The nice thing about a virtual race is that you can roll out your front door when ever you feel like it. You won’t be late and you never have to worry about parking.
With the 100% Pure Kona Coffee Half Marathon, I even avoided the twelve-hour flight to Hawaii!
If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, you know it’s worth the flight to get to such a beautiful place.
Running 100% Pure Kona Coffee Half Marathon
I love coffee and on more than one occasion I’ve actually run with a coffee in my hand.
You just can’t beat an iced-coffee as a refresher on the run.
I’ve had 100% pure Kona coffee when I’ve visited Oahu. When it is fresh it is a delicious and well balanced cup.
And strait up is the best way to appreciate the flavor profile.
Well, enough about coffee!
With the uptick in COVID-19 cases and the Governor’s new mandatory mask policy, I wanted to get an early start.
I’ve been running evenings in my neighborhood and trying to stay on well lit roads that are in good condition.
Unfortunately, everyone else seems to like those streets for their evening stroll or dog walk.
I left my house at 8:04 AM which is pretty good for me. Hopefully most people would still be at home!
The previous day I had cleaned up my garden and got things set up for Spring. This involved some digging and lifting.
I also raked leaves which involves lots of twisting of the back.
As I ran down my street I could feel the results of all that yard work.
I wasn’t out to set any records and told my self to settle down and figure out where you are going to go.
100% Pure Kona Coffee Course Medford Style
The night before I looked at a few of my recent virtual half marathon runs.
I wasn’t too excited about running these exact routes again. But I didn’t have a full course mapped out for today.
In Malden there is the Northern Strand Community Trail which is an old rail bed.
I’ve run plenty of hilly courses of my choosing, this time I chose to avoid hills.
I knew that the Community Trail would be virtually flat, I just didn’t know where it went or how long it was. I’d run a short part of it before, but there was the other direction to explore.
I added a jog down Commercial Street in Malden and hit two miles just after crossing The Malden River.
I knew I was near where I ran the trail before, but from the street I didn’t see any signs. So I took a left onto Canal Street.
In about 100 yards I could see the trail and people on it. I crossed the street and got onto the trail.
It was still early so I only saw about ten people on my run into Malden Square.
When I got to Malden Square I didn’t see any signs for the trail so I ran down Eastern Ave. Again, very few people.
Since I didn’t have a course planned out, I wanted to run down Eastern Ave until I found a good place to turn.
After I passed the Malden Police Department I took a left onto Maplewood Street.
I’ve run 5Ks in this area before, and knew I’d hit a main street heading back into the square if I just stayed on this road.
The idea was to then take Main Street from Malden into Melrose.
But shortly after making my turn I saw signs for the trail!
I should have turned right, but I didn’t know where the path went to and didn’t want to run to the coast. A bit more planning would have helped here!
I took a left onto the trail and headed back to Malden Square.
Foot traffic was still light but picking up.
At Malden Square I hit five miles. Only 8.1 more to go!
I was a little worried about what I would have to do to get those miles since I was so close to home.
When I got to Malden Center I kind of knew where I was. I drive through here often and have run in the area a few times.
I got to an intersection I thought I knew and took a right.
Wandering the Hills of Malden
Besides running the distance my main goal was to avoid hills.
Malden has hills everywhere and if you don’t know where you are going you are bound to find them.
As I ran up Dexter Street I admired the old homes. In San Francisco some of them might qualify as “Painted Ladies”.
I could see hills around me and the street was starting to rise a bit.
At the next intersection I took a right, then another right and then a left onto Clifton Street.
I really had no idea where I was except that I wasn’t on a hill!
If I had gone strait at my first right I would have been on my way to Oak Grove T station. From there I could have headed into Melrose, an area I know well.
Instead I was on a street I barely know. When I got to a familiar rail road bridge I took a right. Why not, eh?
After a series of turns I managed to get back to Malden Square, cross Eastern Ave and found the Northern Strand Community Trail again.
My plan was to run the trail to “The End” and see where I was for mileage then.
I was very happy to be at 7.5 miles.
My supplies were holding up and so was I. Kind of.
As I ran the trail I realized that I was dragging my feet and scuffing with each foot fall.
This is a highly inefficient way to run since your feet are catching so much drag from the scuffing.
I took a Honey Stinger and made a greater effort to correct my form.
Other than that nothing really hurt.
End of The Trail
The trail seemed to dead end at West Street. A guy on a bike looked like he was heading down West Street and perhaps the trail went that way?
Again, I kind of knew where I was and went in the opposite direction.
West Street dead ends behind the Best Buy parking lot and I hit nine miles as I started across the back end of their parking lot.
Sacramone Playground is next to the parking lot. A bunch of young kids had soccer practice or something. I saw a dad go into the men’s room of their field house and for a second I thought that looked like a good idea.
But I was close to home and decided to push through.
Fortunately I was on the right side of the street to get through a very busy intersection. I ran over the Malden River again but on a six-lane bridge this time.
Since I was so close to home, I decided to run the trail along The Malden River. I’ve run the trail three or four times before.
I knew where it went and that I’d still be short on distance.
A ways up the trail I stopped to have a Honey Stinger cookie. I hadn’t had any breakfast and my stomach was starting to grumble.
With the fall leaves, it was a nice place to run. And with fewer leaves on the tree I could see more of the river. It’s a good sized river in this area.
I hit mile ten just before “Little Creek” and decided to run down Commercial Street when the trail ended.
I ran Commercial Street all the way down to Wellington Station.
The problem with running along a river is that you can’t just cut across when you want to. They don’t make bridges like side streets.
So instead of getting back onto Revere Beach Parkway and making my way through Wellington Circle, I ran through the train station!
I did notice one person sitting outside checking me out. She must have wondered what the hell this was all about.
Talk about running for a train!
And this dude is in running gear. Where the hell is he going?
The door was open, I ran up about 10 painful steps and across the station.
The great thing is that they have a pedestrian bridge over the tracks to the parking garage!
I’ve never run though here before, but it was pretty cool!
The bridge goes to the 3rd level of the garage and I got to run down the ramps!
Unfortunately, I did loose stellate signal in this nine-story concrete structure.
Then I ran through Station Landing and got a cross walk light to get across The Fells Way.
I hit eleven miles while running across the pedestrian bridge, so I was on the home stretch now.
On My Way Home
I was only about a mile and a half from home, as the crow flies. So I tried to stretch things out as I ran through the Mystic River Reservation.
Before I got to the end of Commercial Street in Medford I hit twelve miles. Only 1.1 miles to go.
This is my front yard so I know all the side streets to add a bit here and there so I can finish almost in front of my house with the exact distance I need.
I was really dragging now and the thought of walking crossed my mind.
But I thought of all the people who get geared up like I was just to run a 5K. How ridiculous would I look in this get up walking down the street?
So I ran.
I was tired and ready for it to be over.
Running down a street I drive almost every day, sometimes several times, is just not as exciting as running in Hawaii.
There was a severe shortage of lush green vegetation. And while it was a nice day, it would be considered a cool day in Hawaii.
I only had to run two side streets to get my distance and finish where I wanted to.
Apre Kona Half Marathon 2020
After I took off my shoes, hat, gloves and gear belt I made an iced coffee!
It was Starbucks Guatemala blend and not Kona, but it was still cold and refreshing.
I made my way upstairs for a long hot shower. Surprisingly I had almost no chaffing and felt almost human afterwards.
I didn’t feel like eating, so I topped off my iced-coffee and settled down to write.
Run well my Friends,