Monday, March 19, 2012

Half of Quincy

 
March 19 - Yesterday I ran half marathon #3 in Quincy, Massachusetts. This race wasn't on my schedule until last weekend. My Crazy Running Partner has a goal to do 12 half marathons this year. She told me she was running this one and since hubs is out of town, I thought I'd join her to be her cheering section or maybe do the 5K that they added this year. But when I went to the website to register, I found myself thinking...Why shouldn't I run the half? A 5K seems kind of short these days. I'm in the best running shape I've ever ben in. I still have plenty of time to recover before the next one on my schedule. So that's how I ended up running half #3.


The race was 90 minutes away from where we live, so it was an early morning. On the way to meet CRP I picked up my stepdaughter who was coming along so that she could catch the train in Boston back to school after the race. She also promised to be the "second best cheerleader" after her dad. So off we went to Quincy High School - the most beautiful high school I have ever seen! I have been teaching for a long time including in a brand new building in Ohio, but this was like visiting a college campus or fancy hospital. Gorgeous.



The weather was forecasted to be 45 degrees at the start but climb to over 55 about the time we expected to finish. We opted to dress for the warmth accepting that we would freeze a little waiting at the start. Small sacrifice. I think it was almost 70 when we crossed the finish line. Pre-race was super organized. The website said "convenient parking behind the school" and except for lack of signage, it was perfect parking for a pretty big race. Bib pick up in the gym was quick and easy and if you were one of the first 500 to register you also got a race shirt. That, of course, was not me. The only restroom we saw had a line (shocker) but it moved quickly and we had plenty of time to head back to the car before making our way to the starting line. A Quincy police officer sang the National Anthem and we were off.




The plan for this race was to treat it like a really big fun group run. We weren't going after PR's and had in fact practiced slowing down our pace on a couple of runs during the week. We brought our cameras so that we could stop and take pictures.

It was a beautiful course to run. At 1.5 miles we stopped to take some pictures of the incredible views of the Boston skyline across the Quincy Bay. We were lucky enough to have the assistance of a couple of Quincy police officers to snap one with us in it. After that we ran along Wollaston Beach, a two mile stretch of shoreline anchored by a continuous walkway and fine sand. We found more incredible views as we traversed four miles onto the Squantum Peninsula and through the Marina Bay Complex. Although the docks were mostly empty this time of year, the luxury residences that lined the boardwalk were beautiful and had me longing to win the lottery. The remainder of course led us back through the "forgiving" hills of the historic "City of Presidents" and to the finish lined with cheering crowds including the "second best cheerleader" who gave me a high-five as I passed by.


Official finish time: 2:01:19
At the finish line we were handed our Half of Quincy medals and a bottle of water. Two thumbs up to the race organizers for having the water right there and not making runners walk around searching for it. Also readily available outside were bananas, while inside runners could choose a turkey, tuna, or chicken wrap, along with warm soup. We already made plans to hang around Quincy for lunch so we declined the food but snagged some Vita Coco Coconut Waters. After a quick wardrobe change at the car we set out on foot to grab some lunch.



Three iPhone apps, a couple of blocks, and one closed restaurant later, we found ourselves at The Fat Cat and I believe we lucked out. This warm and easygoing establishment had a variety of appealing choices on the menu, was very affordable, and treated us to great customer service. CRP informed us that the restaurant had been featured on Phantom Gourmet and it was easy to see why. The food was delicious.


Have you ever run a race unexpectedly? How was it? 



24 comments:

  1. dang. this nonrunner has nothing but awe awe awe for you.

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  2. I need to get in the habit of taking photos during my runs and races. I think it'd be a fun way to document things. Great race!

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    1. I love looking at them later...and even though I brought my camera I didn't use it at all while running. I just took them from my CRP because she let me ;)

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  3. Crazy Running Partner...but I am fun:))

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  4. Sounds like a fun race! Cool to be able to pick up races last-minute like this.

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    1. Yes, I guess that might not always happen if you wait to the last minute. I guess I got lucky? haha

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  5. New reader here who also ran Quincy yesterday. You did great.....me, not so much.....I staggered in @ 2:13:03 slightly injured. That was a bit of a hilly half, wasn't it?

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    1. Hi Bill! Thanks for stopping by. Pushing through a tough run to the finish is momentous! It's great that you didn't give up and that is a RESPECTABLE time! At one point I passed a local who told me there was just a small hill ahead...he forgot to add STEEP. Yea, I don't like hills much. Beautiful race though!

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  6. Replies
    1. Oh yes, the views, the ocean, the weather...beautiful!

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  7. I have never a race unexpectedly but I kinda really want to! I read about another girl recently who ran a whole marathon randomly while in Hawaii. She and a friend did it for fun, took it slow and saw the sights. I thought that sounded awesome. Glad you ended up having this experience!

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    1. You should do it when you get the chance. I would much rather run randomly in a place like Hawaii though :)

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  8. Hey, if you're in great running shape why not do the half right? Sounds like a sweet race and looks like you had fun. Congrats!

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  9. I ran the SuperBowl 5k unexpectedly - got roped into it by Robin and Stephanie, fellow bloggers - and ended up with a PR! Sometimes the "fun (unscheduled) runs" are the best!

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    1. That's awesome! I was actually only 4 minutes over my PR, so I'd say you're right!

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  10. Glad to see my little dear doing so well, Im proud and at the same time envious.

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  11. Your easy pace is amazing!!

    I signed up for a 5k this past month at the last minute and ended up PRing! It was a lot of fun.

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  12. Yup, I like your easy pace too! Great run!

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