Mid week races are a nice change of pace. Summer mid week races are even better as you can enjoy the great out doors after work and it’s still light out!
Mid Week Race Logistics
For a weekend race, you may have to get up early or drive long distances.
Any mid week races that I’ve run have been in the evening. We all have to work. So it’s a good idea to toss a can of bug spray into your bag.
A few years ago I ran a Thursday evening race along The Charles River. As we stood their in our running clothes waiting for the start, the bugs were eating us alive!
Fortunately, someone had a can of Off and we passed it around for everyone to use.
For a Saturday or Sunday morning race, the traffic is usually light. For a mid week race you are dealing with rush hour traffic.
If possible try to get the afternoon off so you have extra time to get to your destination. If you can’t leave work early, change at work and head out as soon as you can.
I’ve changed up in the Men’s room several times for an after work run. I have to say, it is a little odd to be standing in a stall completely naked and then have a colleague walk in.
As they say, there’s a time and place for everything. In the locker room I wouldn’t think twice.
In summary: plan ahead, leave early if you can and don’t forget the bug spray!
My Summer mid week races 2022
Cambridge Summer Classic 5K
On Thursday July 14th, I ran the Cambridge Summer Classic 5K. I’ve probably run this race every year it has been held and this year I also volunteered to distribute t-shirts.
This is one of my favorite summer mid week races. I work in Cambridge and can walk about a mile to get to this race.
The race starts just off of Mass Ave and right next to MIT. Harvard and many well-known businesses are around the block or just down the road.
It starts at 6:30 and it’s almost always an ideal July evening. One year we had torrential rain, but every other year it’s just perfect.
It draws a large crowd of college students and young professionals. Then there are the old boys like me who have been running for years.
Paul Clark has a very well organized operation, while I’m sure something goes wrong at every race, you’d never know it.
I got there early, helped with the shirts and then lined up for the race.
There is always a large group of volunteers and we always manage to have a good time!
I managed to run a time of 29:04 for a pace of 9:34. It was the hardest I’ve run in quite a while. While I wasn’t breaking any records, it was an important step on my road to The Marathon.
After the race I ran into one of my friends from Athletic Brewing! I’ve been enjoying their brews for almost a year now. What a great find!
There is a group of regulars that I hang out with after the race and we always have a good time.
Newburyport Home Coming
This race event is part of Newburyport Yankee Home Coming Days and has been around for 62 years. 2022 was the first time I ran this race.
Lucky for me I worked from home on Tuesday, August 2nd and hitched a ride with Maria from my running club. I just had to drive to Melrose to meet her.
I always encourage car pools to any races because parking can be a major pain. And it was for this race.
We got there less than an hour before start time. We drove around but couldn’t find a spot to park.
Maria dropped me off near the start so I could pick up our bibs and she could find a parking spot. It took her another 15 minutes or so to find a place to park and make her way to the start area.
Even with almost an hour to spare, we had a hard time finding parking. It’s always a good idea to keep in mind how large the race is.
This race had a 5K and 10K and probably 5,000 runners between them. And this town was having a festival!
For summer mid week races, you may find many parking spaces occupied by commuters or people who work in town and haven’t gone home yet. Not to mention, cars to transport 5,000 runners!
We definitely learned something about logistics that night!
This race began at 6PM at Newburyport High School. Right in the middle of town and right in the middle of their festival. Talk about mayhem!
I got our bibs and Maria made it to the start area and found us with about 10 minutes to spare.
There were about 15 people from the club, so that made the race even more fun.
Running The Newburyport Homecoming 5K
Everyone told me that the race had a lot of hills and was always hot.
In fact, it’s so tough that neighbors stand out with their hoses for the runners and some have their own water stops! I love it when the town comes out for the race.
There certainly were a lot of hills, though my Garmin elevation map looks like a flat-line. My elevation gain over the entire 5K course was only 86 feet.
And while the map may show flat, most of that gain came in short intervals.
I was feeling pretty good so I ran as hard as I could in that heat and humidity.
When you get near the end you can hear the crowd which gives you a nice boost. Then we took a right onto the high school driveway and began the final ascent! No kick for the last 100 yards of this race!
Getting up the hill was challenge enough!
I ran a little long at 3.16 miles for a time of 29:23 and a pace of 9:18.
After the race we went to a concert in the park which was right on the river.
I had no idea we were going to hang out and drink beers in the park. But some of my friends came prepared with lawn chairs and a few cold beers to share.
A perfect summer evening with friends.
Wakefield Stride 5K
This race was Wednesday, August 10th at lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield and benefited Melrose Healthcare.
The Melrose Running Club is a sponsor of this race, lends volunteer support and we were the largest team at the event.
A Summer mid week race on the banks of a lake is a nice setting. It is still a very urban setting with roads wrapped around the lake and lots of traffic. But we were in a nice park looking out onto the lake.
The Mystics Running Club has mid week race around this lake every Wednesday night. I’ve run with them many times.
This Wednesday night, the Hospital had taken over the joint!
I didn’t really have any expectations and was happy to run a bit with my old friend Jeff. He’s in much better shape and eventually we parted ways.
One of my favorite running memories is a Mystics Tuesday night race on this course. It was about eight years ago and I was probably at my running peak.
I ran with a few other guys and we were all in. We traded places a lot and each of us knew what we were doing. So there was no pushing or close calls and we kind of looked out for each other in the traffic.
I have no idea who those guys were and we didn’t win anything, but it was a great time!
This year I ran 3.05 miles in 27:12 for a pace of 8:55! Where did that come from?
For me, it was a pretty quiet year race-wise. I’m still going to PT and trying to ramp up my running at a rate that won’t cause another injury.
These three summer mid week races were a lot of fun and I plan on running them again next year.
I hope you had a great summer and had some excellent running experiences.