On July 4th, I ran in the first ever Harvard Pilgrim 10k road race at Patriot Place. Over 2,500 people ran in this 10k event, which culminated with the finish line on the 50 yard line at Gillette Stadium. It was a hot and humid morning, and I was one of a half-dozen people I "know" participating, including my brother and his wife.
I was pretty excited to run this race. Having already finished a race at Fenway this year, I simply could not pass up the opportunity to run into yet another New England sports arena in the same year. Now if only I could find a race that finishes in the garden, I'd be all set!
The race started at 9, and man was it already hot. My younger brother, on a good day, when he's been running frequently, runs sub 8:00 times, informed me that he had been out of practice, and was simply looking to run under a 9:00 pace. This was perfect. I was shooting for something under marathon pace (08:57ish).
We pushed out a little fast. I'm beginning to dislike the start of these races that have a large crowd. It's always difficult to find a decent pace, and I feel rushed in the first mile. Anyways, by mile 3-4 we were cruising. A couple of times I said I was going to slow down, but didn't. By mile 5 it was actually him asking me to slow down. I'd be lying if I said that a small part of me wasn't beaming with pride at the fact that I was now outrunning my younger, much faster brother. Ahh, the benefits of consistency and training!
The course itself was kind of boring. The first mile was running out of the stadium. Mile two had us running through condo construction and some kind of not-so-scenic streets. The route was deemed as 'flat' although I swear it felt uphill for the most part. The coolest thing, which made the race as far as I'm concerned, was the finish.
As we turned into the stadium and through the entry tunnel, we could see the giant inflatable Patriots helmet at the end of the entryway. We got to run through that and on to the field toward the 50 yard line finish. That was AWESOME! I was jumping and waving my arms in a silly attempt to get the crowd fired up. It was that good of a time.
Anyways, finished with an overall time of 52:48, for an average pace of 08:30. Well below my marathon pace. Toward the end I actually felt like I could have pushed it and maybe broken 50:00, but I wanted to stay with my brother. When I was getting back into running last year, he and his wife Ashley were hugely supportive. They encouraged me to run road races, and set me off on this course of running a road race every month.
I personally feel like I owe them a huge thanks for getting me going in the right direction.
I'll close with a couple pictures from the event.
Until next time: run, run, run!