Today's race was my way of supporting the Boston Strong community, having witnessed last years Boston Marathon bombing first hand but unable to gain entry officially or even unofficially in to the 2014 race, the 5km race around the city was the next best thing. This years field was extended to 10k runners to accommodate everybody who wanted to come along and show their support.
The event was really well organised, with parking nearby and swift bib collection and even t-shirt pickup before the race, the only negative was the bitter wind blowing across the common making the 1 hour wait for the start a little more interesting. That said, the sun soon came up and started to warm us all up, prompting me to don my sunglasses in preparation for the off.
The start was a little bit of a mess, with runners asked to self seed themselves, there appeared to be half the field in between the 6 and 7 minute mile markers. Either everybody was aiming for a 21 minute 5km or they perhaps had all forgotten their reading glasses, either way, me being me, I kept my mouth shut and tried not to judge them. I failed at this miserably and so just muttered to myself about how this would never happen if I'd been organising things.
With the race underway, I spent the first half a mile pushing through and navigating around people who perhaps should have been slightly further back but once this was over with the journey down Commonwealth Ave was quite nice. At the 1 mile marker they were handing out water, not sure why for a 5km but they were. I hit this marker around 6 mins 35 seconds in and could start to feel the burn in my lungs as we headed downhill to the turnaround point.
After turning around and heading back up Commonwealth, we were treated to the infamous "Right on Hereford, left on Boylston" directions as we joined the final stretch of the marathon route. As we turned on Boylston (and another water station), we hit the two mile marker with my watch clocking me a 6 min 37 second mile. At this point I thought if I could keep this up I may just duck under the 21 minute marker, which would be fantastic and unexpected.
That wasn't to be though as the tank was almost on empty as I ran down what seemed like the never ending Boylston street, across the finish line and down towards Boston Common. The crowds were now out cheering us on and this helped me push on towards the final turn on to Charles Street. With the finish line in view, a quick glance at my watch saw the 21 minute marker approaching quickly but so too was the finish line...
I crossed in 21 minutes exactly (chip time and 21.03 on my watch), just narrowly missing out [again] but setting a PB all the same which I'm very happy with. Great to have Nikki on the sidelines cheering me on and getting a few shots of me near the finishing post. My lungs and legs were on fire for a few minutes after the race, so I know I had nothing left in reserve and gave it my all.
Now just a small matter of supporting Nikki around the course on Monday, shouldn't cause me too much bother. Good luck darling #BostonStrong!