In order to avoid putting everyone to sleep I thought I would break the Boston Marathon weekend up starting with the BAA 5K on Saturday.
If you are old like me you will remember the Freedom Run it was a FREE run around part of the Freedom trail in Boston held the day before the Boston Marathon. A chance for runners, friends and family to run through the streets of Boston. It was pretty casual and you got a cotton T-shirt at the end. Over the last few years that has become the BAA 5K. It’s not free anymore and it has a world class field.
This year they increased the field size to 10,000, the start and finish were moved from the marathon finish line to Boston Common and the race was held on Saturday not Sunday. The up side of the move to Saturday was that running the 5K and the marathon was more realistic, the down side was having to pay for an extra night in a Boston hotel.
The race started at 8:00am and the weather was great. Stephanie Gordon and I were both planning a casual but not too casual run so we did the math and seeded ourselves a little ahead of the 7:00 mile sign. There were two sides to the start and there was some confusion about which side we were supposed to be on.
When the gun went off it took us close to a minute to get to the start line and as soon as I crossed the start line I narrowly avoided running directly into a women who was standing still 10m into the race! The first mile was one big dodge and weave with walkers, small children (although some of those kids are pretty fast!) and runners with earphones everywhere.
Mile two was better from a crowd point of view but we were still passing people left and right. Somewhere around the 1.5 mile mark the course turned onto the Marathon course just in time for us to run through the underpass at the 41K mark of the race (if you have run Boston you know and hate that underpass). The course then continued on down Boylston, through the finish line and back to Boston Common.
The crowds were great and if you did not have to wiggle through all the people this has the potential to be a fast course. The winner, Dejen Gebremeskel, (who one assumes got to start at the front) ran 13.26 and the top 10 men all finished well under 14 minutes.
Stephanie and I finished together in 20.27 which was faster than I expected. I would do t again and I think the start and finish in Boston Common is a good idea. If they are going to allow 10,000 again next year real corals would be a great addition. It will be interesting to see if they move the race back to Sunday next year.