About a week ago I ran the B.A.A. 5k the first part of the B.A.A. Distance Medley. For those who are unfamiliar with the B.A.A. Distance Medley this is a three race series through out the year a 5k, 10k and half. If you complete them all you get a special distance medley medal at the end of the half in the fall. You can sign up for all three in January or you can hope you are lucky and get into the races when registration opens. I have chosen to try my luck!
Moving right along My Mom and I signed up for the 5k a few months ago which took place the Saturday of Marathon weekend. I had been looking forward to this race since I signed up. I knew the city would be buzzing with the excitement of the marathon and I was also looking forward to going to the marathon expo!
If you read my blog on the B.A.A. Half (click the link if you haven't!) The numbers were sent out to you the same way a few weeks before the race. Like I had mentioned then and still feel the same way I love this part of the B.A.A. races. I love running expos but picking up your number the day before a race when the venue is not super close can sometimes be a pain.
The race started at 8am so we headed up pretty early, leaving the cape around 5. We got there around 6:30 parked in the Copley parking lot and walked down Boylston to the start of the race which was near the common on Charles street. We got there around 7 and it was a bit more chilly then I had expected it to be, so we hung around in our warm clothes a bit. It was already super crowded when we arrived so we headed straight to get our t shirts and then to check our bag. For those signing up for the 10k or the half the race shirts are awesome but they run really big. I was going to get a small but it fits like a medium so I ended up getting and XS and its a little big but fits pretty good so make sure you go a size down. We got our bag for bag check which were supplied and you were only allowed to use their clear bags. All other bags were not allowed which was not the case for the half in the fall you could have used a backpack if you wanted but security was definitely heightened for this event which was understandable. More on that to come.
We waited as long as possible to take our warm clothes off and then headed over to the start around 7:45. I was still so shocked by the number of people around. The way that corrals are set up for this event like the half you just go where you feel your pace is so we went in the 8:30 to 9 minute pace. A little fast for us but I wanted to get out as quick as possible. I wasn't holding anything back in this race. The corrals started to get super crowded as the race start grew closer and I will admit I was getting stressed about getting out. I was using this race to see where I was at speed wise. This did end up being a problem.
The race got underway and it was just way too crowded they had let a lot more runners register this year then last year and I think this was a mistake. There were almost 10,000 runners and there was just no where to go when you started, lots of pushing and shoving... I may have done a bit of this myself(Sorry to anyone I might have elbowed.) Thankfully all the streets of the race were closed so people could spread out a bit but I felt so closed in until we hit about mile 2-2.5, then I kicked it into full on sprint mode. The route is super flat except for a little on ramp but I really wanted to break out and run faster but I couldn't move. This is my biggest complaint for the race.
One of the best part of the races was running down Boylston through the Marathon finish line. The city was just so alive that this part gave you chills. Lots of people stopping and taking pictures it was just really neat. Once you crossed that you didn't have much further to go. The race started and ended in the same spot which was nice. Once you crossed the finish line you got your medal and then headed to grab your food bag. They gave out a lot of food and drinks which is always nice to get. I grabbed my swag and waited for my mom to come in a few minutes after me. We both had good races and loved the course.
As for the added security, there were police officers EVERYWHERE and you could tell people were a bit on edge. Every loud noise or scream you heard your heart did stop for a second. Everyone knew that everything would be ok but you could tell people were more aware of their surroundings, and praying that everything was going to go smoothly not only that day but for the remainder of the weekend. All of the race volunteers, security and police officers were great at keeping everything as normal as possible but still making sure everything was going to go according to plan. I will say I have never felt so safe in the City as I did this weekend.
All in all I did love the race the energy and excitement that filled the city definitely added to that. I liked the course it was very fast and flat. There were several water stops, I did not stop at any of them but if you needed them there was one at every mile with water and gatorade. These races are always super organized with getting your shirts and bag check and the finish line too with getting your medal and food which is always a plus. The one thing I am hoping for come next year is they cut down the number of entrants, but I highly recommend running this race and will be signing up again next year! Also the added bonus of going to the marathon expo is another reason to sign up for this.
Shout out to the amazing girls of Swirlgear it was awesome finally meeting you in person. For those who don't know about Swirlgear go check them out they have amazing running clothes that are super cute!
Also sign up for the B.A.A. 10k is tomorrow morning at 10am EST don't miss out this race will fill up within minutes!