I ran the Tufts 10K for Women on Monday (Columbus Day) and had so much fun! What an awesome race!
I haven’t run the Tufts 10K since 2003 (we’re usually in Newport on race day), but it’s a race that I always recommend to local runners, especially newbies, because it was one of my first. It’s a mostly all-women’s race, so there’s plenty of support and motivation, and I remember having such a wonderful experience as a new runner. I also remember the awesome shirts that you get with your registration, so I always throw that little tidbit in there to entice runners to sign up! Anyway, the nice people from Tufts Health Plan offered me a bib to this year’s race, and I happily accepted.
On race day, I drove into the city with my friend Jess and her 9-month old daughter, mother, and sister-in-law, who have run the race together 5 times now, which is actually pretty common. Women run this race again and again, year after year. At registration, you could actually pick a sticker that said how many years you’ve run the race, and I saw plenty of 5, 11, and 15 stickers out on the race course. The Tufts 10K has a ton of history and this year’s was the 39th running.
Registration was a breeze, no lines. Same with the porta-potties. We got right in without a long wait. Pre-race, there were quite a few vendors set up around the start at Boston Common, so you could get a last-minute snack or drink of water. (I was pumped to see Nuun there!)
The race started at noon, so about 20 minutes before the gun, the announcer asked runners to line up based on their pace with stroller runners in the back.
Jess said there was a separate start for the strollers about 5 minutes after the rest of the runners took off to help with the congestion. She said it worked out really well. Maybe Quinn and I will run together next year?
I said goodbye to Jess, her mom, and sister-in-law and we all lined up in our respective time areas. (I lined up between the 8 and 9 minute mile signs.)
After that, I got my music ready, set up RunKeeper, and then ate a package of GU. I ate breakfast at 7:30 AM and then a snack at 10:00 AM, but, by noon, I definitely needed a little something.
Before I knew it, it was GO TIME!
The course was amazing. It took you around Boston Common, along the Charles River, and back to Boston Common again. It was flat, flat, flat the entire way. The weather was pretty warm and there wasn’t much shade, but there were plenty of water stops. I actually stopped at every single one. I was really dehydrated!
The first few miles of the race were kind of rough for me. Maybe some of the other long distance runners can relate, but it sometimes takes me a good 2-3 miles to get into a groove, so I definitely didn’t feel great at the beginning. I knew it was a short race, so I just trucked along the best I could.
- Mile 1: 9:07
- Mile 2: 9:08
- Mile 3: 9:03
I started to feel better around mile 3, so I picked up the pace. My music and the other runners, especially the Elites flying by, motivated me.
- Mile 4: 8:32
- Mile 5: 8:28
As I approached the final mile of the race, I wanted to die. The heat and dehydration was definitely getting to me and my stomach started to feel really crampy. Uh-oh. My plan was to pick up the pace at mile 6, but I actually slowed down a little with the hope of feeling better. It actually worked, and I was able to sprint the last 3/4 mile of the race. Woohoo! I was so happy to finish strong!
- Mile 6: 8:17
- Mile 0.2: 7:49
Total time: 54:48 (8:50)
Right after crossing the finish line, I felt horrible. There was water and lots of snacks available, but I could barely bring myself to grab anything. I knew I needed to eat a little something, so I grabbed a yogurt from the nice Stonyfield people. It was just what I needed.
Shortly after that, I caught my breath and met up with Jess and her family. We grabbed some snacks and hung out for a little while before heading home.
All in all, it was an awesome race, and I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to run the Tufts 10K again. It’s definitely one to add to your race list!
Question of the Day
What race have you run the most times? How many times have you run it?