This was the 8th time I’ve run the BAA 10K road race. I ran the inaugural race in 2011 and haven’t missed one since!
I’ve run with an injury and twice I’ve run the 10K and hustled off to run a 5K. One time I drove all the way to New Hampshire for my 2nd race of the day. Never again!
It’s a better experience to enjoy a race and hang out with friends afterwards.
Just like last year I ran with my buddy Derm Cahill and parked at my office in Cambridge.
Running the BAA 10K 2018 Road Race
We walked across the newly renovated Longfellow Bridge and over to the Boston Common where the race starts. We picked up our race shirts and headed for the Infiniti VIP tent.
Since Derm and I are running the BAA Distance Medley this year we had access to the Infiniti VIP tent. It wasn’t anything lavish but there was shelter from the elements and they had bagels, water and Gatorade. As a bonus they were giving out portable phone chargers. You can never have too many of those!
They let us check out the 2019 QX50 and let us sit in it. Derm had some good questions and the lady helping us out had an answer for each one. I was very impressed.
We put all of our stuff into one drop bag and I took it to the bag drop area. It was well organized and they let us walk in with our bags and leave them. In the past we had to give them to a volunteer and this caused congestion. We hit the porta-potties one last time and headed to the corral.
On the way over we met one of Derm’s colleagues, Jesse Lizette. She walked with us to the corral where we headed for the 8:00 to 8:59 section.
A few minutes before 8AM they had us move down from the sidewalk and onto Charles Street. Just before 8AM they had an A Capella group sing The National Anthem. It was great not having a recording but I couldn’t find a flag anywhere.
At 8AM they sounded the horn and we were off! We mostly jogged and walked to the start.
As we ran down Charles Street the road was not very crowded. They said there were 10,000 runners but it sure seemed like a smaller crowd.
We took a quick right onto Boylston Street and then a quick right onto Arlington before we took a left onto Commonwealth Ave for the long run out to BU.
Derm has been racing a lot and I haven’t run in more than two weeks, so we agreed to take it easy and that I would set the pace. While my legs were rested they were also not in great shape and my cardio was not up to par either.
As we ran down Comm Ave we made some pretty aggressive moves to get through the crowd. No pushing but we looked for every opportunity to move ahead. Before we even hit mile one, we had to contend with walkers!
We skipped the first water stop as there were too many runners and didn’t really need it.
About a third of a mile before the Mass Ave underpass we hit Mile One at 8:46. Pretty much where we wanted to be. Going under Mass Ave was crowded but things started to spread out as we headed down Charles Gate to Baystate Road.
Just like last year, BU was doing construction on Baystate so it was little congested. Just before Silber Way we hit Mile Two at 8:19. I was a little surprised at our surge and told Derm that our average pace was now way below our goal of 9 minutes.
We took a left onto Granby Street and I grabbed a cup of water this time. I pinched it, took a gulp and never brook my pace.
We had been taking our turns wide so as not to get caught in the curb-side crowd. It had been working well and we took a right back out onto Comm Ave.
At this point I was feeling pretty comfortable. My feet were landing nicely and I was running at about 90% of capability. We weren’t out for any PR’s so it was nice to run the race comfortably.
The Turn Pike over pass wasn’t too bad. It’s been under construction for a while and we had to run on steel panels. Thankfully they were nice and dry. Shortly after the bridge we began the climb up to the turn in front of The Agganis Arena at BU.
The lead runners were now running past us. At one point I looked over and saw Meb Keflezighi run by. He was back from the lead and seemed to be running with a group and not running for the win. He’s retired now don’t ya know.
About a quarter mile before the turn we hit Mile Three at 8:22. Not to bad for running up a hill. We moved to the right so we wouldn’t get stuck in the crowd making the turn.
Finishing the BAA 10K 2018 Road Race
We executed the turn flawlessly and were headed back to the finish. We had passed the 5K mark and the 3 Mile Mark, so the work was just beginning.
After the turn we had some downhill, which was nice. I moved to the left and opened it up a bit. I didn’t spend too much time looking across the fence to see who was running up the hill. Then I heard a voice call out “Hey you guys!” As I looked over my shoulder through my bouncing glasses I barely made out Regina Curran. If I hadn’t recognized her voice, I may not have recognized her face. We missed her before.
Coming back over the Turn Pike bridge wasn’t too bad either. I grabbed another cup at the next water stop and before we knew it we hit Mile Four at 8:15. Not too bad considering that part of that mile was uphill and a hair-pin turn.
Both of us were feeling pretty good and kept pushing it. I tried to hold things back but it’s difficult to do during a race. When you take it easy early in a race you often have an extra reserve of energy for the last part of the race.
I could feel my piriformus acting up and worried a bit about residual pain. I just drove for three days from Florida so my little ass muscles were not used to working.
We ran through Kenmore Square and took a left onto Beacon Street. More people were walking and we kept passing runners. From Beacon Street we took a right onto Charles Gate West back out to Comm Ave.
I was surprised to see some people still walking out-bound on the course. I felt pretty good for this stage in the race and knew that we were on the home stretch.
Just after the Mass Ave bridge we hit Mile Five at 8:05! Our average pace was now 8:20! Where was this coming from? I skipped the last water stop on Comm Ave, less than a mile to the finish.
Derm was chomping at the bit and as we approached the turn onto Beacon Street I told him to take off. I didn’t really have a kick and just wanted to maintain my pace.
I hit Mile Six on the corner of Arlington and Beacon Streets at 7:57! Again, I was surprised. My watch was hitting the mile markers before I got to them. The last 0.2 miles turned out to be 0.32 miles and I ran at a pace of 7:31.
I finished just behind Derm with a time of 52:23. The BAA had a time of 52:18 for me. I had manged to run a negative split for this race!
Apre BAA 10K 2018
These races are notorious for being skimpy on the swag and food. You get one pass at the food tent and there is never much to choose from. But keeping people from filling up leaves plenty of food for the last runners who need it the most.
I got my medal on Charles Street, caught of to Derm and Jesse and we headed for the water and food tent. It was a quick trip through the tent. We headed to the bag drop, which was not busy yet and then to the Infiniti VIP tent.
They had fruit cups, bagels and Gatorade for us. Nothing too exciting but it was a nice touch. They also had two timing boards to take your picture with. To move things along they had someone to punch in your bib number, so you would have the correct name on the board for your photo!
We took a few pics with Regina Curran and Julie Smith Galvin and headed back to Cambridge.
Derm crossed the line 21 seconds ahead of me. My 2018 time was seven seconds better than my 2017 time, so I’m happy with that. Not my fastest finish but much better than my slowest few finishes.
Instead of hanging out to see the awards ceremony, we headed back to Cambridge. I’ve been out of town for the past two weeks and had a lot of stuff to catch up on and I had to write this blog post!
Run well my Friends!