Thursday, April 14, 2016

Burning off the Crazy at the Becca Pizzi Family Fun Run

If there is one thing that drives all marathon runners nuts, it is the taper.  After months of dedication and finding any waking moment to get a run in, you have to back off your training regiment to let your body fully recover for the big day.  The build up of excitement and energy from the taper can drive you completely insane.

This past Sunday I partook in the first annual Becca Pizzi Family 5K (and 1 Mile Kids) Fun Run (For those that do not know, Becca Pizzi became the first American Women to both complete and win the World Marathon Challenge.  7 Marathons, 7 Continents, 7 Days). After two full weeks of backing off my weekly mileage I was going completely stir crazy and needed to temporarily let loose.  

I first found out about the run a few weeks earlier via an email to my running club (Somerville Road Runners).  I love running and I love supporting local events (The race proceeds benefited Becca Pizzi Scholarship fund and the Belmont Boosters), plus you cannot beat a road race within walking distance of your house.  As an added bonus the race billed itself as a send off for locals running the Boston Marathon (2016 will be my first Boston Marathon).  I told my wife about it and she signed up to volunteer.  We turned it into a family affair and brought the kids to watch.  

The race started at 9am and followed the same course (USATF certified) as Brendan's Home Run (another 5K in Belmont which is entering its 15th year).   The course consisted of a track start with 2/3rd's of a lap before exiting and a hard right turn on Concord Ave. After dropping under the train tracks you turned onto Cross St where you completed the first mile.  The second mile consisted five ninety degree turns as you ran behind Joey's park and then finally on to Channing road.  From there you had a straight shot back to the center, under the bridge, and then back down Concord Ave before a track finish.  

The coach of my running club, Joe O'Leary recommends racing a 5k the week before a marathon. He says it will both burn off excess energy and make your marathon pace seem almost too easy.  My friend Todd and I decided we were going to go hard.

It was a brisk 34 degrees at the start with a bit of wind.  After a couple final pictures with the World Marathon Champion and her daughter we were off.  

After a fast first mile our real work began. As we zig zagged through mile two we pushed hard to maintain our goal pace.  As we entered Channing, we were promptly greeted with a 12-15 mph head wind. After what seemed like an eternity we finally made it back to the center and out of the wind.  We turned onto Concord Ave and pushed hard to keep up a fast pace.  As we made it to the track, Todd had a few yards on me, but I am a quarter miler at heart.  After a hard sprint I hit the finish in 17:19 with Todd 3 seconds back.  

We were so focused we barely even noticed all the kids still completing their 1 mile run.  As we caught our breath, we watched everyone finish; the kids, their parents, Becca, all the 5K runners.  One of the best parts of road racing is sharing in each others joy.  

After about an hour, Becca and the other race directors gathered the Boston Marathon runners for a picture and gave us goodie bags to take with us (which was quite a generous gift).

All and all we had a blast at the race and are looking forward to coming back next year.    Special thanks to Becca Pizzi, Belmont Savings Bank, the Belmont Boosters for bringing the event together so quickly and all the hard work to create such a great day. 

2016 Boston Marathon Runners (And Nat)
Pic Compliments of Belmont Savings Bank


Payson Playmates said...

Thank you so much, you raised the bar high and I hope you come back next year to defend your title, race entry fee is on me!

Jesse Morrow said...

Nat is not impressed.

And nice job keeping up in Boston.