As promised, I have finally written out my BAA 10K Race Report. We are just over two weeks away from my running of the BAA 10K, and I am so happy to finally share the experience with you!
When Mr PugRunner agreed we could take our family vacation to New England, and we narrowed down our dates, I immediately took to the internet to see if our stay would overlap with any out-of-state races. Our trip would be long enough that one morning of running wouldn’t be too much of a diversion. It was a stroke of luck that the BAA 10K was being held smack dab in the middle of our visit to Boston.
I was a nervous wreck about registration for the BAA 10K. The 5K of the same name had sold out in record time and since all our flights and hotels were booked, I didn’t have much backup plan. On March 13, I sat down in front of my computer with my credit card and frantically typed in all my information at record speed.
What I didn’t love about the system was that I received an email that my info was RECEIVED, but it wouldn’t be PROCESSED instantaneously. This led to me obsessively refreshing my email until I got that coveted message saying “You’re In!” (It took about 45 minutes).
Bib + Welcome Packet
The Boston Athletic Association mails bibs to all U.S. runners, prior to the race, without exception. They did not include an actual mail date on their website, so I could only hope to receive my envelope before we actually left for our trip. Emails and social media posts kept us updated until the bibs were on their way.
Mine came while I was in Orlando with Meghan, so my worry was for nothing.
For those who lived out of the country or who lost their bibs, a race day solution was available, but I really didn’t want to have to deal with that.
I admit to being nervous about getting to the race site on time. Our hotel was a few miles away, so Mr PugRunner suggested we take an Uber. We arrived onsite right before the official opening at 6:30, which was perfect. They went to Starbucks, and I walked through the site to pick up my race shirt.
The layout of the site permitted everyone to just mosey around and check things out. I took a peek at the course map on display. I wasn’t familiar with the area so I was subscribing to the “follow the runner in front of you” strategy for the day.
Even though the BAA had issued a weather advisory for unseasonably warm temperatures, I was pretty chilly and wore my jacket until it was time to line up.
Mr PugRunner and little man planned to hang out until the free kids’ races began (little man was going to participate) and then we would meet after. The weather was pleasant enough that they would be comfortable just wandering the park while I ran.
Also of note, there were plenty of portapotties, so lines weren’t too long for all the runners.
I tried to pay attention to the details, I really did. However, I was just so absorbed in every moment and running a solid race that I don’t know if I picked up on everything.
Runners were asked to self-seed, so I took up a comfortable position in the middle of the pack. We heard a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, and then moved forward for the start. It took a few minutes for me to reach the line. I had been chatting with a few women while waiting and one of them was kind enough to snap this photo for me.
The Main Event
For the first mile, I struggled to catch my breath. I was so overwhelmed at being there, at this particular race, fulfilling a goal and being surrounded by so many incredible members of the Boston running community. These are the things that make me emotional.
I fell into a groove fairly quickly and allowed myself to be swept along with the crowd. The course was full of gently rolling hills. It was intimidating at first, but I went with it and after a while, it wasn’t too awful.
It’s worth noting that the course wasn’t incredibly wide and it stayed tight pretty much the whole way. I didn’t feel so trapped that I couldn’t run the pace I wanted, but there were places where I did have to do some weaving. The benefit was that I was always surrounded by people, which helped keep morale high.
Was it hot? Eh. There was one spot without shade where it was a bit on the warm side, but the humidity was so much lower than at home. There were water stops at every mile so it was easy for everyone to stay hydrated along the way.
At the 3.1 mile mark, runners made a u-turn and began to follow the same route back to the finish line.
There were some iconic sights along the way. I didn’t take many pictures because I was feeling great about the run, but I couldn’t resist this one.
Even though there were spectators and volunteers lining almost the entire way, the crowds got even larger in the last half mile or so. It took my breath away how many people were out there cheering and I loved it.
I also loved crossing that finish line! I had run hard and felt so strong.
Runners were guided through the chute: we collected our beautiful unicorn bling and water, then continued into the Boston Common. Volunteers handed out Gatorade in almost every flavor, as well as bagels, bananas and an assortment of chips. The salt was very welcome.
It took me a few minutes to meet up with the boys. The kids’ races took place on the other side of the Common, so there were quite a few barricades between us. I finally made it to him so we could celebrate our respective accomplishments.
Since I already had my t-shirt, we decided to walk through the Public Garden, and then pay our respects at the prospective Boston Marathon Memorial sites. The signage said the completed Memorials should be up this summer, and I know they will be beautiful tributes.
We celebrated the morning with a yummy lunch and a well-deserved beer.
I absolutely loved my experience at the BAA 10K! Not only was it incredible to run in a brand new city, but the event itself was unforgettable. I’m thrilled with my performance, and the memories made along the way. I am so proud to cross Massachusetts off my 50 States goal, and look forward to my next race and my next state.
Have you run the BAA 10K, or any other Boston Athletic Association event?
How many states have you run in?