Before coming to Boston I had completed a half marathon in Indiana(3), Alaska, California, and Wisconsin. I have a goal of completing 50 half marathons in all fifty states before I turn 50. A modest task if I do say so myself. Now I'm still recovering from a pulled calf injury I had from over a month ago. Did not participate in the Minnesota half marathon because of it. So I couldn't really train as much as I would like to have. Luckily I had my November Project Chicago tribe to keep me motivated.
I still could do some core workouts with very limited running. A week before the Boston Michelob 13.1 I visited my doctor to see if I got the green light to go ahead and do the race. After an hour examination I received the go ahead. Feeling confident I knew I wasn't going to break any PR's but at least I had the opportunity to finish the race.
So hear I am flying into Boston on a cool Friday morning. I leave the airport to find out there is a free shuttle bus that will drop me off in dowtown for free. Loving this already. I walk around the city for bit before I hit Harpoon Brewery. Needless to say that was one of the highlights of the trip. Stumbling to the bus stop I headed back to downtown to view some historical sites before going to City Sports for the packit pickup. Now I was kinda of shocked to see an athletic store host a half marathon. Usually because of the number of registered runners it would been an a convention center or something. I guess it wasn't gonig to be much of a crowd come race day.
Went towards the rear of the store to find some helpful people at the registration table. I was asked to enter my information in a tablet that gave me my bib number which I gave to the volunteers. With bib number in hand I proceeded to the race shirt area. Within five minutes I got what I came for. Easy peasy. I wish all half marathon packit pickups were efficient like that.
Walked around some more before heading to Weymouth, MA to stay with my good friend. Looking at the race information I noticed the race started and ended in front of a horse race track, Suffolk Downs. I thought hey that's pretty cool. Never had a race do that before. I was looking forward to this on Sunday.
I was dropped off at the race location only to see the horse race track complex not to be what I expected. It almost had a feel of being a non profressional track. Kinda like a second rate carnival. Once going inside I was not suprised to see the condition of said venue. Saw so many trip on themselves because of the unleveled floors. Getting to the gear check was simple and once again the volunteers were helpful.
Outside the starting and finishers corral were set up. They had a horse starting gate nearby for runners to take pictures with it. The weather was cool. The sun was ready to shine brightly without a cloud in the sky. It was almost time to start the race. I headed towards the corral and noticed there seemed to be only several thousand runners. This might be the race where I come in last and to be honest I was okay with that. My goal for this race was just to finish and if I can do it in under three hours all the better.
After the National Anthem was sung it was time to start the race. First the 5k runners started in the opposite direction then five minutes later it was the half marathoners turn. I started my tunes, activated my Endomondo race tracker and it was go time. I wanted to start with a 12 minute pace or so. I have a habit of starting way too fast in the begining. I held back for the first three miles. The course was fairly flat with only a couple of slight hills every now and end. Around mile 7 through 11 was a great view of the oceanside beach. There weren't many onlookers by my pace but the one who were I gave a wave. They stuck around.
Kudos the bagpiper and drummer around mile 4 going into the trail. At mile 9 I felt my body tell me...you've done pretty good with little or no training for this race...Im going on shut down mode now. Gutting it out I walked when I had to and jogged to push through. I will say this about this race. The majority of the runners are FAST!!! Very impressed usually half marathons have a good number of walkers and run/walk particpates. Not this race....99% runners. The end of the race looped back to the horse track. I chatted with other people going at my pace. Very nice people with their own reasons to run. There it was I finally saw the finish line. Quads tired, calf muslces tight, right foot hurting...I kept at it to the very end. and presto I finished my seventh half marathon!!!
I didn't stick around for the free beer well because it's Michelob. I went back to Harpoon Brewery the next day. ;)
So if you're thinking of doing a half marathon in Boston this one would be the one to do. Fairly flat course, helpful volunteers and you can visit Harpoon Brewery before and after the race.
Until we lace up those shoes,