My first-ever 5k was March 20, 2005. A local St. Patrick's Day 5k in Somerville. So racing in honor of the St. Patrick's Day holiday is wicked special to me. So the Cambridge 5k Craicfest 5k on March 16 would be the closest race to my 10-year anniversary! It would now hold a special place in my heart.
How did this girl who was once a 235 lb couch potato become a 28-time half marathoner and 6-time marathoner?
How did I become this girl who would do an 18-mile training run on the treadmill the day before the Craicfest 5k?
I can't tell you how I can only tell you I'm wicked happy it happened.
Following that 18-mile treadmill run on Saturday I headed to the Cambridge Side Galleria Mall to collect my special bib. Special bib? Yes I registered for the Season Pass for the 5-race Cambridge 5k series. As a perk of the Season Pass, I received a hat and I was able to choose my own bib number. Hollah!!
Since I had the Season Pass I also lucked out and received the "Early Bird" sign-up gift too: a green Craicfest hat and t-shirt!
I kept my tradition of wearing #82 alive. For those that don't know my Twitter handle is @IrishEyes1982 in honor of being born in - well - 1982! :P
How sweet was that mural? That was one of three murals spray painted in honor of the race. Due to snow the course had to be altered and the after party was pushed indoors. Thank goodness! The race in 2014 was frigid so we all looked forward to drinking beer and enjoying an indoor dance off this year. Eddie, the race director, was able to claim a large portion of one of the floors of the Galleria parking garage to be party central.
With the Galleria just a 10-minute drive from my house, I was able to sleep in/lounge until 8am on race morning. I enjoyed a quick breakfast, loaded up my Tedy's Team bag with my Slumbrew gear and headed to the race.
I am honored to be co-captain of the Slumbrew Happy Soles, which had 100 participants in the race (2nd-largest team). The Slumbrew crew all pitches in so we made sure to get there early to help set up the pouring station.
Oh did I not mention how the Cambridge 5k race series has four local breweries pouring delicious beer and cider post race? My bad! It's amazing.
Just after 9am, we decided to leave the warm parking garage and head up to the Start Area. I met Tedy's Team teammate and fellow Happy Sole up in the food court area so we could head to the Start together.
Page and I each had zero game plan for the run so we planned to run together and catch up. THAT planned worked out well since my Garmin never connected to satellites and I would be running the race "naked" aka no watch.
Amy & I
It's so awesome to be part of the Slumbrew Happy Soles. Everywhere I turned pre-race I had someone to talk with, high-five and wish Good Luck to!
Additionally with so many folks to talk to, the Start always sneaks up on me. Haha. All of a sudden I look over and it's time to goooooo!!
I looked at Page, gave up on using my Garmin and we were off.
The course had to be changed for the race due to the 100+ inches of snow we received this winter, but thankfully it was still a great course. Eddie used the Freedom Run course from 2014, which was flat and fast. Besides a tiny incline at the end, which feels like a hill since the rest of the course is so flat. But we live. :P
Page and I fell into a great rhythm. She was a Cambridge 5k virgin so it was great to experience it with her.
The Course: Runners line-up on Otis St. (between First & Second), then proceed left on Second St., left on Charles St. to CambridgeSide Place, left on Land Blvd to Charlestown Bridge, right on New Rutherford Ave ramp, right on Miller Littoral Way. to trails of DCR Paul Revere Park & DCR Northpoint Park, then left on North Point Blvd., left on East St., right on Cambridge St., left on First St., then proceed to the finish line at the corner of First St. & Spring St.
Since I was Garmin free I really had no idea what our pace was. I also seemed to miss seeing every single mile marker because I was too into our convo. Which is a good thing, right?
I was proud of us. We kept a steady pace and neither of us had a hard time talking/breathing/running. :)
We even had time for a mid-run selfie. I mean it wouldn't be an official race unless I had at least one.
As we took the final right-hand turn and could see the Finish line in the distance, we picked up the pace a little.
Gave the last kick everything we had.
As we crossed the line, I caught a glimpse of the clock. It said 24:47. WOW!! I did NOT expect that.
I gave Page a high-five, swiped a few waters from the awesome volunteers and we headed back to cheer on the other Finishers. Next to running a race, cheering a race is my favorite activity! :)
How awesome is this team costume?
After some cheering, it was time to head back inside for the after party!
I made sure to get my 21+ wristband pre-race so I could get right to the party. Since the Slumbrew Happy Soles were the second-largest team, we had a sweet little VIP area set up next to our pouring station with tables. It was a cool space to hang out with the team and see how everyone's races went. Oh and get all the pics!!
I mean don't we look like a team you want to be a part of?? You too could be part of the a Slumbrew Happy Soles.
This is one sexy group of people!!! We are made up of all ages, fitness levels, paces!
Our only requirement?
Trying your hardest to be first to the BEER line! ;)
With the excitement of the team fun, it took me awhile to realize there were iPads set up in one corner of the party where results were posted. So I finally made my way over there to find out...
Page and I kicked some booty and officially finished in 24:21.
Cheers to that! Especially since we had no concept of our pace during the run itself.
Fun fact I finished the 2014 Craicfest in 24:17. Wicked close to matching that.
After finding out the results, it was time to get back to socializing, enjoying the tunes from the DJ, and getting my food on thanks to Swiss Bakers and California Pizza Kitchen. Oh did I forget to mention the sweet free food post race to go with the sweet free craft beer. Yeah! Match made in heaven.
I think we can all tell from the pictures above that I had one sweet time at this year's Cambridge 5k Craicfest 5k with my Slumbrew Happy Soles.
The race offered: a flat and fast course, water stops, friendly volunteers, great swag, free beer, free food, awesome tunes, a dance party, free race photos, quick access to official results, it benefitted charity (Ahern Family Charitable Foundation) and overall took the runners' needs to heart.
I give the race two big thumbs up and will surely be back in 2016.
Now what is your next opportunity to participate in the Cambridge 5k series? It would be Freedom Run 5k on June 7th... be sure to register under the Slumbrew Happy Soles for an extra good time.