On Sunday I ran the Cambridge Half Marathon. I chose to run this race because it was local and I wanted to run a half in the fall but before it got too cold. This race fit the bill.
Bib pick-up was held at a local mall (which also sponsored the race). I went Friday after work. The line was crazy long! It started at on end of the mall and wound through the entire corridor. I thought for sure I was going to be there for at least an hour. But the volunteers working the pick-up moved pretty quickly and I had my bib after 30 minutes! I was pretty impressed. That’s probably the longest I’ve ever had to wait to pick-up my number, but it really wasn’t the end of the world. Instead of a shirt, this race gave every runner a jacket, and it’s actually pretty nice, which i thought was a bonus!
The race began in the middle of Cambridge, and if you know the Boston-area at all, you know that parking is always an issue. There were three garages that offered free parking, but they were heavily promoting that you take public transportation or an Uber. Public transportation wasn’t really an option based on where I was coming from, and I really didn’t want to take an Uber (mostly because I didn’t want to have to take one home. It rained for the majority of the race and I was pretty muddy at the end. My husband made me sit on a towel in his car–thank GOODNESS we didn’t take an Uber/Lyft/cab :)). We found a spot in a garage right away, which I was so thankful for- that’s the part that I was most stressed about.
I wasn’t really sure what my intentions were for the race. My last race was back in May, so I was really just looking for something to get me training again and back in running shape. I went to a Friendsgiving the night before too, and while I tried to get my carbs, it wasn’t my usual pre-race meal, but man was it delicious! I had a brief thought that I would be able to run this in under 2 hours, but from the beginning of the race, I knew that that wasn’t going to happen, but I was okay with it.
The course was on the road for this first 3.5 miles, and the remainder was mostly on a bike path along the Charles River. There were parts of the bike path that were really crowded. It was also raining and there were puddles everywhere, which people were trying to avoid. I didn’t feel like weaving in between people, so I ran a little slower than I would have liked because of the crowd. I checked the results page and last year, there were about 4,500 finishers and this year there were 6,900! Yikes! I’m happy for the organizers that their race grew so much, but I think they really need a course that is on the road. A bike path is too small for that many people.
Because of the weather, it felt like a trail run! The ground was really uneven and there were puddles everywhere. I had to look down at the ground for about 85% of the race. My calves were done by the end of the race!
There were a lot of spectators near the finish line, which was great. I love the energy from the crowd. My husband was able to spot me, which I thought was pretty impressive since he didn’t really know what my pace was.
One thing I really didn’t like about this race was that there was no food for runners at the finish line. No bananas, no bagels. Nothin’. There was a big after party after the race with a DJ, a couple local breweries and food. I’m guessing that’s why there wasn’t anything at the finish line? Could also be because of the weather, but that was a real bummer. When I met up with my husband the first thing he said was “where are your snacks?” haha I usually grab one of everything! We didn’t go to the after party because I really just wanted a hot shower and coffee!
My official time was 2:08:48. Definitely not my best, but I think the race served it’s purpose. I didn’t give up even though the weather was bad and the conditions were less than ideal. I also feel like I have a good base built up and can work on improving my speed. Not sure if I’ll run this race next year, we’ll have to wait and see!
I’m linking up with Running on Happy, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for the Running Coaches Corner!