Having grown up in East Somerville, the Assembly Row project has been exciting to watch. The Assembly Square area has transformed in the last few years from a dwindling retail wasteland into a well-designed community with outlet stores, restaurants, and apartments. It’s only partly done, too, so it should keep getting better and better.
I ran the second annual Race to the Row this past weekend. This 5k race starts and ends within the Assembly Row development. Last year, none of the businesses in Assembly Row were open yet at race time, so it was quite a change this year with many shops and restaurants open.
The course was new this year, and took two loops through the Assembly Row development. On the positive side, the course was quite flat with only one very gradual uphill. I also liked being able to see the leaders due to the circularity of the course.
However, I’m not a big fan of repeating loops in races; I like seeing new scenery throughout. I also feel bad for the slower runners and walkers who get lapped by the leaders on the second loop. That must feel pretty demoralizing (at least for the runners). I also think the 2014 course misses an opportunity to put the runners on the beautiful waterfront path where the 2013 finish line was located.
The after-race celebration was a good one. Ernesto’s Pizza, which currently has a North End location and will be coming to Assembly Row, supplied Sicilian pies with either cheese or pepperoni. I’m not normally a Sicilian pizza gal, but after a morning run I was an enthusiastic fan. My favorite ice cream shop, JP Licks, was scooping a couple of flavors; I didn’t partake, but will probably make a trip for a cone sometime this week since seeing the ice cream made me really want one. Runners and supporters were also treated to cans of Harpoon beer.
To cap off a fun morning, I was able to do a little shopping before heading home. Can’t complain about that!