Ever want to wake up, roll out of bed and be at the Start Line of the race in a matter of 8 minutes?
I had the pleasure of doing that very thing this morning! My BFF Sarah, my Tedy's Team teammate and friend Page and I took part in the 19th Annual Herring Run 5k... which happened to take place at the end of my street.
Oh yeah you read that right. Talk about accessibility!
The annual Herring Run and Paddle includes a 5K run/walk race, three paddling races (3, 9, and 12 miles), educational booths, children's activities, and more. All events are held at the DCR Blessing of the Bay Boathouse in Somerville. The 5K course continues along the Mystic River bike path and through DCR Torbert MacDonald Park. There are no street crossings on this flat course.
In addition to the 5k run, there were 3 paddle races (kayak or canoe) a person can take part in. You can run the 5k on its own, do any of the 3 paddle races on their own OR do the 5k and one of the paddle races as a combo. If you don't have a canoe or kayak, you can rent one.
We opted to stay dry and do the 5k only.
The pre-race vibe was very family friendly and had some great snacks on hand (hello Dunks)! Sarah and I scoped out the shirts, while Page registered. Sarah and I had picked up our bibs the previous day at Sports Authority at Assembly Row. Since t-shirts were to be picked up on race day, we took the chance that there would be enough post-race. I wasn't in the mood to try and run with a t-shirt in my hand.
After Page quickly registered, we got in line for the port-o-potties. Yes we had all gone before leaving the house, but it's safe to go again. Plus, Sarah is pregnant so nice to give her as many opportunities as she needs. :)
The Start Area is wicked low-key. We started gathering with about 10 min to go before the race would start (9am).
The BFF and I were excited to get one final race in together before she leaves in 2 weeks for Utah. :/
I loved the small local feel of the race. The "corrals" were papers held up by my friends Dani and Scott.
I was going to move up to the 6:30 corral, but thought I'd hold it back for the ladies. :P Hahaha. Ahhh I crack myself up.
We did opt to line up just ahead of the 8:30 pace.
Now the race was taking place on my everyday running path so I had an advantage. I knew the course. :P I was ready to win... or just not fall on the little bump in the middle of the path just after the Start. :)
The race announcer gave a quick thanks for all of us running for the Herring and all of a sudden there was a countdown and we were off.
"Corral 1" aka the people right at the Start Line flew down the path followed by a bunch of adorable kids. These kids were blazing past us. Followed by quite a few parents trying to catch up.
This little kid was absolutely adorable and was bobbing and weaving through the crowds. I hoped when I took this pic that I didn't come off as a creeper.
It was great to see how each year the race adds little improvements. This year? Mile markers! I was so into our convo that I totally forgot to snap one. #BloggerFail
Mile 1: 8:08
It was awesome to enjoy this run with two of my favorite running partners. They had never met before so extra great to see the convo flow easily between the three of us. :)
Just after the Mile 1 marker there was a great water stop with another right across the path from it, which would work well just before the Mile 2 mark. Great thinking on the race directors part as it was a hot one this morning and there were a lot of families out running and walking.
As we came back around after taking the Mile 2 loop along the Mystic River, we saw a ton of kids enjoying the walk with their friends and families. Absolutely adorable. Again I should've snapped a pic. Man I epically failed in the pic department.
Mile 2: 8:11
I knew I had to snap a selfie or the race never happened. Thankfully these two ladies are both used to my running antics and are both PROS at the mid-run selfie.
I mean - just flawless. Am I right? :)
The course has little elevation, which makes for a fun and flat course. We were not worried about pacing, outside of making sure Sarah was breathing properly and able to talk while running. Pregnant lady being comfortable during the race was priority #1!
As we came over the bridge on McGrath Highway, we took a right back on to Shore Drive and my neighborhood. We had maybe half a mile to go. It was around this time that we speculated whether our cheering section - my wife, Sarah's husband and my niece - would be at the Finish Area in time to see us cross. We had high hopes for them!
Mile 3: 8:22
After passing the Mile 3 marker, we passed the outstanding Herring car! How cool?
Just after this, we saw our cheering section on the left. The wife was even able to snap a few action shots.
We waved to our fans (haha) and headed towards the Finish. In the last minute, we decided to do a leap over the Finish line. BUT a gentleman seemed to have another idea and thwarted our plan.
I was bummed that the BFF was blocked, but Page's leap is on POINT.
I'm not sure how our Finish places were determined, but I must've crossed the Start a moment earlier than Sarah and Page. :P
After some high-fives and sweaty hugs from the cutest toddler around, we quickly headed over to pick up some post-run snacks and our t-shirts (there were plenty left)!!
We weren't able to hang out too long as Sarah had to get to med school graduation and Page and I had to get to the Slumbrew Fun Run!
Quick thanks to blog reader and volunteer Sheila for saying hi after the run!!
Overall the race was a blast. It is extremely family friendly and raises money for a local cause. Next year I am going to have to hang around for the paddle races... maybe even get the wife to take part! ;)