The Boston Run To Remember race is a staple in my Memorial Day weekend since moving back to Boston in 2012.
The first year back in town I ran the 5-miler, but realized it wasn't enough of my city to see... so since then I've done the Half Marathon to really soak in the awesomeness of my home! ;)
This totally means that we can never go out of town over Memorial Day weekend, but who really like traveling on a holiday weekend anyway. :P
For 2016, I would be running with my girls Page and Jenn. I really can't thank Tedy's Team enough for bringing these girls into my life.
Look at this sexy crew! I am wicked lucky to call these people my friends.
Since we had zero time goal, we didn't have a problem ending up in the final wave to start. Now Jenn's sister was shooting for a sub-2 half. Once we ended up in the final wave I thought that might be tough since we would not be in a space to get into a normal pace groove for the first few miles. One of the setbacks of racing in the small roads of Boston.
We would try our best to get her to that sub-2, but I knew the early miles would put her behind pace. But if nothing else we would make sure she - and all of us - had a good time.
And what would help with that???? PICTURES!!!! ;)
I think we all know I love some mid-race photos. YAY!!! We found Heather during the first two miles for the second year in a row!!! :)
Since we stopped to take photos and for Jenn to have a port-o-potty break, we lost Jenn's sister. It then became our mission to find her again.
Mile 1: 10:36
Mile 2: 9:23
Mile 3: 8:59
Mile 4: 10:15
YES! I love this turnaround spot of the race as I tend to spot multiple friends either ahead or behind me. Oh Memorial Drive. I heart you!
Now the next mile is the most emotional of the entire race as it is lined with cops from all over the State outside of MIT. There are cheers, high-fives, hugs and support from both the cops and the runners. I cry for this entire mile and it motivates me to push on and reminds me why I run this race.
The tears dried and we pressed on. As we run down Mem Drive (as the locals call Memorial Drive), the elite runners are running back towards us. This makes me giddy. I freakin' love watching those speed demons run towards us looking like they are out for a Sunday jog, yet are running 5 min/miles. Plus it gives me another chance to cheer on friends as we continue on.
Thanks Jenn for snapping this pic of Page and I in action.
Mile 5: 8:51
Mile 6: 9:00
Mile 7: 10:52
The turnaround was just after halfway. I get sad when we hit the halfway point of a race because it means our fun is starting to wind down. Lucky for us we were focusing on finding Jenn's sister who had kept a steay pace while we stopped for pics, sneak breaks and potty stops.
Mile 8: 8:47
Mile 9: 10:19
Soon we found ourselves on the home side of Mem Drive and once again I was able to high-five friends I saw and it was time for Page and I to stop and potty break.
Page had my back as she stopped me from running off with toilet paper stuck to my running shoe. Now THAT is a good friend.
We saw some amazing spectators out on the course supporting their friends. So I had no time crashing their sign party.
As we neared the Mass Ave bridge to return to the Boston side of the Charles River, I spotted the magical mile as the last few participants were coming through.
Seriously this sight is one I cannot get over.
As we made our way back over the bridge, we caught up to Jenn's sister who unfortunately was off pace for a sub-2, but was still in good spirits. She even stopped to snap a quick pic with us on the historic Mass Ave bridge.
Oh do I love running with these ladies. They put up with ridiculous photos and I love it.
Page and I got into a bit of a groove and got a little ahead of Jenn and her sister.
I love how Page and I can get into a groove and we never need to discuss pace. We always fall in line together. I guess that is how you know you have good BRF (Best Running Friend).
Mile 10: 9:33
I think people around us on a course probably think we are crazy when we constantly talk about winning the race. But we are winning because in my opinion we are loving every minute of this race. But really we are stressing how unimportant the overall pace is to us.
We finished strong. I love the final few miles through the heart of the Boston as we head back towards the Seaport.
Mile 11: 8:55
Mile 12: 8:57
Mile 13: 8:51
Until the final stretch when a girl decided to cut to her right before actually turning to see I was right thee. I wouldn't have had such issue with it until she didn't apologize as the velcro of her armband caused a rash on my arm. She also loudly exclaimed to her friend (probably because both were wearing headphones and couldn't hear each other) how she just bowled over some girl. I loudly exclaimed: yes yes you did!
The final push of this race is tough. You have to go up a slight incline to the final street, which one its own would be fine, but since you are in the final push it seems like you are trying to climb Heartbreak Hill.
Just as I turned that corner I saw my friend and coworker Kaitlin who had raced the 5-miler with her family.
Page and I pushed down the Seaport, but I swear the Finish Line never got closer. Haha.
FINAL TIME: 2:03:44 (9:27 min/mile pace)
We finally crossed.
What is up with the extra 1/2 a mile there Run To Remember? I guess what is why we felt the Finish Line was never getting closer because we were really on a treadmill adding extra mileage?
If you can't tell, I get excited seeing folks I know at a race and this one had a huge number of friends.
Page and I headed out to quickly snap the same pic we had the year before as we made out way to our celebratory drink.
It was time however for Page and I to get to our post-race beer spot.
Which was the sexy spot of a bar located in the South Statin train station. Thank you Tavern On The Square for having a spot in the train station that is open that early on the Sunday of a holiday weekend.
This year - unlike last year - we weren't the only racers in the area. Hahah!
Overall it was a great race as always with plenty of crowd support, energetic volunteers, a tearful element along the way and loads of smiles. I will do this race every year I am living in Boston. It isn't Memorial Day without participating in the Run To Remember...