This is one of my favorite short races of the year. After running many longer hilly races in the Boston Buildup series it is nice to have a short, flat race to try for a fast time. However, I was not expecting to go that fast this year since I haven't done any speed work lately and I have been working more on just increasing my weekly mileage to get ready for some 30ks and a marathon. I had run a 14 mile training run on Saturday, which is not my usual routine for the day before a race.
I met up with several of my friends and some of my co-workers from Commonfund before the race. I spent a decent amount of time catching up with John and chatting with Kellie. The temperature was a little chilly at the beginning, but I knew that it would warm up pretty quickly. It was my first race wearing my UltraBrit running shirt that Jill had made up for me for Christmas. I thought that a St. Patrick's Day race was the perfect opportunity to bring it out! ;o)
Kellie, John, Sean and I were lucky enough to get a place towards the front of the pack so that we didn't get slowed down by the masses in the beginning. We started about 25 minutes late due to some mishap in the 1 mile race that went off shortly before ours was scheduled to start. Much to my surprise, once the horn sounded I jumped out to an immediate fast pace. The adrenaline from running in a race must have out trumped the tired legs from the prior day's long run. I had heard about Amanda from my work as being a runner who ran in high school and college so I was expecting her to pass me along with Brian from our Compliance department. Sure enough, Amanda passed me very comfortably around the 2 mile mark and pulled a little ahead. My goal was to keep her in my sights and try to fend off Brian. I was able to accomplish both goals with Amanda finishing only about 20 seconds ahead of me and with Brian never passing me. Allison finished right behind Brian and Kellie finished pretty close behind her. I ran the first mile in 7:38, the second mile in 7:50, the third in 7:46 and the fourth in 7:36 for a total of 30:50. This was a course PR for me by 2 seconds, which is my second fastest 4 mile time. The race had 765 finishers and I finished 187th and 4th in my age group.
The thing I don't like about the course is the gravel section right as you head towards the finishing stretch. This is the time that I want to start my sprint, but I couldn't get any traction. Amanda later told me to run by the fence on the grass to get better speed through that part. It was also frustrating for some runners because the walkers (many with strollers) were taking up most of that pathway. However, right after this section I was able to pick up the pace and pass several people.
I just looked over the race results again and see that 3 of the people I passed in the finishing stretch were women in my age group, which resulted in my 4th place finish instead of 7th! I'm so thankful to have a good finishing kick! ;o)
Dawn and Brian (AKA Unknown Sweetheart)
Some of Brian's running group
The Commonfund Gang - Me, Brian, Debbie, Sarah, Katarina, Amy and Amanda
Kellie and Paul
Me and Kellie
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