How could you NOT be pumped for a 5k when you show up and this is the course view? I mean really?
The 3rd Annual Boston River Run 5k took place along the Charles River on a chilly Sunday morning (11/9).
My alarm went off at 7am on November 9 so I could complete my race ensemble. Yes it was an entire ensemble. I was psyched to try out my new comic book themed Sparkle Athletic skirt and made my whole outfit around it.
Yup - that's a sparkle cape! Big thanks to my wife for sewing it for me the night before. :)
I knew the race was offering ample parking, but for some reason I still got there before 8am - an entire hour before the race started. I am NEVER this early. Maybe it was because I was flying (see what I did there) solo to the race letting my wife stay home and play video games instead. Aren't I nice?
While the temperatures pre-race weren't welcoming, the entire River Run crew (organizers and volunteers) were very warm and friendly.
I picked up my bib and long-sleeved tech t-shirt before scoping out the post-race snack table. Priorities!
I spotted some familiar Nestle Nesquik bottles and got a little excited. But then I saw...
Ahhh maybe the Bunny would be there?!?!?! Unfortunately not, but still happy to see low-fat chocolate milk at the Finish.
On my way back to my car, which was thankfully RIGHT near the Start Area (yay ample parking), I spotted Melissa my Weight Watchers member who would be tackling her first official race! I was psyched for her. We chatted before friends Jaime and Susan joined us. I was the meanie that made us stand outside the car to get acclimated to the chilly weather.
Finally I looked down at my iFit tracker and realized it was quarter of 9 and time to head over to the Start Area. I threw my shirt in the car and we headed over. On the way I found a dollar on the ground and thought it had to be my day. :P
The Boston River Run 5k opted for a two-wave start so those with a 9:30 min/mile pace or faster went in the first wave and the remaining participants went in the second wave. I LOVED the amount of families and pups I saw out for the race.
Susan and I lined up together and discussed our game plans - have fun and Finish. Game plans set. ;)
After photo bombing a couple's cute pre-race photo, it was time to get the party started.
Right off the bat I realized I lined up too far back to start off the race at my pace. Since I could feel in my bones that I wasn't going to PR, I took the opportunity to focus on negative splits.
The entire first mile it felt like my feet were frozen. I wasn't sure if it was a mixture of cold temperatures and my decision to wear racing flats (my ASICS Gel Hyper Speed 6) or what, but it was sort of uncomfortable. I didn't think my stride was very consistent for the first mile.
Mile 1: 7:44
The course was familiar as many of the 5ks I did this summer took place along the Charles River. But with it being November, the leaves were gorgeous colors and the water calm - it was breathtaking.
All proceeds from the race benefited the Andrew Graham Semper Fi Fund Helping Students Succeed, which gives a scholarship annually to a Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School student annually. So the race featured many veterans cheering or participating. It was a great sight to see.
I was trying to snap a selfie with more cape action but my arm is only so long. :P
Mile 2: 7:25
Okay negative splits were in my sights.
Just after passing the Mile 2 marker, I passed a couple and the guy turned to his girlfriend and said: "Did we just get passed by a girl in a cape?"
Why yes sir you did!! Don't hate on my outfit! :) I think he just wanted some of his own sparkle.
After passing that pair, we came to a fork where we could've gone left or right and I followed the folks in front of me who were going right. There weren't any volunteers at the split so I trusted my fellow runners.
Plus there were some green arrows on the ground so I just assumed they were from our race.
Well you know what happens when you assume. :P
We all went the wrong way, which added roughly .08 to our race.
A note from the race organizers:
There was an issue with the race course arrows. They were moved around by a race that took place yesterday without our knowledge. We thought we caught them all until we heard from finishers. The actual course - USATF 3.13 miles is here: http://www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=522222 and does not go behind the VFW. We estimate that this revised course behind the VFW and then over the bridge would have adde ~.08 miles to the course for anyone who went that.
I thanks the race organizers for recognizing the mishap and addressing it. I am not sure what percentage of the racers went the wrong way, but I feel like it was a majority since we were all following each other. Haha.
As we approached the Mile 3 marker (where my Garmin already had me past 3 miles - see wrong turn above), there was a group of very energetic volunteers! These high schoolers were taking their cheering duties seriously and I appreciated their efforts.
Photo courtesy race photogs (for free)
Mile 3: 7:23
Down the line there was a teenage girl near me and my goal was just to beat her. It is the little things that help you turn up the speed at the end of a race.
I opted for a leap across the Finish.
Photo courtesy race photogs (for free)
Official Finish Time: 24:12
Now the race is basing the pace on the 3.1 miles, but I knew it was closer to 3.21 so pace is actually faster. My Garmin officially clocked me at 3.24 for the race.
Second place in my age group - ahhhh!! I wish they had our ages on our calves like in triathlons so I had an idea that I was so close to winning my age group. Oh well... it is still amazing to be in Top 2!
Once my race was done, I grabbed a water and low-fat chocolate milk and headed back to the Finish shoot to cheer on my girls.
Jaime (left) and Melissa (right)
I was SOOOO proud of my Weight Watchers members (Jaime and Melissa) for rocking the race! It was an honor to be there cheering for them, snapping photos and high-fiving them as they finished. :)
I love being near a Finish Line, plus the kids are adorable when you cheer for them.
Once everyone finished, we headed over to the Raffle table. I was taking my lucky dollar all the way to a prize. Or so I thought.
You had to be present to win your raffle prize so I waited through all of them ... and didn't win! Boo!
The Boston River Run 5k raised over $30,000 that day between the race and the raffle. Absolutely amazing. That will be one amazing scholarship.
It was a pleasure being part of the 3rd annual Boston River Run 5k - even with the route mishap. The race organizers and volunteers were friendly. The waterstop just before Mile 2 was well-staffed. The course was flat. Free race photos. Long-sleeved tech shirt.
All in all a race that I would certainly run again.
Can you tell my excitement?
Will you join me for the Boston River Run 5k in 2015?