Craicfest 5k: Cambridge, Costumes and Craft Beer

Giving me a holiday race = giving me the opportunity to not be the ONLY person dressed up! Ha! It is true that I rock a Sparkle Athletic skirt and fun knee-high socks for any run or race, but there is something about a holiday or Disney race that makes me step my game up.

Well the Craicfest 5k on March 16th provided the opportunity for me to turn up the flair ... and break out as much green as possible! ;)


The inaugural Craicfest 5k was put on by Cambridge 5k and Race Director Eddie O.

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Selfie with the Race Director Eddie

It was the first in a six-race series for 2014.


If there is one thing that sets Cambridge 5k races away from the rest (besides amazing local craft beer at the Finish - the obvious), it would be the uber comfortable race t-shirts. I LIVE in my Cambridge 5k series tees.

Now as many of you know I am training for an April marathon, which mean the day before Craicfest would be a long run ... 17.2 miles to be exact. So on the day of the race I had NO idea what my legs would have left in the tank.


As always, I was ready to have a fun time with my Team Slumbrew Happy Soles running mates and watch some great dancing at the post-race dance-off. (Oh yeah, Cambridge 5k races always feature a pretty entertaining post-race dance off!)

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I was hoping for a pretty March morning in Boston, but instead got a bone-chilling windy mess of a morning. I can say it was rain and snow free. Ummm silver lining?

So on went the layers!


Kim is also training for Boston and had run 18 miles the day before

I tend to travel light to races (read as: skip bag check) - especially ones that are just a 10 minute drive from my house - so I was actually able to sleep in a little for the 9:30am start. Plus, I wanted to limit my "standing around" time as much as possible pre-race.


Nice to finally meet Danielle - a fellow Boston area blogger & Weight Watchers friend

Team Slumbrew met near where the post-race pouring station would be and caught up. It is crazy to think I have known some of these folks for almost two years - all thanks to our favorite Somerville brewery and running! :)

Just before 9:30 we all headed into the starting area to get the party started. The Start area was a little sunnier - aka about 2 degrees warmer - so I soaked it in.

With so much flair on, I wasn't sure how conducive to running it would really be. I couldn't pass up the extra boa from Amy pre-race.

After chatting it up with familiar faces around me - yes one of my favorite part of local races - the horn went off.

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George & I couldn't contain our excitement

Since I was too distracted talking - shocker :P - I wasn't totally ready to run. But I quickly hit Start on the Garmin and I was off.

I immediately had to have a discussion with myself.

"Self, it is OKAY to be passed. You are not here to PR. You are here to have fun. You cannot PR every race. Are you listening to me? Hello! Oh shiny thing. FOCUS! Just run your race. Then you can have a beer. Okay? Okay!"

And yes that is how it really happened. Your welcome for a glimpse of the crazy that goes on in my head during a run ... and this was only in the first 0.1 mile. Imagine what happened during the Dopey Challenge. ;)

But I digress...

The sun was shining which put Cambridge and Boston in a gorgeous light as we were running. The course ran along the Cambridge Side Galleria Mall and over the Gilmore Bridge. Now this Bridge is really the continuation of Memorial Drive (aka a highway type road that I am using to driving on not running on). I geek out over things like that. As we took a right on the off ramp, I could see the Paul Revere Park in our future. I have never actually run in the park so it was great to see a new part of Cambridge. The paths were clean, windy and wide enough that I didn't feel smooshed by other runners (this may be because I wasn't in the heavy traffic pace of the run).

As we ran through the park, we approached the gorgeous Zakim Bridge. I had to stop and snap a couple photos.

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Well enough of the scenery, time for an in-race selfie.

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Never attractive, but always fun!

I was wicked happy to be seeing about a 7:35-7:50 min/mile pace. As I said, my legs had gone quite a distance the day before.

Just after the photos were taken, we headed up and over the Northpoint Pedestrian Bridge ... which is where this gem of a photo was snapped.


It really does embody my run that day!

Once over the bridge, we did some more weaving and winding through the Northpoint Park. It was nice to be away from the traffic. Many times during local races you are dodging cars, etc - not during this one! Thanks Eddie.

I was starting to get a little tired with about 0.5 mile to go so I started targeting folks in front of me and try picking them off. Now I didn't know if I would actually do it or not, but I needed something to focus on.

And you know what it worked! I passed about 4-5 folks coming down the stretch.


The Finish Line photo definitely isn't pretty, but it was how I was feeling. happy to be clicking Stop on the Garmin.

I immediately turned around to start cheering on my teammates and any other familiar faces I saw. Really I was cheering for everyone with special shouts for folks I recognized.

You know not everyone has someone at the Finish Line, but everyone deserves the cheers!! I'm happy to provide them!

Once the cold stated setting in, it was time to mosey on over to the post-race party and collect a much-needed Slumbrew.


How about that? I will take it. I got 3.2 miles on my Garmin for a 7:35 min/mile pace. But hey, no reason to battle over actual distance... unless he had added an extra 0.5 mile! :P

The wind on the course was BRUTAL! At times I thought I was running in place. (Read: like I was stuck on a treadmill)

With the work done, it was celebration time...

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Slumbrew Ladies

It would've been nice to have warmer temps, but what can you do. We all huddled in the sun as much as possible.


Part of the Slumbrew Happy Soles

As Slumbrew Team Captain, I had the honor to hand out the fun beer gift from our fearless leaders - the Slumbrew founders Caitlin and Jeff.


How cute?

 Now Team Slumbrew Happy Soles tagline is "First to the Finish Beer Line" because we are there for fun, memories and good beer. That being said - we have always wanted to place in the Team category.

And you know what ... we finally did! 3rd place in the Team division! Woo!


Drinking out of the trophy with Caitlin

Despite the chill, it was a fun morning. Eddie does a great job of creating a fun race atmosphere where all are welcome. Plus, the post-race festivites are like no other - 4 local breweries pouring delicious beer, laughs, pictures and a dance off.

What more can you ask for on a Sunday morning?


Did you participate in a St. Patrick's Day race?