Historically the BAA 5k is held the day before the Boston Marathon. In 2013, I used it as my way to shake the legs out before the BIG SHOW. Hey, I am going to do about 2 miles anyway might as well get a medal and free snacks. Right?
Now in 2013, I employed my BFF Sarah to run with me. The goal? Slow me down.
One thing I have learned through the years of running is that I suck at pacing myself to a slower race unless I am nursing an injury. So Sarah was by my side to keep me in check.
But in 2014, she moved to Maine. *Harumph* So I had no pacer. I thought I could meet up with a couple of friends before the 5k to run with but the crowds were too thick for us to meet up.
Let's back it up a tad.
I hit up the Boston Marathon Expo on the Friday before the BAA 5k on Saturday morning.
My wife being the awesome person that she is was nice enough to drop me off at the race so I could avoid parking, the T and bag check. :)
While I wandered around the Start area I made sure to see where my correct corral would be.
Oops I think I lined up just a tad quicker than usual, but I thought I would help pace the elites in. ;)
I kiiiid I kiiiid.
After apparently entertaining the folks around me with my selfie skills, I headed over to the pre-race meeting location to snap a pic with my Run Disney friends.
Thank you interwebs for bringing all these folks into my life. Per usual, I got caught up in conversation before realizing the race was starting shortly and we should probably move towards the Start corrals.
Now normally the BAA 5k started and ended at the Boston Marathon Finish Line on Boylston St, but with a larger field after what happened at the 2013 Marathon they relocated the Start/Finish to Boston Commons. I actually liked having a larger area to meet and stretch, etc. But it was odd not starting on that historic mark.
I started moving over to the Start Area texting with Angry Julie to see if we could meet up to run together, but oh boy. The Start corrals were a zoo. There was little policing and the crowd just tried to smoosh in wherever they could. Hopefully next year there are more volunteers to help the participants line up.
I did get to meet a blog reader while heading into the corrals, which is always a treat. :)
There were wonderful and moving speeches prior to the race as the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings were remembered. You could feel an electrifying energy within the crowd and I was soaking it all in. I was ready to run.
After doing that run-walk-jog thing you do before you actually hit the Start Line in a crowded race, we hit the Start Line and it was time for some weaving. Now I know it is not the best use of energy, but folks weren't lined up with their correct pacing groups since the corrals weren't policed so I had to get around. I didn't want to trip over anyone two days before Boston.
Oh that's right because of Easter Sunday the race was moved to the Saturday before the Marathon instead of the day before.
I could feel my legs wanting to let go. I could feel the nerves for Sunday bubbling up, but I tried to run smart. I tried to hold back.
It was really hard not having someone next to me keeping me in check. Okay I am an adult I should be able to do it myself, but I get so swept up in the crowds and excitement.
The course weaves through the streets of Boston, which were beautiful at that time of morning.
When we hit the second mile we were taken on to Boylston Street.
It was an amazing sight as the streets were already decorated for Monday's Marathon. Plus, it brought back the emotions from last year's trip down Boylston.
We had the opportunity to run under the Finish Line set-up, which is such a symbolic scene.
After crossing the Finish Line, I ended up meeting up with my friend Andrew. We chatted our way through the last 1/2 mile of the race. My pace was in the high 7's at that time, which I didn't mean to happen. But I figured if it was at the end it wouldn't be that bad, right?
The medals were there in all of their glory. One for me to celebrate my accomplishment. My third-straight BAA 5k was in the books.
I happily grabbed my medal and headed back to the Finish Line to cheer on the other runners.
I officially came in at 25:08 - definitely faster than I wanted, but I knew I would be taking the day completely off on Sunday.
The atmosphere was buzzing post-race. While I walked to the meeting place to be picked up, I even noticed there was live music. :)
Overall, the race was well organized (besides the Start corrals), offered ample post-race snacks and water and had great volunteer support along the course. I always recommend this race to friends and will continue to. I just hope they get a little better at the Start, if they choose to host the 5k at Boston Commons again in 2015.
After going home and getting cleaned up, I headed back into town for the #BostonRunSocial tweetup/meetup at Back Bay Social Club I had organized.
Thanks to folks for showing up!!