An early morning 4 am wake up call had me on the road by 5:15 am heading north of Boston to the beautiful seaport of Gloucester. I’ve been to neighboring towns, but never to the city of Gloucester. What got me going so early you ask. Well, a race of course!
I wanted to broaden my racing horizons by partaking in runs in new areas to me. The Gloucester Road Race was a perfect start. This 7 mile course was a challenging rolling adventure. Starting and ending along a boulevard with both water views and breezes was just an additional bonus.
Even though it was a bit humid and in the low 70’s the overall conditions were manageable. I started out a bit faster than I should have but snuck in behind a guy who had an incredible effortless pace. I decided that I was going to quietly use him as my pacer. I’ve done this in the past and sometimes it even sparks a race day friendship. Today, however, I decided that I would just fall into place behind my race day mentor. That worked for a while but on one of the many hills I moved ahead and then I think a water stop had him behind me and I thought I had lost my racing buddy for the day. It was not long after that, he was right beside me and there we stayed side by side for a few miles. Not a word spoken, but the matching of steps was such a help in pushing my pace. Unfortunately, with every hill we climbed there was a decline. I’ve never been a great down hill runner, so when we hit a down hill about 5.5 miles in I slowed up a bit and this is where he threw down the hammer. His pace increased and off he flew toward the finish. I was never able to catch him and lost sight of him somewhere over the last hill. Congrats to him and many thanks to him for his unknowing help.
Surprisingly, I was not the only runner in Gloucester with the same plan. After crossing the finish line, a girl came up to me congratulating me on a strong pace and said she was using me as her pacer. I was so honored. Have you ever picked another runner to help pace you in a race?
One of the funniest thoughts of the day was when a guy sitting at the base of the fisherman statue after the race said to me, “Don’t get much sun, do ya?” I politely smiled and said, “No, not really.” But in my head I was thinking, “What gave it away buddy, my Casper like complexion?”
The one thing that surprised me most was the post run goodies and vendors available at a smaller venue such as this race.
I discovered two new products: Hint and Nature Crops. I was given the Raspberry-Lime flavor of Hint which I found so refreshing and I choose the Quinoa Almond Bar that I liked, but think it would be better crumbled on some Greek yogurt.
Overall a good day. A fantastic route run at a decent pace. I will be returning to Gloucester in just a few short weeks to run the Lone Gull 10K. Who’s joining me?