Running with the Fishes

Mystic River Herring Run

This past weekend a small contingent of Melrose Running Club members ran the Mystic River Herring Run 5K. This was a multi-sport event and included paddle racing events on The Mystic. None of us tried the paddle part of the race, but it did sound like it would be a lot of fun.

Malrose Racing Series, Mystic River Herring Run 2018Over all, 258 runners finished the race and MRC had five runners. No PRs or medals to bring home but I think we all had a good time.

Mary O’Connell and Thuy Dang have run all of the Melrose Racing Series races this year! I think they really want those jackets!

Rain had been forecast for Saturday morning, but we ended up with near perfect running weather. Maybe perfect.

A little rain later in the day gave us all a good excuse to stay inside for a while!

Mystic River Herring Run 5K, Medford 5K RacesThe race was based out of the DCR Blessing of the Bay Boathouse on Shore Drive in Somerville. Shore Drive is a neighborhood street that connects The Fellsway with Rt. 38. I drive by Shore Drive every day but have down the street only once or twice before.

The DCR boat house is right next to Rt. 93 and on the bike path along The Mystic River. If anyone is looking to take a canoe or kayak out on The Mystic, this is the place to go. Apparently you can go anytime and rent one, no reservations required.

Some of the crew boats you see on The Mystic are based out of this DCR boathouse as well. There’s a lot going on over there!

Running the Mystic River Herring Run

The entire race was on bike path and sidewalks through the park. We didn’t cross any intersections or have to run in the road at all.

We all started in the back of the pack, so the first half mile along the bike path was packed. Instead of lining up we hung out and had a good conversation. No one was too worried about getting a fast start.

You can see from the map above that they had us winding around the Mystic River State Reservation in Medford for a bit. Running along the river and through the park was pretty cool.

They had plenty of volunteers to direct us at the many turns and provide encouragement.

I haven’t been training very much lately and finished at 24:58. I was hoping for 24, but I got what I deserve!

I felt pretty comfortable for the entire race. There were a few rises in the road but no hills. The bridge over The Mystic was the greatest elevation. I pushed up the hills and ran down the other side and it helped.

They did not have a timing mat at the beginning of the race, so starting at the back of the pack may have added 30 seconds to my time.

I still managed to finish 45th out of 258 and 4th in my AG.

After the race we hung out for a while, but we all had other things to get to, like yard work. As they announced that paddle racers should start getting ready for their races, we all made our way home.

Our next race is the Melrose Firefighters 5K on June 17th. Don’t forget to register!

Complete results

Run well My Friends!

Andy

Boston Area 5K Races February 2019

Looking for a February 5K in the Greater Boston Area (GBA)? Look no further. They are few and far between but I think I’ve found them all.

February is the dead of Winter in The GBA. Even though the days are getting longer, our part of the globe is still cooling off. As we continue to chill out in the Northern Hemisphere we can get some of the worse weather of the winter.

These harsh conditions keep the list of February Boston Area 5Ks short.

While Boston Marathon training swings into high gear in January, only these hard core runners are willing to run in any conditions. This keeps the February race crowds down and makes it difficult for February 5K races to break even, let alone fund raise for local non-profits.

I hope you will find a race here that you would like to run and help these local races succeed.

Check back for 2020 dates, registration information and hopefully some new races.

Boston Area 5K Races February Edition

2nd Annual Bamboozled IPA Pre-Game 5K

3 February – 9:30 AM – Sunday – Weymouth, MA

Weymouth Pre-Game 5K, February 5KNew England Runner Magazine is partnering with Barrel House Z, Weymouth’s craft brewery and Old Colony Running Events to host the South Shore’s only 5K leading up to the big game.

The Bamboozled IPA Pre-Game 5K in Weymouth features a fast flat course which starts and finishes at Barrel House Z. It’s an out and back route with a loop at the midpoint.

The runner with the best football themed costume (as determined by our judges) will receive a BHZ beer tap handle, a Craft Beer Cellar Gift card and beer glass.

The overall race winners will receive a custom BHZ Beer Tap Handle and a Marathon Sports Gift Certificate.

Age group winners get a Marathon Sports gift certificate. No finisher’s medal will be provided

The post race celebration includes two complimentary (age 21 and older) Bamboozled IPA craft beers and light food offering (TBD).

Registration is closed!

Registration is $30 and includes a long sleeved cotton t-shirt through January 15th. In addition to a great run and festive party, all 21+ runners will receive two complimentary Bamboozled craft ales.

Kids 19 and under can register for $18.00.

Super 5k Road Race

2 February 2020 – Noon – Sunday – Lowell, MA

Registration is $22 with no additional fees. Race Day registration is $25.00. Long Sleeve Black Shirt for Registered Runners by January 28, 2019.

Post race party features live music and plenty of liquid refreshments.

This race consistently draws about 350 runners for a pre-game run on Super Bowl Sunday.

Registration is not open!

Super Sunday 2019

2 February 2020 – 10:00 AM – Sunday – Cambridge, MA

Cambridge 5k race, cambridge 5 mile raceEnjoy the 13th annual 5K/5M race, then pre-game for the Super Bowl with BearFight, DJ Phoenix, cold beer, and hot food from Miller’s Ale House at our giant race party!

Registration is not open!

I’ve run this race three times and it’s always a good time. 2017 Recap 2016 Recap

The race starts and ends on Athenaeum Street and the party is in front of the Genzyme building at 500 Kendall Street. I doesn’t get more Kendall Square than that!

It’s also always freezing cold! Because the race is so close to The Charles the wind whips off the river and down Athenaeum Street to the plaza at 500 Kendall.

Fortunately this race lets you choose from great winter running gloves on knit cap when you pick up your bib. There will also be a bag drop so you can bring warm clothes to change in to.

For $34.00 you can run the 5K or 5 Miler and have an awesome party after the race. No hidden registration fees!

Teams are encouraged. Get 10 of your friends or co-workers together and have a pop-up tent to gather in along with some after-race pizza from Za.

Cupids Chase 5K

9 February 10:00 AM – Saturday –  Wakefield, MA

Cupids Chase 5k, valentines 5k, february 5kAs a Valentine’s Day themed race, this race encourages couples to run together!

Registration is not open.

Registration in Advance is $32 for Individuals and $52 for Couples.

Day of registration is $40 for Individuals and $65 for Couples.

Couples do not have to be in a relationship! Two friends, two teammates, two family members, heck a guy and his dog all qualify for the couples pricing!

This is a USATF sanctioned event. The race is a flat, fast course around Lake Quannapowitt. There will be a post race party with awards, food and beer!

100% of proceeds from the race will be donated to the National MS Society.

Awards to the top three male and female runners. No finisher’s medal will be provided.

My 2017 Cupid’s Chase 5K recap.

Snowshoe Classic at Brooksby Farm

February TBD at 10 AM – Peabody, MA – Cancelled?

Brought to you by the Peabody Parks and Rec Department, 2018 was the 8th season for this snow shoe race.

Registration and event information is currently not available.

LOCO Palooza 5K

16 February 9:00 AM – Saturday – Salisbury, MA

Locopalooza 5K, Loco RacesBased out of the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury, this February 5K race also features an epic lip sync karaoke battle.

I’ve run this race three times, and a lot of people actually do karaoke! Some of them are actually pretty good!

Not something I’d get up and do, but it does look like fun!

The is an out and back race. Starting on Ocean Front Street and running out to the Salisbury State Beach Reservation. You make a turn in the park and head back for beer and pizza!

Locopalooza course mapThe road in the park has been in perfect condition when I’ve run the race.

Watch out for fire hydrants! People run in the street and on the sidewalk at the beginning of the race. If you are following someone and not paying attention you could have a nasty accident.

My advice is to run in the street early in the race. For safety sake!

This race is always a good time and is part of LOCO Running’s “Will Run for Beer” Series. Ipswich Ale is pouring and there will be plenty of food including hot pizza.

Registration is not open and is $34 through January 18th and then $39 through February 13th.

I’ve run this 5K road race three times. Here is my review from 2014.

Awards to the top three male and female finishers overall and age group winners. No finisher’s medal will be provided.

2ND Annual Mardi Gras Madness 5K

23 February 9:30 AM Saturday – Plymouth, MA

Mardi Gras 5K, 5k running medals, Boston area 5K races

Now in it’s third year, this USATF sanctioned race draws over 200 runners.

The race begins and ends at Tavern on The Wharf and runs along the waterfront through historic Plymouth.

Registration is not open and fees were:

Adult $25.00 online / $30.00 on site
Students age 11-18 -$20.00 online / $25.00 on site
5K Children 10 & Under – $15.00 online / $20.00 on site

Race proceeds benefit the Hoyt Foundation Boston Marathon Charity Team.

Awards to the top three male and female finishers overall and age group winners. No finisher’s medal will be provided.

First time 5K runner’s medals

My First 5K medal, running medalHas your spouse, girl friend or boy friend agreed to run a Valentine’s day race with you, shouldn’t you make sure they get a finisher’s medal? A My First 5K medal may not be a diamond ring, but they will always remember their first 5K race with you.

Make sure your first time runner gets a finisher’s medal at the end of their frosty February 5K with you.

Run well my Friends!

Andy

Medford 5K Race Directory 2020

Medford is a great location for 5K races. Just north of Boston and right off of Rt 93, The Orange Line or Rt. 28 out of Somerville and Cambridge.

With trails in the Middlesex Fells and in the Mystic River Reservation along the Mystic River, organizers have great course options to choose from.

The course along The Mystic is USATF Certified and so is the course on Winthrop Street starting at The American Legion Hall.

Medford has been rough for race directors and a few races have disappeared recently. I am hoping to see some new races on the schedule and will be happy to do all I can to promote them. 

Many Medford 5K races have been cancelled or gone virtual due to COVID-19. This directory needs to be updated to reflect this. Please check race web sites for current information.

Please let me know of if you are organizing a race. I am constantly searching for races and would be happy to add yours.

Medford 5K Races 2019

Running Of The Leprechauns

15 March 2020  8AM – Sunday – Cancelled due to COVID-19

5k race, medford 5k races2020 was be the 7th year for this popular Medford 5K race. 

The Running of The Leprechauns has moved back to the American Legion Hall on Winthrop Street in Medford.

This Medford 5K race has raised over $90,000 for Boston Children’s Hospital.  Teams are encouraged and the largest team gets to designate where 1/3 of the race proceeds are directed at Boston Children’s Hospital.

538 runners finished this race in 2018. Full Results

Tufts University Graduate Student Council 5K

27 April 2019 9AM

Tufts GSK 5K, Tufts UniversityEach year the Tufts University Graduate Student Council 5K Run/Walk becomes more and more popular. 

Registration is only $20, so you can’t beat the price. 

All proceeds benefit Medford, Somerville and Dorchester organizations. The event is sponsored by the Graduate Student Council of Tufts University as part of their effort to support the local community. 

This race starts at Eaton Hall and takes place entirely on the Tufts University campus. This helps keep expenses down and provides a challenging course for runners.

Kiwanis SUPER HERO 5K

8 June 2019 9:00 AM – Saturday

Medford 5K race, Medford Kiwanis Super Hero 5KThe Kiwanis SUPER HERO 5K is a new race for Medford in 2019. 

The race takes place at Mystic River Bend Park behind McGlynn Elementary School. For your map app use: 3002 Mystic Valley Parkway, Medford, MA 02155 

The race route laps the Mystic River and is almost entirely on sidewalk or paths. This makes it a great race to bring the kids to.

Registration was $22.34 for 18+ and $17.02 for youth  6 -17 

MILES FOR MIGRAINES 5K and 10K

July TBD 2020 9AM

Mystic River State Reservation, Mystic Valley Pkwy

EVENT RESULTS 2019

Fit and Fun 5K

August TBD 2020

DCR Torbert MacDoanld Park • 4236 Mystic Valley Pkwy (near State Police Building) Medford, MA 02151

Come join TeamBlood Inc. and Quietman Sports for our third annual Fit and Fun 5K. Take a scenic 3.1-mile walk or run through DCR Torbert Macdonald Park.

100 percent of proceeds from this event will benefit our youth development program which providers boxing conditioning, training, sports equipment and mentoring to at-risk youth in the greater Boston area.

Participants will receive an event t-shirt if they register By July 14.
Event details and schedule
Start time is 9am for walk

9:45 for run

Prize categories for runners only: under 18, 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-64, 65 and over. First place runners will receive a trophy and second place will receive a medal.

OktoberFells Trail Races

27 October 2019  11:00 AM

Medford High School

The 5K and 10K set of races takes place in the Lawrence Woods. Starting behind Medford High School the 5K and 10K wind through the trails and fire roads. The 10K is a bit more technical with some ledge running involved!

Food was provided by Redbones and beer garden by Medford Brewing Company.

Medford Jingle Bell Run

24 November 2019 11:00 AM – Sunday

The Medford Jingle Bell run is sponsored by Lonergan Insurance and Real Estate who cover the entire operating cost of the race. This allows every dollar from fundraising to go to the students of the Medford Schools.

Each school in Medford that participates receives race proceeds in proportion to their contribution to the race.

Some high school clubs raise as much in this one event as they would in several fundraising events. And many hands make for lighter work.

This is an innovative concept in fundraising. It allows each elementary, middle school PTO and High School teams and clubs in town to have a significant fundraiser and not have to deal with all of the logistics. 

What better way to kick of the Holiday Season than a festive 5K the Sunday before Thanksgiving?

Bring the kids and make it a family run, a family tradition. Many Medford 5K races allow children to run with their parents. Some also feature shorter races just for the kids so they can have some fun and catch the running bug!

Registration fee was $10 for kids under age 11; $15 for kids 11-18; and $25 for adults in advance or $30 day of race.

The race begins and finishes at the Krystle M. Campbell Peace Garden.

Run Well My Friends!

Andy

Cambridge Winter Classic 2017

This was my fourth running in five years of the Cambridge Winter Classic 5K. The race always takes place on the first or second Sunday in December.

Early in December you can get a relatively mild day or the deep freeze. This year it was relatively mild at 39° and a light breeze. If this was October we would have been freezing, but with Christmas only three weeks away, 39° felt pretty good. We even had some sun.

Running Cambridge Winter Classic 2017

Derm Cahill parked at my house, and the plan was to drive in and park at my office. When we got to the end of Third Street, an officer told me I couldn’t go 100 feet down the road to my office. We did one loop around the block into a one-way street and then back to the officer.

I told him there was no way around and he told me the road was closed for construction. As he watched, I pulled a U-turn in the intersection of 3rd and Broadway and headed west. Normally I would have drawn fire for that move!

I know the area well and was able to find a spot quickly. It didn’t take us long to get ready as we are used to this weather now.

The people in front of us started to move their car and told us there were some definitely legal spots down the road. Since Cambridge would ticket The Pope on Easter, I decided to move.

We found the table that the race director set aside for us non-affiliated runners, dropped our bags and headed for the facilities. Skipping the detail, all I will say is that women leave the most disgusting messes in porta-potties. Let’s just say it was beyond a few drops of pee on the seat.

Ipswich Brewery, Cambridge Winter Classic 5K 2017We headed back to the table and went for a short warm up jog. It was too cold to stand around for long. Ipswich Ale was poring, so we we grabbed some chachkas and checked out what they had for us. They had their 101 IPA, a lager and a Pilsner.

I’m glad to see brewers making Pilsners again. They are lighter and have lower alcohol which make them great for hanging out after a race. They are also more challenging to brew as a bad flavor cannot hide behind the hops.

Ipswich BreweryAround 9:20 we headed for the start on Sydney Street. The crowd seemed light on the mall and it seemed light at the start.

We entered near the start and only walked back about 20 people. Derm asked if we were back far enough. He didn’t really want to push it. I assured him that when they called the runners to the line, the crowd would move up and we could stay put.

I started my watch and we did some light stretching. Paul Clark called the runners to get ready, and no one moved up! My watch only had three bars, so I knew it would not be accurate.

Paul yelled out “go, go go!” and we were off in a flash.

We  ran pretty quickly down Sydney to Pacific Street. People were passing us, but the plan was to not push until Mass Ave. Just after the turn onto Pacific Street my watch locked onto the satellites.

Derm was following my lead, so I moved to the right as we approached the left onto Albany Street. We weren’t running hard, so I didn’t want to get slowed down as everyone crowded the corner. There’s more than one way to make a turn.

As we ran down Albany Street I took in the now familiar converted factory buildings. I’m sure MIT owns most of these now, but I bet there is still a lot of cool stuff being invented and manufactured behind those walls.

A runner I know from Everett ran by me and said “Hey you’re training for a marathon!” We don’t even know each other’s names but we go to the same races all the time.

We were about a quarter mile into the race and I could feel the run. My watch said our pace was 13 and change, my legs told me we were under nine minute miles. We took the left onto Mass Ave tight to the curb but had plenty of room.

Hauling Mass Ave

We got over to the right of the yellow line and laid it down. Derm and I took turns on point and just hauled ass down Mass Ave. The crowd was sorting out now and there was room to move.

Some people passed us but we consistently weaved through the crowd and made our way to the turn onto Putnam Street. Way past the one mile marker on Mass Ave my watch chimed Mile One at 8:57.

We had settled into an aggressive pace and were making up for lost time. As we approached the turn onto Putnam Street I called out to Derm to get ready and stay wide to avoid the crowd.Then I told him to stay to the left to avoid the water stop crowd.

Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see a water stop. At 39° it wasn’t really necessary anyway. Putnam is a neighborhood street with parking on both sides and things got crowded again.

We continued to make good progress. At the official Mile Two marker my watch said 1.8 miles. I had little hope of getting an accurate result from my watch.

When my watch did chime Two Mile, we had a 7:20 pace! We had really hauled Mass Ave!

To the Cambridge Winter Classic 5K Finish

Cambridge Winter Classic 5K 2017With my watch being so far off, it was difficult to tell exactly where we were. Somewhere beyond two miles, but not close enough to Three to kick.

Derm and I were talking about this and another runner asked about the distance. I told him I would guess we were around 2.5 miles. Still too far for two old guys to kick yet. Some runners were passing us, but we knew what we had to do.

The last mile had been 7:20 and we started to pick up the pace part way down Putnam Street. As the last turn came into sight we decided to kick.

It wasn’t a huge surge, but we definitely kicked in the after burners.

Coming around the last turn we were right of center but away from the curb. The kids were zipping past us but we were not dragging ass by any means.

As we approached the finish I could see it was less than 24 minutes on the clock. I thought we would be lucky to get under 25.

Cambridge Winter Classic 5K 2017 FinishjThere wasn’t any of that lightening fast last minute kick for the last 100 feet, but we did the last mile at a 7:18 pace and finished at 23:06.

My official pace was 7:26 which is my second fastest 5K of the year. The other race was on a known short course, so this race was my 2017 5K PR.

 

 

Cambridge Winter Classic 5K Party

We quickly moved through the finish area. A nice girl gave us each a bottle of water with a pleasant smile. I thanked her and kept on walking. I needed to keep moving.

Derm wanted to walk around the block, but I convinced him to take the first right towards the beer garden. Usually there are a few food vendors with samples and I wanted to eat something. Turns out, there wasn’t any food.

We got back to our table, grabbed some beers and quickly changed our shirts in the chilly air. Even in Natures Path Organic, chia, hempthe cold, the beer tasted great.

We had a case of Nature’s Path Organic Superfood bars on our table. They had a crew at the next table also. So we added some bars to the beers we slipped into our bags and started making friends.

People would stop at the table and meekly take one bar. I’d call out to them to help themselves and take a few more, some did. Somehow I find this fun to do. I did it at The Cambridge Fall Classic when there wasn’t anyone from Nature’s Path Organic. I got to talk to almost everyone at the race.

Cambridge Fall Races

A few more people showed up that Paul had invited to the table of mis-fit runners and we traded stories with them. Eventually Emily McDivitt and Liz Emerald showed up. Just like my friend from Everett, I see these ladies at all the races.

They didn’t stay for long, but we got to get a group photo.

We were beginning to get cold and I had to drive us home, so we headed out soon afterwards. It was an easy drive home without any closed roads.

Thank you to Paul Clark for setting us up with a table and putting on another fine race. Thank you to the citizens of Cambridge for putting up with us crazy runners yet again. We still block less traffic than MIT!

FULL RESULTS

Run well my Friends!

Andy

Run for All Ages 5K 2017

The 16th Annual Run For All Ages 5k is Saturday November 4, 2017 at 10:00 AM. 

The first 250 runners registered will receive a race shirt, and they tell me they still have some left. Age group prizes will be awarded across all age groups – in five-year increments from 60+. Enjoy a fun post race party with lots of raffle prizes.

All of our friends over 80 can register for free!

Online entry fees are $22.00 for adults, and $10.00 for youth 13 and under (plus processing fees).

Run for All Ages Registration HERE

Run for All Ages 5K Sponsorship

races with medals, 5k medals, run for all ages 5KOmni Running is a sponsor for the 4th year in a row with the My First 5K Medal. My First 5K medals are great for first time 5K runners of any age.

I’ve seen father and son teams where the son was older than me! I’ve also seen moms and dads running with their young children.

It truly is a Run for All Ages.

My First 5K medals will be available at the race for $10 plus tax. We accept credit cards.

Proceeds benefit the Wakefield Education Collaborative.

Bring your child, friend or spouse along and make sure they get a great medal to celebrate their First 5K.

This is the race that gave me the idea for this medal. Everyone running their First 5K deserves a medal, even if they don’t place in the top 3.

Every child who decides to run their first 5K deserves a medal worthy of their initiative and effort. Show your child how proud of them you are with a very special medal that only a few will receive on race day.

This race provides medals for the top three finishers in each age group, but not for all runners.

Each year Harrows Chicken Pies is at this race. They make the best chicken pies you’ve ever had. If race day is cold, nothing beats a sample of hot chicken pies!

See you at the race!

Andy

Cambridge Fall Classic 5K 2017

It sure didn’t feel like the Cambridge Fall Classic 5K. While my phone reported 64°, the 98% humidity made it feel like a Summer race.

This year I ran the Cambridge Fall Classic 5K by myself, if you don’t count the other 1,063 runners. I usually run with Team Slow and Thirsties, but no one signed up for this race. Usually a few people from The Melrose Running Club also show up, but not this time.

It is deep into Sunday Long Run season and a lot of people needed to get in their 16 or 22 miles. I could have used those miles today also, but I love 5Ks and had registered for this one in the spring.

September is also a popular racing month and there were several other local races this weekend.

Pre Cambridge Fall Classic 5K

As usual I arrived early and managed to get a parking spot on Landsdowne Street about 20 feet from University Park Commons. This is party central after the race.

I wandered over to the pick up zone around 7:40 to get my bib and shirt. As I crossed Sidney Street I saw the race director Paul and his crew. He called out to me by name and I went from feeling like a stranger to feeling like I was home.

Pickup didn’t open until 8, but I was able to get my number and shirt and chat with one of the volunteers. I joked about the Summer Classic and how this weather was much better. I couldn’t tell if he knew what I was talking about or was just going along with me. That race is legendary.

I took my stuff back to my car, pinned on my bib and went for a warm up jog. Just quick loop out to Mass Ave and back to the start area. Nothing strenuous, but enough to work the kinks out of my muscles, knees and hips.

As I was walking through the pick up area I saw Paul again. He told me he had a table on the end for my “team” with the name “PVC” on it which are his initials. I thanked him and felt like I was getting way more than I deserved.

As I wandered back I saw Liz Emerald and told her about the table.

I went back to my car and got my bag and jacket. I’ve never had a problem with my gear walking away and felt safe on my own this time as well.

When I got to the table there was a case of Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Lager and six cases of Nature’s Path Superfood bars.

While I hung out and stretched I chatted with the ladies next to me at the Downeast Cider House tent.

At 9:15 I headed for the corrals.

Running Cambridge Fall Classic 5K

As I walked onto Sidney Street I realized I was in front of the start line. The opening in the barricade was right in front of me so I walked to the starting line.

There I saw Liz Emerald and Emily McDivitt. I invited them back to my table after the race, but neither one was much interested in drinking beer.

We were about 2 runners back from the front. When they moved the barricades and told us to move up, I let most of the crowd go around me. I was about 10 runners back and that seemed a little aggressive.

At 9:30 AM they called out “Go, Go Go!” and we were off.

I flew out of there with the rest of the lead pack. It was humid but cooler than my previous race in California, so I felt pretty confident in this pace.

Cambridge Fall Classic 5KAt the first left onto Pacific Street I still felt good and negotiated the turn well. I got into position for the next turn onto Albany Street and still felt good. As we ran towards Mass Ave I began to feel like I was running.

I tried to decide if I should push or let people pass me. I let some people pass. At Mass Ave we made a left and the wide avenue was open to us.

My legs felt strong and my feet felt solid as they landed. I tried not to think about my breathing but there were people around me who were laboring. I tried to ignore them and focus on my pace.

I didn’t want to spend too much time looking at my watch, but when I did I was pleasantly surprised. The first time I looked it said 7:14, then on Albany Street it was 7:12! Still early but I felt good at this pace.

On Mass Ave I locked into a pace around 7:20 and kept it going. Mile One chimed at Central Square and I had a 7:15 pace. Unbelievable!

Everything felt good and I was passing a few people. At the turn onto Putnam Avenue I got close to the curb and slowed a bit to slip behind some other runners. Just after the turn was the water stop.

Lots of runners took a cup and I was worried I wouldn’t get one. As cups got snapped up I saw one still held out and focused on it. As I approached I got into position to keep anyone behind me from grabbing it.

I made eye contact with the young girl and plucked the cup from her hands. Without breaking stride, I took a gulp, crumpled the cup and missed the trash bag. Almost a perfect execution!

Taking the drink broke my breathing pattern and it took me a few steps to get back into a normal breathing pattern.

I was half-way, had a drink and still felt good. Wow.

We were in the neighborhood now and there was some shade. I recalled how the last time I ran in this area it was pouring rain and the streets were lit by lightening. I was moving so much faster this time.

Just past Western Avenue mile two chimed in at 7:29. I was surprised I was still running so strong.

Putnam Avenue seemed to go on forever and then I saw the turn onto Brookline Avenue. How many more turns were there?

We were still in the neighborhood and I looked around at the shops and business as we ran down the street. It’s an interesting area. Way more urban than I am used to.

Before long the turn onto Franklin Street came into view. I was pretty sure it was the last turn and waited for mile three to chime on my watch.

Just over a block from the turn my watch chimed 7:30 for mile three! I had hardly slowed at all. Now the foot race down Franklin to Sidney Street began.

Finishing Cambridge Fall Classic 5K 2017

Soon after we had turned onto Brookline Ave, I knew I wouldn’t have any kick for the end. All I could do was maintain my pace and hope a bunch of kids wouldn’t smoke me at the finish line.

As I ran down Franklin towards the finish I kicked in what I had. It wasn’t much but I ran the last 0.14 miles at a 7:18 pace. Probably could not have maintained that pace for much longer.

At the Summer Classic I didn’t get any finish line photos. I tried to run on the right side this time and dropped back a bit so other runners wouldn’t block me. I didn’t see a camera person, but they must have been there.

I didn’t even see a clock at the finish.

As I slowed to a walk my breathing was deep and insufficient. In California my chest was actually sore from breathing so hard. This time nothing hurt.

As I made my way down the street I got two bottles of water and headed for the team area. I knew I was on my own so an extra bottle of water would keep me from drinking too many beers.

My official finish time was 23:13 for a 7:28 pace. In California I ran 23:36 on a slightly shorter course, so I was happy and surprised by my time.

Apre Cambridge Fall Classic 5K

Brooklyn Brewery OktoberfestThere was a case of Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Lager on my table along with six cases of Superfood bars. I went over to the beer table and grabbed a lager and an Oktoberfest.

Soon after getting back to my table I went into trade-show mode and started passing out Superfood bars. What else was I going to do?

It was actually a lot of fun and I got to talk to a lot of people.I managed to move all but a case of the bars. I took a bunch home and even managed to take a few beers with me.

Natures Path Superfood BarsSince I was driving I didn’t drink very much and even tossed some beer in the trash! With a box of beers, it made little sense to keep drinking. Especially since the crowd was thinning and I didn’t want to hang out by my self.

It was another fun Cambridge Classic, even if I had to make my own fun this time around.

Run well my Friends!

Andy