Thursday, April 18, 2013

Race #2: Marshfield St. Patrick's Day 5K

Time: 25:55Pace: 8:20 per mileOverall Place: 415th of 2988Age Group Place: 55th of 277I'm normally a bit of a St. Patrick's Day Scrooge, but I'd like to tip my Tam O' Shanter to the organizers of yesterday's Marshfield St. Patrick's Day 5K.  It's hard enough organizing an event for nearly 3,000 runners (OK, maybe 1,000 were walkers - more on that later).  But when the heart of your course is under 6 feet of water a week before the race, and you still pull off a great event, you deserve major props.For those who don't live around here, Boston's South Shore got walloped by a surprise snow storm 10 days ago.  My hometown got about 2 feet of snow (the forecast that morning was for 1-3 inches).  And the coastline got absolutely pounded for 2 straight days.  The Marshfield 5K is basically an oceanfront race that starts and finishes on the Brant Rock Esplanade.  Here's what the starting line looked like on Friday, March 8:And here's what it looked like yesterday morning:(This photo is taken from a different angle, but that's the same white picket fence in each picture.  Pretty amazing.)My time was slower than in my first 5K of the year in January, but that was entirely due to the traffic jam in the beginning.  It took me over 9 minutes to reach the first mile marker, and I was still able to finish with an 8:20 pace for the entire race, so I was pretty pleased with how I ran overall.  As for the other aspects of the event, see below. Organization - 4 Stars (out of 5)I picked up two race packets on Wednesday evening, and it couldn't have gone more smoothly.  Lines were clearly labeled and I was in and out in 5 minutes.  I was even able to change the size of my race shirt with zero hassle.  My only complaint organizationally-speaking concerned the number of walkers who were clogging the middle of the starting area instead of starting at the back.  Maybe it wasn't communicated well.  Maybe a lot of people had never done a race like this and were unfamiliar with the etiquette.  But if you were a runner who cares even a little bit about your time, and you weren't lined up at the front of the field, you ran into MAJOR traffic problems for  at least the first half mile.I started in the 8-9 minute mile section, and there were tons of people who started in front of me who clearly planned to walk the entire way.  Which is fine.  But if you're going to walk, don't start in the front of the pack and force the runners to weave around you.  Start in the back.  It's better for everyone.The Course - 3 StarsYou would think that an oceanfront course would earn a higher rating, but the dirty little secret of this race is that the first 2.5 miles aren't very scenic at all.  You run north on Plymouth Street for about a mile and a half, then do a U-turn and come back on Ocean Street.  But you can't really see the ocean until you get to the last half mile or so.  That last half mile is fabulous, however.  Great views to your left, and a nice little downhill right before the finish.Swag-o-Meter - 2 StarsAside from a handful of brochures and coupons, the highlight of the swag bag was a cheesy insulated bag from Quirk Chrysler Jeep Dodge that I will never, ever use.  At first I thought it was a fanny pack, but upon closer examination it looks more like a small lunch box, or a cooler that MIGHT be able to hold 2 beers at once.The race shirt looked decent from a technical perspective (i.e, proper material for a running shirt), but I'm not a big fan of goofy running leprechaun logos.  If I was Irish, I might even be slightly offended.Post Race - 4.5 StarsIf you want to eat and drink for 10-12 hours after a race, this is the event for you!  Just make sure you don't mind crowds, because there are only 3 restaurants/bars to choose from in Brant Rock (Haddad's, The Bailey, and Venus II), and with 3,000 runners plus spectators, they fill up quick.  I couldn't partake this year because I had my kids with me and my daughter was tired/cranky, but from the looks of things, a great time was had by all.All in all, an excellent event.  Highly recommended.

Race #2: Marshfield St. Patrick's Day 5K Images

Marshfield St. Patrick's Day 5K - Marshfield, MA - Sports Venue ...
(720 x 540 - 131.57 KB - jpeg)

St. Patrick's Day Shamrock 5K in Baltimore, MD - Mar 14, 2010 1:15 pm ...
(500 x 500 - 13.85 KB - jpeg)

St. Patrick's Day Race 2013 in Bay City |
(665 x 437 - 110.22 KB - jpeg)

2,000 compete in St. Patrick's Day Road Race in Marshfield - Featured ...
(300 x 182 - 14.72 KB - jpeg)

Race #2: Marshfield St. Patrick's Day 5K

No comments:

Post a Comment