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Ras na hEireann USA 5k Race

A run with the Leprechauns

As I mentioned previously, we ran two races over the weekend. On Sunday Jeff and I ran the Ras na hEireann USA 5k out of Davis Square in Somerville, MA. This is a St. Patty’s day race and some people were dressed as leprechauns, so we did run with a few leprechauns!

There was a lot of wearing ‘o the green at this race. I had my green gloves, hat and race shirt from the Jingle Bell Run which also ran out of Davis Square in December. Looking at all of the cool hats, Jeff and I decided we needed to find better hats to wear next year. Just to get into the spirit a little more.

When we arrived in Somerville the temperature was in the low 30’s. But unlike Salisbury we did not have a gale off of the Atlantic to freeze us to the core. I opted to go with shorts, t-shirt and Under Armor, top and bottom. Jeff wore his BAA jacket and running pants. This was a bit of a reversal for us as I am usually the one wearing all the extra clothes.

We had plenty of time so we hung out at Au Bon Pain and drank too much coffee. It was great making conversation with all of the other runners and watching everyone walk by. One bathroom at Au Bon Pain was out-of-order so when it was time for round 2 we headed out into the square to find the race provided porta-potties.

It was cold walking around the square. We made our way to the starting line and were getting pumped up to run the race. We were both a little tired from the previous day’s run and were not sure how this race would go. As the race began I was able to get RunKeeper to start and started the stop watch on my Timex. On Saturday the touch screen on my phone wasn’t touchy enough so I couldn’t get RunKeeper to start.

Ras na hEireann USA 5k
Hanging out before the race

The start is on Elm Street and passes through Davis Square to Holland Street. Holland Street was crowded and has a slight up hill. We kept moving up through the crowd, trying to avoid snow banks and parked cars. We had done a few hundred yards of pre-race warm up so my legs felt pretty good and Jeff and I kept pushing. At Mile 1 my Timex said 7:25 which I thought was crazy. The road was packed and we ran hard yesterday. Run Keeper showed Mile 1 at a 7:41 pace but Mile 2 was 7:22 and Mile 3 was 7:32.

We ran through Teele Square onto Broadway and then turned left onto Powder House Blvd. We negotiated the rotary at Powder House Square and then hit a slight incline as we left the square. We were back on Broadway for another half mile or so and a few hundred yards before our next turn they had a water stop. I grabbed a cup and managed to suck down a few gulps. I was tired but felt pretty good.

After Powder House Square Jeff began to move up. As we turned onto Cedar Street I started to lose him in the crowd. There is an overpass that the road dips under and I was able to run down that hill a bit and hold on as the road rose up again on the other side. As we turned onto Highland Ave the road had a bit of a rise to it but as the finish line came into view the road sloped down for us.

I was already running at full capacity so I didn’t have any kick left for the end. Even when we were within 100 yards of the finish all I could do was maintain my speed. I knew I came in under 24 minutes and when I stopped my watch it said 23:25. My official time was 23:34 with a pace of 7:35.

My time was better than Saturday’s time and I came in 43 out of 232 guys in my age bracket. Out of 4433 finishers I came in 442. I felt pretty good about that. Jeff came in at 22:28 for a 7:14 pace. Both of us finished faster than the day before!

As far as I can tell these are the oldest finishers. Roshine Ruddy, 74 of West Roxbury finished in 44:08 and Edward Powers, Jr. , 87 of Clinton, MA finished in 33:35. The winners over all were Eric Ashe of Brighton at 15:02 and Tsehay Gebre from New York City at 16:40. Incredible effort from all of them.

For the after party we headed to The Joshua Tree and enjoyed several Harpoon IPAs. No karaoke this time but we still had a great time hanging out.

Ras na hEireann USA 5k,medal,5k race
All the rewards of the race, pub-4167727599129474, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0