What a super great race weekend!! I will start off by saying though the travel and weather Gods were in cahoots this weekend. The tomfoolery and shenanigans they pulled made for an unpleasant, stormy and construction laden drive on the way up and back. Sidebar: whoever coined the term I heart NY has clearly never sat through traffic there. In general I am a pretty easygoing traveler and it takes a lot to phase me but oh my… was my patience in the car tested! Sigh… the good news is I made it to and from Boston safely, the sun DID come out tomorrow, I got to see some great friends, and there was plenty of Dunkin Donuts to be had (see my weekend in photos).
Now that the whine is out of the way let’s recap, shall we? This was the 9th year for Boston’s Run to Remember. It honors fallen officers and is held every Memorial Day weekend. This year it took on an even deeper meaning and the whole experience was simply amazing.
The expo was held at the Seaport World Trade Center. A beautiful building on the wharf if you ever go to Boston (and hotel directly across): This was not one of the more robust expo’s I’ve been to in terms of vendors and “stuff” (probably a good thing ’cause I never make it out of an expo with a full wallet) but it was crazy organized (good crazy) and my friend and I were able to park quickly, pick up me and her hubby’s bibs and t-shirts with ease and then poke around to the various booths (and sample some goodies! Core Power, yum!!) As part of our race swag we were given Boston Strong / Run to Remember pins: In addition to the vendors there was a very prevalent Boston Strong presence, honoring both fallen heroes and those who lost their lives from the Boston Marathon bombings.
Boston’s Run to Remember:
Race day was cold and rainy. Yikes. I had an entirely different outfit planned for MUCH warmer weather. I actually traveled with a long sleeved zip tech shirt (from the Annapolis Half!) and hemmed and hawed over the forecast but ended up with that as my racing outfit (so happy with that decision). Even though it was cold and damp the rain stayed mostly at bay with the exception of some spitting rain in certain spots.
The event began with the playing of bagpipes and a touching tribute to Officer Sean Collier with his family present (they also had second bibs honoring him you could wear on your back but I never saw them to get one). Then the national anthem and we were off! Sort of. They had pacing signs but we weren’t assigned to a corral and it wasn’t enforced in any way so we ended up clustered. The first few miles were slow and I just tried to get my pacing down and sort through the crowds. After my Nike app fiasco in Pittsburgh I never rectified that problem so ran sans timing.
Two things this race had in abundance were water stations and timing clocks just about every mile. When reviewing the course map the evening before my friend pointed out Gatorade would only be available at Miles 8 and 12. I was slightly unhappy about that until the race got going and with the cooler temps realized I was actually good with water and the gummy bears I brought (my new thing! no GU here). After Pittsburgh I mentioned I was relaxing a bit and ended up with only 2 runs in between. One was 2 miles and the other was 4. I did not feel physically ready but in my mind I was. During the run I felt really good. I think the weather helped and the atmosphere was phenomenal.
The most heartwarming part of this run came around Miles 4-5. The course took us through the financial district of Boston, State Street, Government Center and over the Longfellow bridge (ahh, memories). Running down Memorial Drive through MIT there were several police cars lined along the street and officers from stations around the Boston area were in a line high fiving all the runners. Seriously, beyond heartwarming. We continued down Memorial Drive to south of Harvard University then turned around. The spectators were just awesome, can’t say that enough. One of my favorite signs I wish I had stopped to take a picture of was “You’re a wicked fast runna”. Only in Boston 🙂 This was followed by “Good job (Your name here)” GREAT cheerleaders.
The rest of the course was scenic and fast. At the Mile 9 marker I saw my time was 1:25 and thought, hey – I’m on target for my last PR – maybe I can beat it. I didn’t want to break my groove though so just tried to stay the course with my pacing. We passed Cheers (man, I did not take enough course photos!) and the Public Garden and Boston Common. I was still feeling really good until we ran by the Four Seasons Hotel. I saw people sitting in the window eating and had that fleeting thought we all do at some point, “Why am I running 13 miles at 8 am and they are chilling in the Four Seasons having brunch? ugh” Lol. That moment didn’t last long as I was at Mile 11-ish so knew my time on the course was limited.
I crossed the finished line at 2:08:08 – a net time of 2:06:44. Not a new PR (Pittsburgh 2:03) but my second sub 2:10 race in a row. I am SUPER stoked about that. I have no doubt I will get my sub 2 hour half this year (and soon!) After finishing they shuttled us inside where we got our medals – put on by some awesome and super friendly volunteers – and post race refreshments. As I was walking through someone tapped me on the shoulder. I thought it was my friend but it was a complete stranger who told me that I was his “pacer” for the race and he thanked me. I laughed and asked if I did ok for him and he said “oh, yeah – but then I saw you stop and take a picture and I was like, what is she doing?!” I had to chuckle – and could have been creeped out but it completely made me smile!
I didn’t stay long for the post race festivities but really, this was simply a GREAT event. It was so well organized, they thought about the runners, our safety, security and enjoyment every step of the way. In a weird way I’m glad I missed out on this last year as it made the experience this time around that much more special. Thanks Boston – stay #BostonStrong