2013 B.A.A. 5K
April, 14 2013
First things first, I am too slow to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Carolyn has taken care of that, so while here in Boston, I signed up for the Boston Athletic Association’s 5K, the first race of the B.A.A.’s Distance Medley series.
The weekend started with the race packet pick-up of course. The marathon packet pick-up was a well oiled machine, a combination of assembly line and Homeland Security, while the 5K was off in a distant lonely room with a couple of friendly volunteers biding their time until they get promoted to the big show. Walking into the tiny room I realized I left my wallet at home when I saw all the massive signs plastered everywhere saying ID required for packet pick-up. I sheepishly walked up to the check-in person and started telling her the whole back story of how I left my wallet at home and didn’t have ID. Halfway through, she cut me off and informed me it was no problem and asked for my name. As she handed me my packet, she asked “Oh yea, can you sign your registration card, I keep forgetting to get people to sign it”. Over at the marathon side, they were asking Carolyn for blood sample and mother’s maiden name.
Today was race morning and cold. I abandoned my University of Arizona short sleeve shirt and opted for long sleeves. We gave ourselves an hour to drive, park and get to the starting area. It took a little over 20 minutes and the bitter cold dissipated. Damn, I should have worn my U of A shirt. The race started in Copley Square. 6,500 runners were crammed into the narrow streets to meandered around the Back Bay. I started in the 8:00 pace corral but if I had any intention of actually running for time, i should have worked my way up to the front. Instead I was back in the pack next to a guy dressed like a jester. I also met a guy from Hermosa Beach wearing a Redondo Beach Super Bowl 10K shirt. I told him how I ran this race in 1993 and he showed me pictures of his buddies and him dressed as salmon running the course backwards in 20 years later. Turns out his house is a block from my old place there. The people you meet in a starting corral.
The race was a series of turn after turn which lead to incessant traffic jams. It was really cool running in Boston but I thought how damn cool it will be tomorrow for Carolyn running from Hopkinton to Copley Square. Looking at my Garmin, I saw my pace fluctuating from 7:35 to over 11:00 but I didn’t care. I was just enjoying being part of a B.A.A event. At mile 2 I saw the jester and while I wasn’t too concerned with my time, I was not going to let a joker beat me and accelerated by him. I weaved my way past him and settled in behind a group five wide that was planning their dinner party for tonight. It was just after that I was passed by a stocky, grey haired New Englander that had no qualms bulldozing through the human barriers I tucked in behind him until the final stretch down Boylston Avenue then sprinted to the finish, the same one the that the 27,000 marathoners will cross tomorrow.
The race was fun and allowed me to check Massachusetts off my 50 Bib in 50s States quest. It also probably is going to be my only opportunity to cross the fabled finish line.