The weather for the BAA 10K road race was just about perfect. When we started the race around 8:10 it was about 72° and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Just a perfect day!
The Melrose Running Club always has a good showing at this race. This year there were two other races and we still had 18 runners.
BAA 10K Travels
This race is a local race for me. It’s about six miles from my house and I have garage parking about a mile from the start. Durm Cahill parked at my house and we drove in together. With virtually no traffic at 6:30 in the morning, we got to our parking garage in about 20 minutes.
I brought a small bag of necessities, and left most of my stuff in the car. I was able to get my phone into my Amphipod belt and put my car key and Starbucks card in my pocket.
As we walked across the Longfellow bridge we checked out the construction. The side of the bridge going into Boston is finished, but not completely open yet. The railings are nicely painted and all four towers have been re-assembled.
The outbound side is currently being re-built. Entire sections of decking are missing and re bar is being assembled to support the new decking when it is poured.
As we walked down Charles Street we passed a Starbucks I hadn’t noticed before. The one we were headed to was only two blocks away. I guess in Beacon Hill you can never have too many Starbucks!
At the Starbucks on the corner of Charles and Beacon Street we got iced coffees and Durm got some breakfast. It was nice and cool inside and a small line formed for the restroom.
Running BAA 10K 2017
We really worked the timing nicely: We weren’t in a hurry and we weren’t too early. About half-way through our coffees we headed over to the common.
There were lots of race officials in their yellow shirts and credentials in lanyards. As we approached they checked out our race bibs and barely acknowledged us.
This was Durm’s first BAA 10K and he wanted to walk around and check things out. There wasn’t a lot to see and the crowd was still thin. We picked up our shirts and headed for bag check.
After bag check we headed towards the corrals and saw Jessi Jimenez from the club. We chatted a bit and went our separate ways. The lines for the porta-potties were now very long so I told my self it was just nerves.
For the past few years, they have had the corrals on the sidewalk in The Commons next to Beacon Street. We used to line up on Charles Street and then take a left onto Beacon Street. They have also been using the wave system with people self seeding in the proper corral.
Durm and I got into the 8:00 to 8:59 pace corral and waited. After the first wave went and they had us move up, and I felt crowded.
A Boston Police Officer sang the National Anthem and I found a flag on an old building on Beacon Street. I wondered how long a flag had flown at that building. How many stars were on the first one?
When it was our turn to go we jogged slowly down the walk way and up to the starting mats. I started my watch and we were off!
The race was crowded and slow through the turns. On Comm Ave we were still packed pretty tight and had to dodge slow runners and walkers.
It was frustrating at times and took a lot of strategic maneuvering as Durm and I continued to make our way. A crowded mile one came in at 8:29.
We went under Mass Ave and crossed to the right side of Comm Ave to make the turn onto Charles Gate East. The crowd seemed to thin in this large intersection.
Baystate Road was narrowed due to construction and we were congested again. Durm began to move ahead and I let him go; I was already feeling the heat and knew what was coming.
At Granby Street we took a left off of Baystate Road to go back onto Comm Ave. I barely broke my pace to grab a cup at the first water stop.
As we ran through Kenmore Square it began to heat up. From here all the way up Comm Ave to Agganis Arena there would be very little shade. As I looked up the road, I couldn’t see Durm.
On Baystate Road I hit mile two at 8:12. Not bad considering the congestion.
Going out Comm Ave we were in full sun and there was a slight incline. I hit mile three at 8:12 just before the Agganis Arena. That was encouraging as mile three is probably the toughest mile of this race.
Up ahead I could see the turn. I was on the left side of the road and knew I could get pinched as we made the hair-pin turn. There wasn’t much I could do about it and fortunately I was able to execute the turn well.
We were now headed down hill on Comm Ave. I was roasting and my legs were beginning to feel it. Sweat dripped off of my hair, so I knew I was hydrated. I just had to fight through fatigue.
I managed to pass a few people on the downhill but concluded I would not have a kick at the end of this race. I was burning it all up out here.
On more than one occasion I considered walking! I really did. I was pushing too hard, it was really hot and my training is non-existent.
Nothing hurt but everything was exhausted, including my willpower. When I got to the water stop with Gatorade, I grabbed a cup. I don’t really like the stuff but I needed it.
Mile four was down hill in the sun on Comm Ave. Even with the down hill I was beginning to fade and my mile dropped to 8:14.
Comm Ave was the long hot slog. I could feel my self slowing, but I kept passing people. Most people were more done than I was. When we went back under Mass Ave, once again I thought about walking as we went up the other side. We were almost to mile five, so how could I?
We hit mile five just after the Mass Ave underpass and I clocked an 8:29 mile. A loss of 15 seconds on the mile. The big fade was setting in.
I skipped the last water stop and wondered if that was a good idea. We were back in the shade and I was still sweating, but.
I passed the mile six sign on Arlington Street and checked my watch. I was running a little long. At the corner of Arlington and Boylston my watch chimed mile six at 8:45! A loss of 16 seconds on the mile.
It was nice to see and hear people cheering us on as we made the final turns. A few people passed me but I didn’t have the juice to put up a fight.
As I approached the finish I noticed that the course was still crowded. It wasn’t packed, but there were a lot of people finishing with me!
As we approached the announcer told us to look for Meb Keflezighi giving high fives at the finish. I didn’t see him.
My last 0.29 mile had a pace of 8:19, so I guess I had a little kick left in me.
Finishing the BAA 10K 2017
My official time from the BAA was almost exactly what my Garmin showed. Not bad.
My official time was 53:06. Just a little over my average finish time for this race, but nine minutes off of my PR for this race.
It felt good to be done! I kept moving away from the finish line and collected my medal. I looked around for other purple shirts, but saw none.
I went through the food tent, but they didn’t have very much. It was a little disappointing. I kept looking for people, but didn’t see anyone I knew.
I headed for the spot that Durm and I agreed to meet. There was a lift truck there and I layed down and propped my feet up on it’s axle. I was sweating like crazy.
Fortunately, no one came over to ask if I was all right. I hate explaining what I’m doing when I do this. After five minutes I got up and saw Durm.
He seemed like he was a bit dazed and I’m not sure he immediately recognized me. He told me he took two bottles of water and sat on the curb in the shade for a while. He looked okay, so I wasn’t worried.
We wondered around for a bit, but there wasn’t much to see. There were very few vendors and we didn’t see any of our friends from the club.
After a quick walk about we headed for the gate. On the way out we asked a guy inside the food perimeter if he would get us some water. He kindly came back with bottles for everyone.
I finished mine before we left Boston Common.
We were a little slower as we headed back over the Longfellow Bridge to Cambridge, but we felt great about the race and the beautiful day in Boston.
Run well my Friends!