The Hotdog Run | Eclectic Cake: The Hotdog Run

Monday, 6 October 2014

The Hotdog Run

I often get asked by my non-partaking friends why I run. On this occasion my answer was very simple, "to get a hotdog". 

I'd promised my husband to watch some of his baseball tournament, so to make it interesting (because, trust me, watching hours of amateur baseball when you don't know all the rules is pretty dull) I thought I'd run the 15-miles between my new home in Welwyn Garden City and the baseball diamond in Hemel Hampstead. My feet had been itching for an adventure and, whilst I'm not training for anything in particular, the idea of running longer has become quite appealing. Plus it would mean less time confusedly spectating baseball and more excuses to eat the delicious hotdogs they sell.

Route notes scribbled (and re-scribbled after I realised I'd put "left" on every occasion it should've been "right"), water and jelly babies on board, I headed for my hotdog. Within a couple of minutes, I was reminded why I moved to Hertfordshire – it's so green! An alley at the end of a residential road led straight into a field, which led under a railway bridge, which led to a meadow, which led to a beautiful lake. I'd been living in my new town for six weeks but with such a busy race calendar, I'd not yet run locally – this was the perfect chance to explore. But after quite some self persuasion I had to leave it behind and carry on with my planned route. 

As simple as my run sounds, it was still an adventure – I'd only ever run the distance once before and that was part of a race, I was completely self sufficient and the course was up to me...and Google Maps. Unfortunately, not knowing the area, I didn't know that the online walking route featured miles of unpaved, national speed-limit country roads. The occasional run can feel like it may kill you, I was almost certain that this one would – the odd feathered, fleshy road splatter proved it.

After what felt like forever, a pavement appeared! I wasn't going to die after all – unless my body decided to give up after 15 miles, I choked on a Jelly Baby or the hotdog at the end was poisoned. No longer scared of becoming roadkill, I could enjoy the run again and feel smug that my countryside route was far more scenic than the A414. Until I got a message. "Hotdog stand closes in 20 minutes!"

I wasn't too far away but I was feeling tired from lack of processed meat and fried onions. My sense of direction is also notoriously bad, having not got lost yet, I was due a wrong turn. There was only one thing for it, pick up the pace and follow my nose. With 5 minutes to go, I could almost smell the ketchup but couldn't find the way into the playing field. Instinct seemed to kick in as I took a random left turn, only to be greeted with the glorious green of the baseball field.

My sister-in-law once asked of my running, "why would you go to all that effort when you can drive it?". On this occasion my answer would be simple, "because a hotdog tastes even better after running 15 miles!"


  1. Love this, I like your style! I totally run for food. After Bacchus last year after getting stuck at a train station for hours I ordered pizza and ate it in the bath when I got home. Also, I've worked in Hemel for months and have lived nearby for 5 years, and have NO idea where you'd play baseball?!

    1. Thanks, Lucy. Wow, bath pizza sounds like the perfect post-race recovery! The baseball field is at Grovehill - their hotdogs are excellent!

  2. Excellent, motivational post

    (not even joking, hotdogs are 100% more motivational for me than pinterest quotes)

    1. Ha! No wonder, hotdogs are notoriously more delicious than memes.

  3. LOVE THIS! Especially the phrase "tired from lack of processed meat and fried onions ..." Brilliant.