I’m a little late with this one, but I’ve been busy shoveling.
My First 5K in February was the Super Sunday 5K
The race is sponsored by Sanofi Oncology & Genzyme and managed by the Race Cancer Foundation. They had both a 5K and a 5 Mile race that day. I’m working on 50 5Ks this year, so I opted for the 5K.
The race had 10 brewery sponsors, so I knew there would be a fair amount of drinking going on after the race. As such I took the T to this race. It may have been one of the last days that the T was fully operational!
This race took place right before Boston got hit with a never-ending barrage of snow storms. There wasn’t any snow on the ground, but it was very cold.
I arrived early. They were still setting up and the volunteers were still getting their instructions. The air temperature was reported at 19° but my phone said 12°. The wind was mild, but enough to bring the wind chill down into the single digits.
There were no tents for runners to shelter in and Genzyme had their building locked up. Probably 500 of us took shelter in the lobby of the parking garage. It was heated and out of the elements.
The 5 Mile race started at 10 and the 5K started at 10:12. They had us line up on Athenaeum Street about quarter of 10. The street was like a wind tunnel. The milder breezes were much stronger and we were freezing our butts off.
The 5 Milers got off a bit late so the 5K runners had to wait until about 10:17. It wasn’t much of an extra wait, but we were all ready frozen. After the 5 Milers were off, they had the 5K runners move up.
As usual, the start was crowded. We ran down Athenaeum Street, took a left onto 3rd Street and then took a right onto Broadway in Cambridge. Even on Broadway running was still a little congested.
A started about a third of the way back from the front. I wasn’t feeling like I had a great race in me so I didn’t feel the need to be aggressive. Fortunately, I was able to make my way through the crowd and make some progress.
At Hampshire Street we took a right and then hit the one-mile mark shortly after turning onto Windsor Street. This was probably the first time I’d been on Windsor Street, so I enjoyed checking out the neighborhood.
There were people out on their steps and porches and people with their little kids. I managed to slap a few hands as I ran by. Cool stuff.
We then turned right onto Cambridge Street. This is a wide street and the crowd was thinning out at this point. Nothing hurt and I wasn’t tired so I locked into gear and hauled ass down Cambridge Street.
Cambridge Street seemed to go on for ever. We hit mile 2 near the Lechmere T station and shortly thereafter took a right onto 1st Street.
My legs were getting tired and I was running harder than I had planned to. As fatigue set in I had to be more careful with pot-holes and wavy pavement. One mis-step and I’d be down on the pavement.
1st Street runs down behind the Cambridgeside Galleria Mall. There were a few people out and fewer cars. It seemed very quiet for a Sunday in Cambridge. I knew this neighborhood fairly well and enjoyed running down the middle of the street.
When we took the right onto Binney Street, I thought we were heading for the finish line.But they ran us up to 3rd Street, down to Linskey Way, down to 1st again and then up Athenaeum Street to the finish.
I continued to push hard through all the twists and turns and crossed the mats under 23 minutes. My official time was 22:50. Garmin had me at 22:38 on a 3.13 mile run. I’d call that an accurate measure!
A grabbed a bottle of water and a bag of chips and walked it off for a bit.
After my water I grabbed a Sam Adams and headed for the food. It was so cold I had to leave my Saucony running mittens on. But to do anything I had to take them off.
While walking towards the food I managed to drop one and thought it was gone. I backtracked and eventually found it. A guy said he saw it and picked it up and put it on the sidewalk. What luck! I thanked him very much.
After I grabbed some chicken wings it was back to the beer tent. The tent was open on all sides so the poor folks pouring beer had no shelter and had to stand around. At least the runners had some body heat built up.
It was so cold that I didn’t want to take off my jacket and put on the sweatshirt I brought with me. I didn’t think it was worth the massive chill I’d have to take.
I hung out with two ladies I met before the race. They had a good run and were happy with their results. We managed to snag some extra drink tickets and had a great time.
I eventually wandered off into the crowd to get another beer and socialize. At one point I hooked up with some Genzyme employees and they let me hang out with them in their lobby for a while so we could warm up. I was so thankful.
The band BearFight was playing and they were excellent. They’ve got a great web site and a full schedule of appearances including on Marathon Monday.
A few days after the race I checked the official results. I was shocked to see that I came in 2nd place in the male 50-59 group! I didn’t feel great going into the race and I certainly didn’t think I ran hard enough to place at a race like this. I was 32nd out of 563 runners.
A race like this in a place like Cambridge usually draws all of the local talent. The talent pool in greater Cambridge is deep. A lot of these guys must have stayed home or run the 5 Mile race. I never would have gone into this race with a goal of finishing in the top 50 or 2nd in my age group.
I’m still trying to get my award. I think I was inside the Genzyme building when they gave them out. It was freezing cold and I had no illusions of winning anything. I still find it amusing.
Hope you ran well in February. My next race is the Smuttynose Palooza.