On July 3rd, I ran the Finish At The 50 10K race at Gillette Stadium – home of my beloved New England Patriots! The event had a 5K option as well, plus there were supposed to be fireworks after the race. Unfortunately, they cancelled the fireworks the day before due to the weather forecast, which turned out to be a bad decision as it never rained. Some speculated it’s because the Boston fireworks were moved from Friday to Thursday due to weather and they are put on by the same event company, but who knows. It was a big bummer though!
First, let’s talk about that weather. Hurricane Arthur was moving in and we expected rain both Thursday and Friday. However, as of Thursday morning, no rain in the forecast – yay! Bad news – it was going to be hoooooot and humid. This is what it looked like just prior to the race kickoff:
It absolutely felt that hot, too. The breeze was the only saving grace of any comfort whatsoever. It was a hot breeze, but at least it gave us some sensation of air movement. I have to say, the rock stars of the day were the people in the neighborhoods that we ran through. It seemed every couple tenths of a mile there was someone in their front yard spraying the runners with their hoses/sprinklers. I ran through every.single.one. It felt glorious!
I had the day off from work, but unfortunately Tara did not. We made our schedule work the best we could and thought we might end up having to each drive up there separately, but luckily she was done early enough that we could go together with a slight modification. We ended up arriving around 4:30 I think. Parking was really easy, right next to the stadium, and just a short walk to registration. That was also seamless with no wait. The only strange thing about it was that we had to go to one area for our bibs, then go to the opposite side of the courtyard to get our tshirt. Not a big deal, just strange.
After I got my stuff, I tried to meet up with some Unleashed teammates before they started. Two of them were doing the 5K race (which started at 5:30) and one of them was doing the 10K with me at 6:30. We were able to find each other just in time and get a quick pic before the race started.
After the ladies took off, Mike went to get some pics so Tara and I headed over to meet up with the NE Spahtens that were there at the race. I only know one of them personally from Unleashed, so I said hello to her and then just kind of stood there awkwardly for a few minutes because everyone else was already kind of chatting in their little cliques. I decided I’d rather go sit in the shade than be that random girl standing there, so we sat for a bit. Eventually, another Spahten came over and sat with us that I had never met before and we hung out basically until just before the start of the 10K. We did manage to get a team picture, but it was quite the ordeal trying to squeeze everyone in for the person taking the picture (who was at a really weird angle). This was the best one that Tara could get of all the attempts she made.
We went over to line up right around 6:15-6:20. They did the National Anthem and then shortly after we were off – sort of. They started the race, but it was a good 3 minutes before I crossed the start line. This is the only pic Tara could get of me for the entire race, right after the start. I had noticed Julie and Dan standing on the left, but never saw Tara, so this is the moment I yelled out to Julie who hadn’t even seen me run by. It was all quite comical.
I’m hoping I’ll get better official race photos, because they took a bunch of them towards the end in the stadium. We even got to run through the big blow-up helmet the team runs through before a game!! I was so giddy running on the field that my favorite team runs on. SO amazing!
After the race, we found another Unleashed teammate and managed to get a finisher shot of everyone. Even the kids are Unleashed kids!
Shortly after, we all split up and went our separate ways and I tackled the beast know as “A million stairs”. I forgot how many I would have to climb after I just ran over 6 miles and I was not a happy camper! Tara, Julie and Dan thought they were hysterical and Tara made this lovely little collage to show my disappointment in these stupid stairs.
I did pretty well overall. I was aiming at finishing under 1:30 and just barely squeaked by with 1:29:18 by my Garmin (unofficial email said 1:29:14).
This is definitely a race I would do again, but I would hope the weather would be a little more gentle on us! My gang were troopers, even though they went in the restaurant and ate while I was out there melting!