Yesterday was the final race in my 2014 season: The Cambridge 5k Yulefest. This race begins and ends in Harvard Square and loops through Cambridge.
This is the second time I’ve run this race, and the fourth or fifth race in the C5k series I ran this year. Yulefest had all the hallmarks of the C5k series: Tons of costumes, a DJ blasting music, and best of all, free beer at the finish from phenomenal local breweries including Notch Brewing, Night Shift Brewing, Slumbrew, and Downeast Cider.
This race, instead of one of the classic C5k tees, the swag was a knit hat. As much as I love those tees, I thought this was an awesome alternative. I run many of the C5k races and have a ton of their shirts, but the hat is a novelty and definitely something I can use over the cold Boston winter. I may not even use it for running, since it’s cute enough to wear around town.
I took an Uber out to Harvard Square, which was a vast improvement over my original plan of biking (it’s cold out there!). Once I got to the square, I found my friend Brian and checked my bag with my winter coat and got my bib punched to indicate my legal drinking status. We timed it well to be done with all of the housekeeping tasks just in time to load into the starting corral. I kept myself wrapped in one of my Mylar blankets from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Vegas race until it was time to run, which helped cut the cold. Side note to the good people of Harvard Square: Sorry about the Mylar blanket someone dropped in the street.
The race itself went by quickly, although it took the entire time for my hands to warm up. My left thumb actually never quite regained full feeling. And THAT is my least favorite thing about winter races. If I’m just going on a run, the Reynaud’s is not as bad because I’m moving from the second I leave the house, but that time waiting to start a race lets my hands go numb.
I crossed the finish line and began turning back to cheer on Brian when he finished, only to see him cross right after me! He destroyed his PR in a big way, shaving about two minutes off his previous best. That was awesome to see–Brian just started running this year and has made incredible progress. I think this might be the last race we run together where I finish ahead.
The afterparty was a bit too crowded to spend too much time at. We stopped by the Notch booth since we both run as members of Team Notch and received our excellent knit hats.Then we each nabbed a delicious beer. By the time we were done with those, the crowd was making it nearly impossible to move, so we called it a day. Honestly, I was glad to get back indoors as the combination of my sweaty layers and the brisk winds made for a chilly time.
Now for the big bummer: My race time didn’t record! They had a really cool booth set up at the afterparty where you could look at your results digitally, but mine didn’t show. When I got home, I checked Cool Running, and my time was missing there, too. Boo! My watch time says I finished in 26:32, and I’m pretty decent at getting that accurate, so I’ve requested to have it added to the results.
Au revoir, 2014 racing season! Sixteen races, my first marathon, and my current 5k PR all came in 2014. It’s been real.