This was the 14th running of the 5K in honor of Brendan Grant, and my second race of the day.
I’m working on 50 races by September 4th and the timing seemed right for this race. In 2014 I ran the BAA 10K and then drove to the Smuttynose Brewery in New Hampshire for a 9:30 5K.
I made it to New Hampshire and was the last person to start that race. Runners were actually finishing when I was heading out for my run! Because they were picking up the course as I ran it, I missed a turn or two.
Brendan’s 5K was a 10 am race just 20 minutes away. Piece of cake, right?
Off to Belmont
I didn’t waste too much time hanging around after the BAA 10K. I chatted with many friends, but everyone knew I was on a mission and took no offense to my haste.
I did the quick step down Charles Street and over The Longfellow bridge to my car. I had my building pass, so I used the facilities in the building’s gym and used one of their towels to dry off a little bit.
All I had to do was go down Memorial Drive and take a right onto Mass Ave/Rt 2A. I made the light for the turn onto Mass Ave and thought it was a good omen for smooth sailing.
I proceeded to hit many other red lights, and waited for pedestrians and buses. Then I made a wrong turn somewhere and ended up spending 15 minutes or so trying to figure our WTH I was. I could see the start time approaching.
As I approached Belmont High I could see cones in the road. I was in the right place, but there was no parking!
There were cops everywhere, but I ended up going the wrong way into a parking lot and parked headed in the wrong direction. I figured I was off the road and I was on a mission.
I took my car key and stuffed it into my tiny shorts pocket. I never trust that pocket – no zipper. I only knew the general direction to go and quickly found the race team and director breaking everything down.
The whole scene was reminiscent of last year at Smuttynose.
I’m sure I came of as a pushy jerk. The race director had encouraged me to come out for the race, she knew what I was doing, so I figured I had some latitude.
I spoke with one guy who pointed me towards a group and said “talk to the lady in black.” Well, there were two of them so I just started talking to the entire group.
They didn’t hear me at first, but I was being a little aggressive. I just made a hell ride from Boston, there was no way I was going to miss the race.
After I asked where to get my bib for the fifth time the Race Director finally looked at me and told me to “go talk to her” and pointed to another lady. This lady looked in two boxes for my swag bag.
I asked if I could leave my swag bag there. She said something, I pinned my bib on and left the bag.
I asked where the race started and they pointed to towards the track. Everyone seemed confused by me repeatedly asking where the race started.
One guy said, this is where they finish. Brilliant. I needed to know where they started. I explained for the 10th time that I was late and was just starting the race.
The guy finally realized what I was asking. He told me that the leaders were coming in so I needed to stay to the side.
And I’m off, way off!
I took off in the outside lane as the winner passed me in the opposite direction. He was cruising.
As I rounded the curve the second place guy was approaching. There was a guy laying on the track taking photos, so I tried not to run in front of him as number two rounded the corner.
As I ran down the strait away the lead pack was now heading down the track. I managed to get by them, cross the grass, and headed out to the street.
I was running against traffic and at times the lane was packed. I ran outside of the cones to avoid a collision.
At the rail road bridge in Belmont we turned right and went to Channing Road. There were all kinds of runners coming back, I figured it was an out and back.
It turns out I was supposed to take a left onto Cross street soon after getting onto Channing Road. As I got to the end of Channing Road the volunteer manning the corner asked me what I was doing.
He was a bit perplexed but then told me to run to the next corner and look for signs or a volunteer. I saw two guys turn where I was supposed to go and turned left.
I managed to make the loop and found my way back to the High School. At a few turns it was 50/50 as to which way to go. I guessed lucky for the most part.
I did not save the BAA 10K and start a new race. So my Garmin just added miles to my previous 10K. Figuring out how far I had run was not easy. I didn’t want to run 2 miles and call it a 5K. It was important to me to run an honest 5k. No screwing around, no short-cuts here.
I knew the 10K was 6.3 miles and used that to figure my 5K distance. As I approached the entrance to the track my watch had not chimed nine miles. I really needed 9.4 miles total to make this a legit 5K.
Since I was short I passed the entrance and ran down to the corner to almost 9 miles. The race officials must have thought I was nuts or an idiot to miss the turn back onto the field. I was on a mission.
When I crossed the finish line my watch said 9.1 miles. I was a little short.
While having some water and water melon I looked at the course map and saw where I had missed a side street.
I want going for a PR, win or anything other than checking off another 5K. I started 15 minutes late and messed up the course.
I ended up in 273rd out of 301 runners with a 12:10 pace. I’m not sure I deserve that. The top three guys were all under 5 minute pace. The top 14 runners were all under 6 minute pace.
Lot’s of good runners who ran the race finished ahead of me. Just the way it should have been.
I probably won’t run two races on the same day again. It diminishes the second race in my mind as the effort to get there over-shadows the event itself.
I always say, “respect the distance,” but I need to add, “always respect the race.”
The race director encouraged me to sign up and I was looking for a local 2nd race. Maybe if the logistics had worked out a little better I could have given this race the effort and focus it deserved.
I saw many people enjoying the race, many struggling with the race and people out with their kids. For me it was a notch on my belt. Not the most honorable run of my year.