party With Purpose 5K
Lots of people on the pier! It didn’t sink.

I was very excited to be running! The course was a bit congested at first, as we took off headed north along the water. But these were my streets! My running routes! My familiar happy places! I loved knowing where I was going. (How quickly the hometown pride kicks in…even if Hoboken isn’t my hometown.)

Party With Purpose 5K

Once we started running, my new goal became to keep my teammate, Kelly, in my sights. Kelly is much faster than I am, but last week we did a hill workout together and I was able to stay close-ish behind her, and I know she’s a really good runner, so I knew she’d probably pace herself well. I used Kelly as my rabbit, and was able to keep her in my sights until the finish. (Though, TBH, she did start to get further and further ahead of me during that final mile. Not surprising. Good running, Kelly!)

Party With Purpose 5K
That’s Kelly, in the pink tank. Isn’t she cute?! Doesn’t she look FAST?

Eventually, we turned off the water slightly, and I loved this because the course is an out-and-back, so we started to see the lead runners coming through. I saw my buddy Jordan, cruising to a fast finish, and I saw Jeanie, our new November Project co-leader hauling ass. I was so proud, and they gave me good motivation to keep moving.

Then, once I turned the corner around the halfway mark (did you guys see the baby/teenage geese all gathered there?! they were cheering for us!!!), I got to see more teammates on the other side. I love out-and-back courses for this very reason. The people watching is the best!

But, after the halfway mark, we also ran directly into an icky headwind, which I did not love. I wanted to be able to pick up the pace as I ran toward the finish, but the wind didn’t want that to happen. So I just kept running. This is such an exciting race recap, I know!

Soon, the finish was in sight! I made a left turn onto Pier A and made a final push toward the finish.

Party With Purpose 5K
Comin’ in hot! (Thanks for the photo, Jenn!)

And I loved it! This race was so fun, and I’d absolutely recommend it. The views are amazing, the race is well organized, and the course is flat and fast.

Party With Purpose 5K
Never not excited to be running. Except when running is terrible.

As for my time? I don’t really know! I had my Strava app running on my phone, and according to that timer, I ran for 23:09. (I didn’t stop it right at the finish line, though. I waited until after I crossed to hit stop.) But according to the official results — based on gun time, not chip time — I clocked a 23:24. That’s a big difference in a 5K!

Party With Purpose 5K
The race according to Strava. (Which is probably generous, IDK. I don’t think I was running a 7:10 pace.)
Party With Purpose 5K
…and the official results. Boo gun time! YAY CHIP TIME. Show me the chips!

Do I care? Not really. But kind of…because my 5K PR is 23:06! So I actually may have been within a few seconds of that. I’m hoping there might be chip time results released later today, but I can live without them. I placed 158th overall (out of 1,068 runners), was the 29th female (out of 559), and placed 14th in my age group. Cool!

Party With Purpose 5K
The happiest runners taking the most cliche photo! “I ain’t sorry.” —Beyoncé and also me, re: this photo

It felt good to know I ran really close to my 5K PR, and I definitely definitely definitely want to start racing more 5Ks!

UPDATED! This just in: My official chip time was 23:04 — a 5K PR! Super excited!

PR! By TWO seconds!
PR! By TWO seconds!

Who’s with me?!

BUT SERIOUSLY… If you have a favorite local 5K (New York, New Jersey area), tell me about it! I want to run it! With you! Ellie will come cheer for us!



13 Responses

  1. That was a REALLY freaking goo national anthem! And I LOVED the emcees, who are hosts of a radio show I’ve listened to since childhood (Skeery Jones and Greg T!!) I can’t wait to do it again next year!

  2. Congrats on a great race! (And isn’t Hoboken the best?!)

    I literally posted something TODAY about how I’m going to race a 5K next month. My PR is so far away from what I think I’m capable of; I’ve never really raced one. I can’t wait!

    1. YES, I love Hoboken! I would love to live there, I think. But I also love West New York, sooooo…staying put slightly north, I suppose. YES to racing a 5K next month. I love that. (And dude…never seen Sound of Music? WTF?)

  3. wow great job, speedy! haha i love the enthusiasm in this post.i never sign up for 5 or 10Ks and i really should as i love the race excitement and have no excuses!

  4. 23-24 minute 5ks … ahm, you’re fast!! I should put in some speed training.

    Congratulations 🙂 sounds like a really fun race!

  5. I started running 5k’s for the first time ever this year and have done four so far. I LOVE THEM LOVE THEM I have done better at each race (even though I am beyond slow – I mean it’s like feet stuck in hot asphalt while slogging through peanut butter slow) I am still so happy because I am improving!

    YAY for all the 5k’s – you make me want to come back to Jersey next year just to run this!

  6. Hope the time was closer to your PR; either way that fast!!

    Yesterday I laced up my sneakers, threw on my Garmin and just went out for 10 minutes and was proud of myself! Looking forward to maybe Run/Walk some 5K’s/

    You might like Pier House 5k in Long Branch- Labor Day Monday

    Jersey Shore Animal Center Beach to Bay 5K I believe is in Oct!

  7. I so badly wanted to do this race but couldn’t because of travel. Hoboken 5ks are where I’ve hit all my PRs, so I think there’s some good juju on that side of the Hudson!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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