Archive for June, 2010

13.1 Boston – No place to be in the back of the pack!

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

I was very excited for my first oppurtunity to do a 13.1 Series race. After reading about Chris’ good experience at Atlanta I was hopeful that even though this was an inaugural race that it had the potential to be well organized since it was part of the same race season. Boy were my hope shattered…quickly.

The packet pick-up was held at a City Sports and we did get coupons for some shopping. The bibs were nice and they handed us our D-tags. However the event shirt did not have the event name on it. It was lime green and was a race series shirt. They did however have a tech shirt for sale, exactly like they event shirt, only a red color that had the event name on it. :shrug:

We arrive at Dunkin Brands to use their parking lot and hop on the shuttle to go to the start. The port-a-potty count was good. We ended up going through the line 3 times before the start without much trouble. We walked our way over to the start and lined up in our appropriate “corrals”, Lauren and Jill heading to the front and myself and Ann Marie, with our goal being to just finish, lining up just in front of 14 min miles. We knew there was a rumor that there was hills, afterall we were running in an area called the Blue Hills Reservation, so we decided to keep up a 2:1 interval as long as we could and walk up the hills when we needed to so that we could walk back down them.

The race started and it took us about 5 minutes to cross over the start line. We started running our 2:1 but unfortunately it did not last us long. In my recent race history I have run A LOT of hilly races. I have to say…this was the worst one yet. I didn’t feel like we ever hit a point where it was level or even close to rolling hills. I will admit I might be blinded by the bad spots, but there were two out-and-backs with very steep hills. One was 1 mile out and the other over 1.5 miles out. It was just more than I would have expected from a race that didn’t have an published elevation chart. Unfortunately they took control of the race for myself and Ann Marie – one of us overtrained and the other under.

Things went well through water stop number 1. By the time we reached number 2, which was on the out-and-back they were out of Gatorade and they were out of cups. It was on this stretch that we saw a guy in a total daze miss the turn around and run right into the gate marking in the end of the route. We helped him up and were concerned as we watched him run away from us, but he insisted he was okay. The next few water stops had the same “no cups” story.

During the second out and back we saw the “majestic views of Boston”. At the top of the highest hill there was a break in the trees and you could see Boston. This was the only spot…I think they called it views because it was an out-and-back so we passed the same view twice. :theeye: As we turned around during the second out-and-back the band had stopped playing. When asked why they had stopped we were told that we were “too slow” for them to play for us. :cryeyesout:

As we made our way to the last few water stops we did start seeing cups. I have a feeling that there was a grocery store very happy near by as the race staff ran in and cleared them out of cups. Towards the end they actually had a guy with a golf cart riding up and down the street with a golf cart and cases of water throwing them to the runners along the course. It was hear that a cup drove up behind us and demanded everyone move from the right hand side to the left hand sidewalk, that was already crowded by runners that had finished the race and were making their way back to their cars. Ann Marie and I moved over and then noticed that the couple in front of us moved back to the right so we followed them realizing the finish line was right there. At this point we still hadn’t ever seen any Gatorade.

We ran towards the finish line and the confusion set in. I tried to keep running towards a finish line that was coming down. I was looking for the timing mats for our D-tags and they weren’t there. There was a guy with a computer entering our numbers as we crossed the “finish line”. I know my time was not put in just as I finished because the guy entering the number was having trouble reading it and had to stop me. I was very upset knowing that the clock did not yet read the 3:30 finish time and the mats were gone and the finish line was already coming up.

We heard Lauren and Jill calling our names and I just walked over shaking my head in frustration. They asked us to follow them saying they had our finisher’s medals. We followed along the wall till we met up with them and Lauren then presented Ann Marie with her medal and Jill with mine. They, being the awesome friends that they were, made sure they got us medals because the woman at the finish line wasn’t sure if they really had enough for the number of runners on the course. We then headed over to the food area, which was well stocked, and I got an slopping caramel apple muffin to help sooth my wounds. I got messy but it was REALLY good.

We ran into Paul on our way out and then headed to the shuttles. The sign said “Parking Lot Shuttles” but we were told they weren’t the parking lot shuttles they were the CCFA shuttles. We decided to not even try to look for them and instead walked back to the parking lot to head home.

One thing I can say about this race is that there were plenty of port-a-potties. Ann Marie had a great theory about the port-a-potties. This race benefitted the Chrones and Colitis Foundation of America. We think that maybe the foundation encouraged the race to have a plethora of port-a-potties on course to support their runners. Also the bling was decent. However it was the same bling as I have seen for previous 13.1 series events only it had a Boston themed lanyard.

I truly hope this race improves from the feedback they have been recieving. It has potential. However this year they get a big FAIL! I wish them luck in the future as I will not be attempting another 13.1 series race in the near future.