Super Sunday isn’t just for football. Here in the GBA we have the Super Sunday 5 Miler and 5K races.
Super Sunday 2015
Last year the air temperature was in the 20’s and the wind was gusting. Athenaeum Street where the race started was a wind tunnel. I ran the 5K which started 12 minutes after the 5 Miler started. The 5 Miler started late which meant even more time in that frigid February air.
The wind-chill must have been in the single digits.
People were looking for spots in the sun just to warm up a little tiny bit. I felt bad for the volunteers who had to stand around. At least the runners got warm after the first half mile or so.
Super Sunday 5 Miler
This year I decided to run the 5 mile race. Part of it was that I’ve run so many 5k’s in the past year, why not try something a little more challenging. I also didn’t want to stand in the cold for an extra 12 minutes waiting for the 5K to start!
Kendal Square is less than six miles from my house and number pickup didn’t begin until 8:30. This was totally low pressure for me. I even had garage parking less than a quarter-mile from the start area.
Genzyme had graciously opened their building for us this year. We had bib, hat and shirt pick-up in their heated lobby. Many of us lingered in the lobby to keep warm. The lobby is huge and there were well over 1,000 runners staying warm.
I found a spot on the stairs and within minutes saw Lisa and Cheryl from team “The Slow and Thirsties.” Amazingly, all of us signed up for the 5 Miler. Gotta love that.
The rest of our team showed up and we chatted and had a good time like always. Soon they announced that we should head out to the start. To fuel up I had a fruit roll up and a 250ml of maple water (or sap as we Yankees would call it) from a company whose name sadly I do not recall. It was pretty good.
It was pretty cold as we headed out the door and sauntered to the start. As we approached the starting line,it was hard to tell how many runners were there. Everyone was packed into and down Athenaeum Street. It turned out that 1,325 people ran 5 miles and 602 ran 5K.
I moved back from the front but only about 10 people back. It seemed like enough, but I didn’t realize there were still over 1,000 runners behind me.
Alain got up on a chair and announced that the race raised $30,000 to fight cancer. Lots of yelling and excitement over that. Very impressive. Then he introduced representatives of the groups that would share that money. More applause and excitement.
Then someone sang the Nation Anthem as we all took off our hats and looked for a flag.
Alain announced that there was some ice on our first turn, so be careful. After a few more minutes he gave the 30 second warning and we were off!
I have not spent much time training these past few months. I can still run a race but I know not to expect too much from this under-trained body. As such I decided on an 8 minute mile pace. That may be fast for some people, but this was a Cambridge race.
There are lots of good runners and lots of young runners at a Cambridge race. People started passing me as soon as the gun went off. I had a modest goal that would get me to the finish uninjured.
As we turned onto Broadway a runner right behind me slipped and fell. People yelled out as he fell and I turned in time to see him hit the road, do a roll and get right back up. A very well executed fall; there was no blood and he kept of moving.
Almost as soon as we started running my right should acted up. I hurt it about a week ago doing push-ups. You cannot run without moving your shoulder. It was repetitive shooting pain. I thought about walking and then took my right hand and grabbed my left should to try and ease the pain and maybe stretch a little.
I did this a few times holding that position for 10-15 seconds. It worked a little but the pain did not go away.
After seeing that guy fall I was worried. I was wearing my Saucony running flats and they are not made for ice and snow. If I fell and landed on that shoulder it would have been explosive pain.
As I ran down Broadway I could not believe that a pain in my shoulder would cause me to stop running. I’ve run through all kinds of leg pain. Was it not possible to run through this type of pain? If this level of pain was in my knee or hip I would have to stop. But a should injury? Come on!
I managed to pack the pain away in one of those deep dark crevices in my mind and keep running.
At mile 1 my pace was 7:39. I was relieved that I had 21 seconds in the bank. Every mile except Mile 4 were comfortably under my 8 minute goal. If my should hadn’t been killing me I may have pushed a little harder, but I was just happy to still be running.
My finish time was 39:39 at a pace of 7:56. Garmin had the distance at 5.05 miles for a 7:52 pace. I beat my goal, what more could I ask for? I got to run my race in spite of myself.
There were a dozen beer, cider and wine vendors at this race. Last year it was a free-for-all with a drink ticket system that worked or didn’t work depending on your perspective. Let’s just say I went away happy last year.
This year as we approached the beer garden they appeared to be handing out medals. They turned out to be 4oz beer mugs on a chain. I was a little disappointed initially, but it worked out fine. I had plenty to drink, but not too much. I also left before the party was over. Last year I closed the place down.
I hung out with the ladies and saw more lady friends from the MRC. I think I saw three guys that I know at this race out of almost 2,000 runners.
What’s not to love, running a great race, drinking beers and hanging out with the ladies. It was indeed, a Super Sunday!
Stay warm and Run well my Friends!
© 2016 andrew nagelin