(Photography Credit: PhotographyByNewman.com)
Last Sunday it was a short drive up Route 24 to Brockton, Massachusetts for the 37th Annual Paddy Kelly Road Race. This five mile race is sponsored by the Colonial Road Runners and takes place within D.W. Field Park, a great park with running/walking paths through the urban locale of Brockton.
Having run the Paddy Kelly a number of times, you know what the course entails but the challenge of a race in February means you never know what the weather is going to bring on race day. Last year, the race was held with temperatures well below zero and a previous year the race was cancelled due to the snow and moved to April. This year, the temperatures were moderate for February and some rain made its way into the region. That said, race clothing called for shorts a long sleeve shirt and a coat which provided enough warmth and protection from the rain along the way.
The 5 mile course takes runners through what is really a hidden gem sort of place when it comes to nice, paved running trails free from traffic. As runners crossed streets intersecting the park, Brockton police officers held traffic allowing runners to cross safely. Each mile is marked on the course and a water stop is present about halfway through the race. Even though the race is in February and temperatures aren’t scorching, for a five mile race I do always wish there were two water stops on the course to support hydrating along the way.
The Paddy Kelly Road Race was the February Grand Prix race for the Thirsty Irish Runners so a nice sea of TIR green made their way onto the course and stuck around for the post-race merriment. Each runner is provided a ticket for a free beer in the Westgate Lanes Bowling Alley after the run and pasta, chili and a roll is available to help refuel, as well.
This year, the course was the normal five mile route as in past years due to some weather challenges the race has had to shift course a little bit. For the five miles, I ran a per mile pace of 8:21, good for a final time of 41:44. Last year in the frigid temps I ran an 8:46 pace so it was nice to be able to push the legs a bit more this year and finish with a nice pace.