Oktoberfest 5k

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.

Eddie is persuasive. He is the man who got me to participate in the Freedom Run 5k less than an hour after finishing the Boston's Run To Remember Half Marathon.

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.

Kim and I immediately headed to the Cambridge Brewing Company pouring station to grab a beer - me a pale ale & Kim the pumpkin - and then to pick up a free pretzel from Swiss Bakers.

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?