On Sunday morning it was off to Canton, Massachusetts for the Irish Cultural Centre of New England’s 5K road race. This race was the September Grand Prix race for our running club, Thirsty Irish Runners, and it was great to be back at the starting line of a live race with a good amount of familiar faces. Getting to actual races becomes ever more a challenge with soccer back in full swing for our daughters but thankfully an 8AM early morning game nearby allowed us to get to Canton in plenty of time for the 11:30 race starting time.
The race starts and finishes on the grounds of the Irish Cultural Centre, a remarkable place complete with a pub, fields for hurling, soccer and other Irish sports and even an authentic Irish looking cottage on site. The Irish Cultural Centre does an excellent job curating cultural events ranging from sports to music to Irish language and history courses and more. Definitely worth checking out!
The course is relatively flat though there are a couple sneaky, gradual uphill climbs mixed in. Nothing fancy in terms of the course once you get off the grounds of the Irish Cultural Centre as the race takes you through a nearby industrial park for most of the race. A couple water stops came in handy out on the course and there was a good breeze which helped along the way.
I felt pretty good in the first two miles but then in the last mile sort of had nothing left in the tank and my legs were heavy. I dialed back the speed a bit to pace myself a bit more in hopes that my legs would loosen up some but no such luck for the most part. Nonetheless, I still finished with a decent time of 24:58, good for 8:04/miles on the 5K route. Not my best time of late but they can’t all be great!
Upon finishing across the bridge leading runners back into the Irish Cultural Centre grounds, a fresh pint of Guinness certainly was a nice finishing prize for a tough race!