I hope you all had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend! It feels like it was so long ago now. I spent my Sunday morning on Memorial Day weekend running my second Boston’s Run to Remember race. Last year I ran the half marathon and it was hands down my favorite half to date. This year I was definitely struggling to get my training into gear in time for the race, and as a result I decided to switch to the 5 mile race instead. I was bummed at first because I’ve never had to downgrade or back out of a race before, but I knew I needed to be smart and not risk an injury, especially with the Chicago Marathon on the horizon. I have to say, the experience of running the 5 mile race has me thinking I may do the 5 mile instead of the half marathon again next year. Let me break down why…
Overall this race is organized really well and it’s for a great cause. There’s also a really well done expo the day before. The race location is easy to get to and the course (both half marathon and 5 mile) is flat and enjoyable. All good reasons to love this race overall. This year the 5 mile and half marathon started at the same time, I guess in previous years the two starts are staggered. The weather was overcast and a bit on the cooler side this year, my favorite running weather!
The way the 5 mile course is designed is for about the first 2.5 miles all runners are running on the same course, then there’s a clear section of road where the 5 mile runners break off and cut over to the rest of the 5 mile course and the half marathoners continue on. Essentially it feels like the race goes from 12,000 runners to 10 and the Boston streets are suddenly so much roomier! I definitely did not expect that, I was thrilled. I had decided from the start of the race that if I had to downgrade from the half marathon, I was going to run those 5 miles hard and put everything out there, and opening up the road only made me feel that much better.
The rest of the 5 mile course then travels through Boston’s streets and through the theater district before returning to the seaport. I was pushing my legs throughout the course and luckily had a runner in front of me who was dressed as a Patriots football player, football helmet and all. He was getting a ton of cheers and laughs from the few spectators and walkers that were on the roads that early, and I was enjoying all of the attention he was getting and used it as my own to fuel me along.
Since most of the 5 mile race finishers come in so much earlier than the half marathoners, the crowd was only starting to gather when I came in to finish strong with an official time of 39:34 and a 7:55 pace, though unofficially my gps had me running 5.25 miles in 39:45 at a 7:34 pace and personally the pace felt much more like a 7:34. I was really hoping for 5 mile PR, but not this time I guess – maybe next year!
One thing I remember very well from running the half marathon here last year was after the finish they funnel all runners into the expo center to get medals, water, food, etc. it works well but it gets packed really quickly and can be a bit confusing to know where to get back outside. The other thing I loved about running the 5 mile race, aside from the roads not being busy, was that the expo building was still empty by this time, I was able to wander through and get my medal etc. with hardly anyone in the area, it was awesome!
Afterwards, I met up with a friend to cheer on one of our friends, Elena, who was completing Boston’s Run to Remember as her first half marathon! It was so great to experience that and cheer her on as she was running towards the finish line. I’m so proud of her! Overall I continue to love this race, both the half marathon and now the 5 mile course, and the 5 mile course may have just won me over!