I have a confession to make. I, Dani Holmes-Kirk, am a Cambridge 5k race series addict.
That's right. I feel safe to admit that here to all of you.
The race director, Eddie O, is one of the nicest and most-dedicated folks I have met. When he asks for race feedback, he actually wants to know and you know what implements change. I tip my hat to him for that.
So when Eddie invited me to participate in his Oktoberfest 5k on Sunday, October 6th of course I had to say yes. Twist my arm sir! Twist my arm! ;)
I headed to Jacob Wirth in Boston on Thursday (October 3) to pick up my bib/shirt...
... and get photo bombed apparently! :P
On Sunday morning I woke up for the race and it was raining. Oh yay! Well rain or shine I run so I got into my usual Slumbrew gear, which I wear to all Cambridge 5k races, and the wife set off to drop me at the run.
Since Slumbrew wasn't actually pouring at this race's post-race party, we didn't have an official team. What was this Slumbrew captain to do pre-race without a team to organize? Well, wander around and run into friends of course. Even with over 1800 runners registered, I still managed to run into my girl Kim pre-race. :)
Thankfully I travel light (when my wife isn't there to hold things for me :P) so I was able to skip the baggage claim. Buutt the wristband line was a different story. Unfortunately there was a line down the block for people to get the necessary wristband to access the post-race party and more importantly the beer. I am not one to wait in long lines so I bagged it and said if necessary I would just skip the post-race party rather than stand in line for one guy to check my ID. Hopefully they can figure out a better method for next year's race.
It was sprinkling before the race, but thankfully I had actually brought a throw-away long-sleeved tee so I actually felt decently warm. After running into other friends and Slumbrew running mates, we headed to the Start Corral. I didn't know what my legs would produce after the 8.7 mile run the day before to hit 900 miles run for the year. But I set myself up closer to the front since the Corral was looking mighty tight.
Eddie is one thing if not prompt and we were off right around 9:30am.
It was great seeing so many costumes out on the course. People really get into the themes when it comes to the Cambridge 5k series and I love it.
I also love seeing how large yet small the running community is. Without fail, I show up to a race and see many familiar faces! I love the love of running in this area of the country.
There were a good number of volunteers and police officers lining the course since we were running around Kendall Square in Cambridge and the streets were open to cars. Thankfully I didn't experience any cars getting in my way, but I know some of my fellow runners did.
The course was pretty flat, which was nice. It was a tad slippery due to the rain, but overall not too treacherous.
I was happy to look down at my Garmin at the halfway mark and see I was keeping about a 7:30ish min/mile pace on tired legs. I wasn't going to PR, but I wasn't looking to. I just wanted to get out there and enjoy the run, the costumes and the energy. Deep right? :P
But, as I rounded the last corner to enter the Finish shoot, I tried to step it up a notch. Mainly because there was a guy next to me trying to out run me at the end. Well, I would've passed him, but I was blocked just before the Finish by someone trying to avoid a puddle. Really sir? You are like 2 feet from the Finish - just step in the puddle. ;)
Anyway, I was happy with my Finish. I ended up with a 23:20 (7:31 min/mile pace) and a 273 finish out of 1,679 overall.
My girl Kim set a blazing PR with a 23:40 race. Go Kim!! We grabbed a water and headed over to the post-race party.
It was at that time I battled to get my ID out of my armband so I could get the appropriate wristband. Thankfully we finished early enough that the line to get into the party was light and I could get the wristband I needed then from the 2 people checking IDs/wristbands.
Mmmm beer and pretzels!
We chatted with Lauren B from KIND Snacks - who is super sweet and helped me do that giveaway on my blog earlier this summer - and grabbed a free bar of course. :)
As we headed back towards the Beer tent, the post-race party area was getting crowded as more and more finishers joined in. I am not one that likes being cramped in with people so I decided to bid Kim farewell and head home.
The weather was a factor that day as many runners tried to cram under the beer tent to try and stay dry, which gave off the cramped feeling.
I hear the post-race party and dance off were epic as always, but this time I was okay being in the warmth of my house while it happened. I'm sure I would've stayed had Slumbrew been in attendance. I love hanging with my team.
Thankfully Team Slumbrew will be reunited for the next Cambridge 5k race - Yulefest 5k in Harvard Square on December 1.
Did you run in the Oktoberfest 5k? Did you dance your pants off?