The second race my dad and I signed up for this summer was a 10k that took place at Patriot’s Place, home of New England’s NFL team, the Patriots. (http://www.harvardpilgrimfinishatthe50.com) Now I’m not the biggest football fan, but I was so pumped for this race! I mean how cool, you get to run onto the field where beautiful Tom Brady has stood, and finish at the 50 yard line while they show you on the jumbotron!
This race had the potential to be awesome, if it weren’t for the horrendous heat. I should’ve expected this considering it was on July 3 (Boston in July is never pleasant) but I was not at all prepared for the heat and humidity. I had been out of the country until a week before the race, and hadn’t run at all while I was gone.
The day before the race, my dad and I were both feeling really sick and my hip was really hurting. We considered not doing it, but decided to go ahead with it anyways. When we got to Gillette Stadium and felt the heat I decided to drop down into the 5k race instead of the 10k, which I am wildly glad I did because my chest was so tight the entire race, I felt like I was having a heart attack.
Besides the heat and humidity, the course of the race was nearly entirely on black concrete with no shade, which did not help the situation at all. The 5k route basically took us around the parking lot, then all the way up the crowd control ramps into the stadium, around the stadium, down the ramps on the other side, around the stadium again and then out onto the field. The ramps really messed with my speed because at every turn, a lot of people would stop and walk which made it hard to keep a consistent pace given how narrow they were. By the end of the race I was so overheated I couldn’t even enjoy how cool it was being on the field. All of the water was on the outside of the field and once you left you couldn’t reenter, so I kind of missed the coolest part due to exhaustion.
Best part about doing the 5k though, was that it was at 5:30pm, an hour earlier than the 10k, so I got to cheer my dad on! My awesome friend Molly braved the heat to hangout with me after my race and watch my dad. We were able to see him cross the start line and at two other places on the course. By the time he finished, he did not look like he was doing too well, a rarity for him, but not for the race. All around, there were elite, extremely fit runners taking knees and panting.
For the dignity of my father and I, I will not mention our times, but lets just say it was no one’s best day. We were both around 5 minutes slower than our average pace. Despite the heat, and the fact that they only had women’s large t-shirts left, it was a really cool place for a race, and probably the only way I’ll ever get on the field at Gillette Stadium. Also, as we were leaving, we saw Team Hoyt, who have participated in over 1000 races. My dad said that he ran past them during the race and gave the father, Dick, a pat on the shoulder. Overall, another very cool running experience.