First Annual Race To The Row 5k

Sometimes a race is more than a race. Was that deep?


Okay. I'll skip the poetic opener and get to the good stuff. ;)

I love being a part of inaugural races AND uber local races.

The Race To The Row 5k, which took place on August 18, fit both those categories.

How local?

Well it was directly across the street from my neighborhood.

Short commute for the win! :)

I actually had the honor of giving away a free entry to the race thanks to the organizers - Somerville Road Runners - and was excited to meet the winner, Shimmy, on race day (it was her first 5k race).

On Saturday, August 17, we headed over to Assembly Row to pick up my bib/t-shirt at Sports Authority, peek around Assembled (weekly artist market) and have the wife get some grub from the food trucks!

Saturday night I took my first stab at applying the KT Tape myself. I had used it on my last two marathons and loved it, but always had a professional administer it at the race expo.

Thankfully the videos on were very helpful and easy to follow.

I thought it looked pretty darn good. I even gave it a try on my ailing wrist.

The other half said I looked like a Power Ranger. Agree? :P

The race started at 9:30am on Sunday which meant we got to sleep in ... as best as possible with the 2 pups. ;)

As always I had laid out my outfit the night before so I didn't have to think at all that morning while getting ready.

We set to leave the house by 8:45am so we could hit Dunkin' Donuts before the race.

I actually had the coffee before my run for one of the first times ever. It was risky to change my pre-race routine, but I was okay with it - I set low expectations for the outcome of the race (which I'll touch on later).

We arrived at the starting area just before 9, which was perfect since the little kid Fun Run was happening at 9.

I was happy to see some familiar faces at the race including my friend and fellow Weight Watchers Leader Heather and my Tedy's Team running mate Meg and her husband Josh.

Heather and I pre-race

We all chatted until we heard the warning call to line up. I quickly hit up the table to get my "hell yes I am 21 and will be having a beer post-race" wristband. ;) Priorities!!

I kept glancing around the crowd to see how many folks were participating in the run-walk and it looked to be about 200. Great turnout for a first-time local run.

The race director gave a countdown through his makeshift megaphone and we were off.

It was a looping pattern so we would run part of the course twice, which was fine by me.

I didn't put any pressure on myself for this race. Since I have been focusing more on my long distance running/Dopey Challenge training I haven't been doing so much speed work. This would be the first time I would be testing the legs in a 5k race since May.

As we headed out on the course, I caught a glimpse of my average pace time about 1/2 a mile in and there was a 6:45 starting back at me.

Excuse me!

Did I read that right?

I was in shock! But tried not to get too excited. There were 2.6 more miles to go. :P

The organizers did a great job keeping the run within the Assembly Row Marketplace and the surrounding streets. We didn't have to cross any huge intersections, there were plenty of volunteers and not multiple water stops. Bravo folks! Bravo!

My Garmin buzzed off for Mile 1 and flashing back at me was indeed a sub-7 pace.

I shook my head and kept going.

It couldn't be.

I had to keep my focus so I picked one person in front of me and made a pact with myself that I HAD to pass her by the end of the race ... and then stay in front of her.

As I passed her heading to the Mile 2 marker, 2 other women passed me. Agghh! I kept those two women as close to me as I could, but they were darn speedy!

We hit Mile 2 and according to my Garmin I was still sub-7 pace. Holy heck.

I decided that no matter what I would give it all I had for the last mile. Since it was kind of a loopy-out and back situation going on, I was able to cheer for friends as I raced to the Finish.

I looked down and we were at 2.6 miles. Okay legs give it all you have ... and that is exactly what I did.

Can you tell by the pic? This is me coming into the Finish Line thanks to the wife.

I clicked the Garmin as I crossed the Finish. There it was 6:56 average pace.


Now, in retrospect, I should've known it wouldn't be sub 7 since my watch had us at 3.16 miles instead of the 3.1 for a 5k. Logic should've set it, but I was too darn happy ... and too ready for beer. :)

Either way I had PRed (previous PR 22:20) and THAT was one pleasant surprise. I was more excited talking to my friends who had done amazing things during the run

Meg & I post-race in the beer garden

AND meeting up with Shimmy, the giveaway winner.

She had set out 2 goals: 1) finish in under 33 minutes and 2) give it all she had. And you know what? She did both. Way to rock it Shimmy!! :) :)

Big thanks to Burger Dive for providing great post-race BBQ and for Harpoon Brewery for donating the delicious post-race brews.

Overall, it was one amazing morning. I can't wait to participate next year too!

Oh and those final results were:

I finished in a PR of 21:59.2 (7:05 min/mile). I was 38 out of 208 overall, 9 out of 115 females and 4 out of 55 in my division.

How could I not be proud with those sorts of numbers?

Little 'ol me posted those. I have certainly come a long way since my first 5k in Somerville in March 2005 when I posted a time of 38:21.

And either way: I got to cross the Finish Line of yet another race. The best moment of it all.