Sunday, May 24, 2009
Boston Police Department Run to Remember - 5mi - 46:18
The Boston P.D. Run to Remember certainly was. The race is in honor of Massachusetts police officers killed in the line of duty and brought out close to 8,000 people. You can choose between a half-marathon or 5-mile run. I decided on the 5-mile and had an absolute blast.
The run started at the Seaport World Trade Center and went through the North End, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, around Boston Commons and back to the Seaport. It was very well organized and had an amazing amount of people on the street cheering you at every turn. The morning could not have had better weather and the city was shining.
The day started a little hectic. I drove to Boston yesterday morning to register and pick up my bib, timing chip and swag bag. I couldn't make it back to Boston last night, so set my alarm for 6 am. The alarm went off as scheduled, but I fell back asleep. I woke up around 6:45 and freaked out knowing it was an 8:15am start. I was showered, dressed, on the road, drinking coffee and pumping gas by 7:00 and on the Pike by 7:20. I never really looked at the speedometer, but was off the South Boston exit (Exit 25) by 8:20 and snuck into a "permit only" parking spot by 8:25 (figured no officer was gonna ticket me at this race). Gratefully, the race started 11 minutes late (Thank you, Lord) and I was there at the exact time the gun went off.
There is an excitement you feel running in a race with thousands of other people that is tough to explain. I seemed to run the first two miles with less effort than any other race I've done. My pace was right at my personal best for the first 5k but I felt as though I was exerting half the effort. I think the flatter terrain, the thousands of people cheering you on and the sense that this was much more than a race to many of the people running alongside you made it that much easier to push through any potential wall.
Many people had shirts on with names of officers who have been killed in the line of duty. They were running alone, in small groups or in herds. No matter who you were, it was difficult to not feel the pride everyone had to be competing in it. The coolest part of the race was the finish. For the final quarter mile, people were ten deep lining the streets. I finished stronger than I had ever finished any race and I know it was solely because of the support from everyone in attendance. After crossing the finish line, you went into the expo center where thousands of bagels, oranges, water bottles, gatorade and smiling(and sweaty) faces awaited. Each competitor was awarded a medal and an experience they won't forget.
In the end I ran a time of 46:18. This was by far my best time yet. Out of the 1836 people who competed in the 5-miler, I finished in the front half in 782nd. This was still 135th/203 for my age division, but definately a step in the right direction. If I can get to a point where I am running this pace in October's marathon, than I should finish right around four hours. That would be well ahead of my goal of finishing under 4:30:00.
Following the race,my medal and I took a quick $25 shower (needed to purchase a day pass) at one of the Boston Sports Clubs and had a victory brunch with a friend on Newbury St. I couldn't ask for a better day and can't wait to take on the half-marathon next year!
After taking it easier this week, this race was perfect because it has inspired me to push it a little bit more this week. My pace was at 9:16/mile and I know I can push it harder and faster in next weekend's race - the Iron Horse 10k in Simsbury.
The official photos of the event are here.