Up until about 9 months or so ago, Germantown, Md held about as much appeal to me as my semi-annual visits to the dentist. Both were places I wouldn’t generally find myself stepping foot into unless I had to go. However this sleepy and somewhat rustic town was completely transformed in my opinion last September when the doors to one of the happiest and most beautiful sights on Earth opened.
For those of you not familiar, Wegman’s is a family owned U.S. supermarket chain hailing from upstate N.Y., right near Rochester. If you’ve never experienced the amazing experience that comes along with shopping at Wegman’s, you’re likely reading this and thinking, “Seriously? What could possibly be the big deal about a grocery store?” I would respond only with, “One does not simply consider Wegman’s a grocery store. One must become Wegman’s”
I first was intro ducted to Wegman’s in Ithaca, NY during my first week of vet school. And I “got it” right away. It represented a place to study, to grab coffee and a meal before or after classes, it was a great place to shop, and even socialize. It’s simply something I can’t put in to words. Trust me, you just have to see it for yourself.
When I moved from Ithaca to Rochester, I really became spoiled in that the stores were located all over the town and surrounding suburbs. We even joked about going to the “good Wegman’s” versus the “bad one.”
Alas, moving to Maryland meant giving up many things, one of which was my favorite grocery store. What this lovely state provides in terms of good weather, excellent seafood, and proximity to D.C. it lacks in provisional goods. People here are loyal to their Harris Teeter’s and Safeway’s and Giant’s and Food Lion’s, but they just didn’t know what they were missing until the oasis we know as Wegman’s opened.
The new Wegman’s in Germantown is a remarkable sight. It’s a good 15 minute drive from where we live, so we certainly don’t venture up for our day to day needs, but we make every effort to stop in as often as possible. Especially when we’re craving some tasty bakery items.
Therefore, I will admit a good part of my motivation for signing up for the Germantown 5 miler was that the race started and finished at the Wegman’s. Of course there’s the whole “stay healthy, keep training, work hard, blah blah”, but let’s keep it real and know that ultimately, this girl likes her food.
The race had an 8:30am start, with a kids fun run 1K starting at 8:00am. We arrived exceptionally early (I think my recent experiences at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and Ocean City 1/2 marathon really made me motivated to try and arrive early enough to not be starting from the back of the pack.)
The race was well-organized, and went off without a hitch. It was a very small crowd (less than 300 starters) and we ran through the winding and seemingly constantly inclining industrial park surrounding the stores. I still can’t figure out how a pretty much “out and back” felt like it was entirely uphill.
I finished in 37.58, translating into 66th place overall and 3/18 for my age group with just over a 7:30/mile pace. Of course, of the people I was running with, I finished the slowest (sheesh!) but I’m happy! My IT band seems to be holding up pretty good and I’m thinking of trying for the Baltimore 10 miler in June.
As always, I enjoy celebrating my races with a little celebratory cocktail – this time a glass of Spy Valley sauvignon blanc on the patio!