51. Marine Corps Honor Run, 2010

Driving In

Okay, it’s time for Race 51: The Marine Core Honor Run. This one is is meant to recognize the contributions of peeps in the Marine Corps and in law enforcement. They give out scholarships and bonds to the children of said peeps, so it’s yet another run race for a warm and fuzzy cause.
This one had a little more personality than some of the others I’ve seen in the area, because there were lots of military folks around.

A Little Worried At First

These Boston events seem to be hit-or-miss. This one turned out okay, but it had me worried in the beginning. Two things were a bit off:

  1. The website gives this address in its directions, but the starting line was actually here. Their location would have meant a train ride to Andrew Station and a long walk. It’s why I decided to drive. The actual location was just a short walk from JFK/UMASS, which is an earlier stop anyway. So basically, I didn’t have to drive.
  2. They ran out of medium t-shirts before I got there. Medium is the most common size for men at these races, and they should have held shirts for pre-registers. This is their fifth year, so they shouldn’t be stuck trying to push extra-large shirts onto a bunch of medium-sized people.”

Fortunately, they offered to mail the shirts to anyone who filled out an address slip. And driving turned out not to be such a bad idea after all…

Raining Cats and Dogs

Hiding from the rain

Although the drive was pretty clear, it was raining on-and-off all day long. Some folks had umbrellas, some had rain coats, and some didn’t seem to care. Every possible bit of shelter was crammed full of people, though. I didn’t try to join them. When it rains on a Race Day, you get wet. Period. No use making a fuss over it.

Before the Race

I could see that this was going to be one of the bigger local events. There were long lines to the Registration Tables, but they moved quickly. Military peeps were standing around in groups warming up, adding weight to the crowd. Really, things would have been awesome if the weather was a bit nicer.

After I got my number, I noticed that my camera was fogging up on the inside. That’s happened before, and it doesn’t get better until it’s had time to dry. I decided to take it back to the car and run without it this time.

Lots in Line
There were lots of folks in line, but we moved quickly.
Military Peeps
Military peeps were hanging out and warming up before the race.
Foggy Camera
And this is when my camera started to fog up.

The Sopping Wet Race

Looking for more rain

Of course, going to a rainy event has its advantages. The folks you run with are the ones who got out of bed and showed up in spite of the weather. It’s like joining some kind of Badass Club where members are required to suffer occasionally.

At first I had my doubts about ditching the camera, but it turned out to be a pretty good idea. Once we started running, the bottom dropped out. We all ran with wet clothes and heavy shoes. Still, it was warm enough, so at least I wasn’t freezing while I ran.

I kept an even pace and just cruised through. No PR, no crazy stuff. I just wanted an improvement over the last race so could recover the fitness I lost over my first New England Winter.

Final Thoughts

I finished at 23:57 by the clock, so I’m pretty pleased over all. I would have stayed for my official chip time, but it was raining too hard for me to enjoy hanging around. (edit: chip time was 23:29! I’m on my way back to my PR!)

Over all, this was a well-organized race. Aside from the directions and the shirts, everything was pretty tight. The food was good, there were lots of fun people, and they even had timing strips that go right on the back of your number. I’m already looking forward to doing this race again. I just hope it doesn’t rain next year.