A few weekends ago I ran the B.A.A. Half marathon being the third half marathon I ran in three weeks. This race was super organized and very fun and here is my recap about it!
First off this is a somewhat difficult race to get into. It is a lottery system but you have to get online the second the registration opens and normally it fills up with in a couple of minutes. My brother went on 15 minutes after registration opened and it was already full. So that is one thing to keep in mind if you do want to sign up for it. Get on right at the time they tell you to and make sure you don't have a slow internet connection!
Once you do your registration you then will get and email saying that have received your registration and you will hear back shortly to see if you have gotten in. They then send you a conformation email that you are officially in.
So I did this back in July, and then didn't hear anything until about a month or so before the race. I hadn't looked anything up about getting my number or really what to do so I was glad when I got the email to confirm my address because they were sending my number and race information! I love when I don't have to go somewhere extra to pick up my number. I love running expos but getting your number sent to your house and the only thing you have to do is go to the race is great!
Course Map, a bit hard but not too bad!
This is the stuff that came in the packet, it explained basically everything you needed to know about the day!
Finally it was race day, I got up around 4 and got my stuff ready and left by 5:30 to head up to Boston. I was planning on parking in the UMASS Boston parking lot and then taking the shuttle bus over to the race. There is limited parking over by Franklin park so this is what was recommended to do. My brother ended up getting a number from someone so I was going to meet him and his friends there, they were getting dropped off at the start.
It only took me about an hour to get up to Boston and parking was super easy to get to. I got right off the highway and then there where signs to park. I parked hung out in the car for a bit because it was cold and then hopped on a bus to head to the start line. The bus ride was about 15-20 minutes long. After we got dropped off I headed to the bathroom before the lines were too long and waited for my Brother. I could pick my t-shirt up before or after the race and decided to do it while I was waiting and then check my bag. The T-shirts are very cute and comfortable however they are unisex. I got a small and it is still very big on me but nice because I can wear something under it.
I went over to bag check they were handing out white plastic Adidas bags to throw your stuff in and then you were to put it under this tent that was marked off by number corrals. This was a bit strange and didn't seem super guarded, and everyone's bag looked exactly alike and there were tons!
I met up with my brother and his friends and then we headed over to the corrals. They were by time so you were to just get in wherever you felt comfortable. We headed over a little late and had to slip through the gate that was holding all the people in. I would say for anyone doing it try to get to the start line when they first start calling you or you will have to climb the gate or find a spot you can fit through. However it ended up being fine.
There were four waves we were in the third and ended up starting about five minutes after the first start. I was very worried about this because it said in the race packet you needed to finish in 2:30 and that time started when the first runner crossed the start line. That is not true though the time was around 2:25 when I finished and there were many runners still behind me so don't let that scare you.
Then we were off! The race announcer kept saying as we crossed the start line take it easy in the beginning because there were hills at the end you needed to save yourself for. For once I listened, I took it easy starting out not letting the people around me intimidate me. The beginning of the race was pretty easy with lots of fan support. You headed along one road for about four miles and then went around a cone and headed back down the other directions then veered off. It was kind of run to run one way and have runners run the other way. I thought this was going to stink but I liked it. It happened later on in the race again too. It keeps you motivated to keep going.
Continuing on I didn't notice any serious hills just gradual ones, but taking it easy in the beginning was a good idea. I headed along and before I knew it I was at the dreaded mile ten which ended up being fine I felt great and pretty soon we were headed into the zoo which is close to the end. One part of the race I DID NOT like was when we were in the zoo we had to circle around and head out. At this point we had to all shuffle down this little dirt path. There were a lot of people so all of a sudden we came to a complete stop. Not the best thing! It shorted out quickly but wasn't the best when you are in a groove and almost done. Once you headed out of the zoo you hit the 20k mark and then an 800 yards to go mark and then a 400 yards to go mark. Between 800 and 400 yards seemed like a mile though not my favorite! But then we were done! Yay my 5th half marathon since May finished! I was so excited!
Then we got our awesome medals!
This is a terrible picture but I will add it anyway! After the race you enter an area that has some water, Gatorade and food, however once you leave that area and go to get your bag you are not allowed to enter it again. I thought this was a bit strange since you wanted to get your stuff to stay warm but that's ok. I grabbed a few waters and Gatorade and headed to get my things. In the bag area there was only one way in and then once you got your bag they checked your number on your bag with your bib on your way out.
I then met up with my brother hung out for a bit and then started to head back to my car.
The line for the bus back was wicked long so my brothers friends nicely offered to give me a ride back so I can't say how long that took to get back.
Over all I loved the race and will do it again next year. However in 2014 I plan on doing the distance medley. They have a 5k, 10k and half and you get a medal for completing all three, and you know how I like medals! Now off to watch the Red Sox!
Go Red Sox! Boston Strong!
QOTD: Who do you want to win the World Series??!!