Yesterday was the third of five city races through the summer. I have never actually run the Brookline Breeze before, so it was enjoyable to run a new course. Plus by finishing this race, I was one step closer to finishing my Tour de Burgh since I had already finished the Greenfield Glide and Riverview 5k back in June.
The race was slated to start at 9am, but I got there around 7:40am since I knew the main street would close at some point and I wanted to get my bib and chip. I’ve always been someone who shows up pretty last minute for races, but this year that’s definitely changed a lot. Once I arrived at the race, I headed into the community building to pick up my bib. That was quick and easy and painless, however you had to go back out to get the chip. I’m really not sure why they didn’t just bring the chips to pick up together.
I saw a scale and some guy weighing in so I got excited that I could weigh in for the Athena division. The volunteer just looked at me and said it was for men only. I was a little ticked about this. These races are put on by the city and you would think they would have some consistency through their races. Well, looking back it’s the city, so I guess that’s a stupid thought. Needless to say, I have no idea why some of their races have both Clydesdale and Athena division, some have none and some have just Clydesdale.
Since I did get there so early, I got to catch up with Kelsey and Charles some before the race. We were hoping to meet up with Gretchen as well, but she wasn’t feeling great, so we missed her. As it got closer to 9am, we all did the obligatory bathroom stop and then headed to the start line. Just in fashion with the other city races, this race did not have a startling mat. I’m really not sure why this is the case either. Is it that hard to have a starting mat to get true chip time for a race? I swear, whoever is in charge of these city races might get a lovely suggestion email once all 5 are done. Well, since there wasn’t a start mat, I tried to start up as close to the line as possible to get the most accurate time.
The first half mile of the race was pretty much straight up. Nothing like starting off with a good 200 foot climb. I figured this first mile would be pretty slow because of this hill, but when my watch buzzed at mile 1 and showed a 9:58, I was shocked. I still don’t think it’s right, but hey, I’ll take it and it makes me feel good! After the climb, it settled into a pretty nice flat section for a little bit. There was the annual Brookline Fest and as we passed on Brookline Boulevard everyone was on the sides of the road cheering us on and setting up.
The 2nd mile of the race was the worst for me. It started up another small hill on Pioneer and then went down almost to West Liberty Avenue. We finally made the turn around point of the race. We had another short hill and then cut through some random parking lot back to Pioneer Avenue. Once we turned back on Pioneer I took about a 30 step walk break and it was much needed up the last little hill. I really am not the best hill runner.
Mile 3 of this race is pretty much the best mile of any 5k race ever. It was flat for the first half mile and then all downhill to the finish line. As much as I hate those uphills, I do love when I get to enjoy a good downhill. According to my Garmin, I did the last mile in 9:15 and was very happy about that. It was nice to be able to open up and just enjoy the ride down the hill to the finish line.
After the race, I met back up with Kelsey and Charles and while they enjoyed some pizza, I spotted a big chocolate chip cookie and threw that down the gullet. They were giving away raffle prizes again at this race, so we all decided to stay in case we won something. Sadly, none of our names were pulled so we left empty handed.
This was definitely a fun race and I am looking forward to Run Around the Square in 2 weeks to finish off the last 5k race in the city series before The Great Race 10k at the end of September. The race also gave me a nice little confidence boost as I continue to see these 9 minute miles. Hopefully I can continue to keep this speed up and maybe even get back under a 30 minute 5k by the end of the year.
Official finish time:
13/29, Females, 30-34