Why do I keep going back?
- The beautiful 13.1 mile course starts in the Fenway district of Boston, runs out to Franklin Park Zoo along the Emerald Necklace, and returns along the same route. I've heard it described as a moderately difficult course, but the hills are nothing compared to New Hampshire hills.
- Columbus Day weekend is a great time of year for a half marathon. The temperature is cooler and the Fall foliage is just getting started in Boston.
- The race is very well organized. It is officially run by the Boston Athletic Association, but it is really directed by Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises. This is the same team that has directed the Boston Marathon for the past several years. Each year, the B.A.A. Half organizers bring a great volunteer staff, provide excellent traffic control, and in general manage the race flawlessly.
- At three thousand plus runners, it is a medium sized field. It's not big enough to cause a huge bottleneck at the start, but you have plenty of company all along the course.
- The crowd support is great. Much of the six mile plus, out-and-back course is lined with people cheering the runners. The crowds give you a boost of energy, especially in the last two miles. The smaller New Hampshire races I normally run just can't compare.
This year my time was about four minutes slower, but it was about what I expected given the amount of training I've been able to do. When you are a middle-of-the-pack runner, your main goal is to run your best possible time at an even pace. You don't want to go out too fast and finish the race slow. This year I felt in control of my pace largely because I am now so familiar with the course. I can't wait to give it another try next year.