April 18, 2015
Ok guys, it’s marathon weekend in Boston and this race takes you over the finish line, so everything else about it could have been terrible and it still would have been the best 5k ever, but it’s not: this is a really great race.
The course is an out and back from Boston Common, and the back takes you down Boylston street for the last half mile of the marathon, through the finish line, before finishing back in the Common. I’m from the Boston area but I’ve never run the marathon, and I haven’t been back for marathon weekend since before the bombing, so running this race was emotional for me.
I think running along this final stretch of the marathon would have moved me no matter what: there is something magical about a marathon finish line and Boston is no ordinary marathon. But finally running these streets of my hometown that I’d seen so harmed, with a group of people who, I have no doubt, were also thinking about the tragedy and violence in 2013 but at the same time were radiating such joy and excitement for something as pure as a road race, was moving and exhilarating. God help me whenever I actually do this marathon; I’m going to be a total mess.
This race is perfect for anyone like me who wishes they were running the marathon (so every runner not running the marathon). It was a great way to be a part of the marathon festivities, and getting to sport the BAA 5K blue and yellow finisher shirt and medal definitely makes you feel like you earned some of the excitement.
The race is a short walk from the marathon expo which I highly recommend visiting. This was the best expo I’ve ever been to. I was totally nerding out at all the gear booths and in heaven over all the free samples at the nutrition booths.
I saw Dick Hoyt at the Team Hoyt booth, which was incredible since he is such a legend. There was even a Sam Adams booth (yes, it was open at 10:30am; no, I didn’t have any). I walked around for an hour and a half looking at everything and smiling like a goof …and buying stuff – I’m a sucker for an expo.
I didn’t have a 5k PR in the books before this race which clocked in at 28:15. I look forward to trying set a new one next year.
Race Price: 3– Listen, $50 is high for a 5k, but for this race, I say – totally worth it.
Organization: 4– Great signage, great volunteers, great crowd control. The one thing you should know is that runners chose their pace corral and many were clearly optimistic. If you’re running for time, move yourself forward a little. I put myself in the 9 minute corral but hung back in the corral because I though I might be like 9:30 but ended up having a lot of walkers in front of me.
Level of Communication: 5– Great! Not too many emails which is nice, and they sent me my finish time after the race, which I love. Oh, and did I mention the mailed me my bib so I didn’t have to pick it up anywhere? I wish more races would do this but then every 5k might be $50, so…
Race Course: 5– Great. Mostly flat, fast, out and back course. Oh yeah, and you cross the Boston Marathon finish line like a champion. So cool.
T shirt: 5– Super cute BAA branded shirt!
Medal: 4– It’s small and simple, but I’ve never gotten a medal at a 5k before, so it gets extra points for just existing.
Post Race Swag: 5– So good. We got a nutrition bag with more food then I got at the end of the NYC marathon plus bottles of water and Gatorade and pears. There were some cool things in the bag too including a little bag of craisons and King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls. I love free food.
Spectator Support: 5– There were spectators all along the course. Vocal spectators. Good job Boston.
Overall Score: 4.5