This is one of these races that sells out in nothing flat. Over 1400 runners took to the streets of South Boston to run 5 miles and (if they want) drink beer.
The Harpoon brewery is just down from the Boston Fish Pier, so when I pulled up this morning I was happy to smell the ocean. I know a lot of people don't like the smell of the ocean at low tide, but I always have. Since the race was out of the brewery, it was a 21+ race and I needed to show ID - an interesting dilemma as I had to figure out a way to carry my ID, keys and inhaler. I dug out my old mp3 player pouch which filled the bill. On my other arm was my Nike+ with the sensor on one shoe and the timing chip on the other. Not ideal, but at least I was balanced.
I found my sister in the corral as we waited to start and we lasted maybe a block before I told her to go on and run ahead. Since I hadn't worn my watch, I decided I would run the first mile, walk for up to 6 minutes and then run to the next mile marker where I would then repeat the walk/run cycled. Unfortunately I went out way too fast at the start, finishing the first mile in 11:06. I knew I wouldn't be able to maintain that and, given the humidity, I was grateful for the walk. The first mile was through an industrial area - which was eerily empty on a Saturday morning.
After the first water stop, you start to run along the beach before being diverted over the pedestrian causeway towards Castle Island. What a beautiful part of the run - to be running over the ocean with a welcome breeze and beautiful views. This was my favorite part of the run and was probably half the race distance. I was doing pretty well - keeping around 12:15 or so pace until I hit mile 4.
Mile 4 was back through the industrial areas we had run toward the beach and I was starting to feel the heat. Once we were away from the ocean, there was no more breeze. I could see the bulk of the pack ahead of me and was feeling good. I knew I'd PR when, about a half mile from the finish I stepped in a pot hole and rolled my right ankle.
Yeah, I dropped a few f-bombs and hopped a little. My ankle was sore, but it felt strong and I figured I'd just walk in - kissing the PR goodbye. Just as the Nike+ voice said, "400 meters to go," I noticed my niece was waiting for me. She didn't run the race, she was there as support crew and walked me in. I did jog the last 100 yards or so for a finish of 67:01. Turns out that I PR'd anyway since I did 67:29 at the Doyle's 5 miler 6 weeks ago.
When I got home, I barely had time to shower before running out the door to a meeting and some errands. By the time I got home, I was starting to feel it in my ankle - which was now starting to swell a little, so I grabbed the icepack from the freezer, took some ibuprofen and watched the Sox game. I'll treat it a little gingerly over the next couple of days, but the swelling is pretty much gone and there is only a slight bruise. I decided to give myself Sunday & Monday off and I'll go for a short run on Tuesday to see how it does.
I definately want to do this run again. Maybe I'll do the Sugar Bowl in July out of the L Street Running Club which covers a chunk of that route as well. I do know this much, there is a note in my Palm to keep my eye open at the Harpoon site for when registration opens next year so I don't miss out again.