Bradley Harris

Race Report - BAA Half Marathon

  • Goal: See a giraffe, 10th Place - BAA Distance Medley
  • Result: 1:22:58

This is the third year in a row running this race for me. For me, it feels like a quintessential New England fall running experience. Even much more so than the Boston Marathon, the weather, the people, and the course really show what running is about around here.

This year I found myself in reach of the top ten in the inaugural BAA Distance Medley (5K, 10K, and Half Marathon).

Thanks to a shuttle bus driver that somehow got lost on the way from JFK station, I had precious little time for warm up. I quickly dropped my bag in the check and headed down the hill that is the first mile of the course. I ran into Tim H. midway down as he was on his way up to volunteer at the finish. He wheeled around and ran with me for a bit and we chatted about goals and the usual. I made it back to the start line just as the wheel chairs were starting.

The start corral was pretty spacious in front of the 7 minute pace so the start was pretty comfortable. The race starts with a pretty steady downhill and I focused on controlling the pace.

After the turnaround I started to see many of my SRR team mates headed the other way. We yelled hellos and encouragement as we passed. SRR had enough of a presence that after awhile a guy I had been running just behind turned and said, “Dude, you are like famous or something!”

One mile after the turnaround the course heads over to the other side of Jamaica Pond. Over here the spectator crowds are thinner and the field starts to string out too. There are some rolling hills but nothing spectacular. This is a good place relax and prepare for what is to come.

At mile 8 this race course plays a cruel trick. After climbing an overpass it re-enters Franklin Park. At this point you start to see some more spectators and it feels like the finish line is close. The reality: 5 miles, two out and backs, and one major hill. The first time I ran this race I was full on blindsided and found myself walking in the last mile. The second time I was ready and careful and found myself passing many people in the last mile. Today I simply anticipated pain and I went ahead and leaned into it. At the top of the overpass I said to myself, “This will hurt and you will enjoy it.”

After a long out and back on the golf course there is another major hill and then a smaller out and back in the zoo. The past 2 years I have finished the race only to hear everyone talking about the giraffes they saw in the zoo. This time, after entering the zoo I probably slowed a little as I focused on my real goal: seeing that damn giraffe. I did spot the sign for the giraffe habitat but it appeared that no one was home (unlike previous years, I didn’t hear from anyone else that saw the giraffe either).

There is about 1K left after the zoo to circle the stadium and get to the finish. I finished up and said hello to my SRR friends handing out finisher medals and waited around near the finish for other running friends to come in.

4 minute PR and 10th overall in the medley. Later I headed into the stands to watch Remlee finish with an 11 minute PR looking the happiest she ever has at the end of a half marathon.