By Katie Merrill, FHR member since 2013, racer, lover of nice weather.
Yesterday morning I raced the Doyle’s 5 Miler with my Forest Hills Runners crew. It was an absolutely gorgeous day outside with blue skies, little wind, and temps warm enough to break out my singlet.
Side note: There are few things in life as wonderful and freeing as the first race of the season in a singlet- even more so after this terrible winter.
The race was great. If you haven’t run Doyle’s before, it weaves through Franklin Park, which is basically FHR training ground year-round. (Home field advantage is always a plus when racing.) The last three-quarters of a mile is downhill to flat, which provides a nice, solid finish compared to the rolling hills through the other 4 miles. At the end, the Boston Police Bagpipes and Drums guide you across the finish line where fresh poured Sam Adams beer is waiting for you. It’s an awesome way to experience some of the best parts of the Boston and Jamaica Plain community.
Additionally, because the course is essentially an “out and back” up to White Stadium, you get to see all of your friends who are running while you are running. I could cheer on everyone, and at one point I realized I was spending more energy on yelling than running, so I had to rein my enthusiasm in a bit. Just before mile 4 I got a nasty cramp, but thankfully my FHR pal Doug was there to keep me going. We ran the next ¾ of a mile together, until he gave it a final kick at the end (good work Doug!) and soared to the finish.
Some thoughts I had before, during, and after the race:
1. Racing shouldn’t be as stressful as we make it sometimes. It should be fun and fierce and a way to feel strong and awesome.
2. I wish I had worn sunscreen.
3. Fun pants make everything more fun.
4. Tempo Tuesday pays off. Thank you, FHR.
5. Beer tastes better than water after a hot race, but it is worse for you in terms of hydration, and that is a cruel trick of Mother Nature.
6. Stretch. Put. Down. Beer. STRETCH.
Hanging out in the Doyle’s Parking lot afterward, with the FHR racers and members who came to cheer (Thanks Heidi, Esteban, and Jenn!), I felt so proud to be wearing my FHR singlet, representing the running club and community I love.
I am so excited for what the next few months will bring. From Trail Races, to marathons, to Triathlons, to 5ks, FHR is going to be all over the map and I am so happy to be a part of it.
If you are looking for races to sign up for, look on the FHR Events Page. Racing with friends is so much fun and gives you the support you need to kick it to the finish line!