Race Recap: Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5K


When you race after a full day of work you never really know what to expect. 7PM races can always be an interesting challenge to ensure you have properly hydrated throughout the day, ate the right amount of fuel but not too much and still have enough energy in the tank to tackle the race well even after putting in a full day of work.

On Thursday, it was out to South Boston for the 31st Annual Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5K. This is an exceptionally good race put on by the L Street Running Club and takes runners along a relatively flat and typically hot 5K course alongside Carson Beach in Southie. The road is shut down to traffic for the quick time the race takes place and runners have the road to themselves as they make their way out onto the course.

The race is known to have featured some tough warm temperatures in prior years and given you are in the sun the entire way this 5K course can certainly take a toll when the weather is hot. Fortunately, this Thursday night was an absolutely gorgeous night with temperatures still warm but not scorching, absolutely no humidity in the air and a gentle breeze from time to time coming off the water. When compared to the brutally warm conditions from last year’s race, this year was a simply perfect night to run a 5K.

In this year’s Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5K, I felt strong making my way out onto the course and it seemed as though it was going to be one of those running days where you just sort of know you have it. The out-and-back 5K course allows you to hit the water stop twice which certainly came in handy and through more than 3/4 of the race I kept up a nice pace. I could feel myself fading a little bit as I hit the 3 mile marker but knowing there was just a tenth of a mile left to go I dug deep and finished with a time of 23:07, good for 7:27/miles.

A great result and proving just how nice of a night it was for a run in last year’s scorcher I ran an 8:44/pace so shaving more than a minute per mile off I couldn’t be more pleased with that result!

Be sure to “Like” the Jim Kane Sugar Bowl’s Facebook page by clicking here and I will see you at next year’s race!

World Congress on Thyroid Cancer 5K


It’s time to register for the World Congress on Thyroid Cancer (WCTC) 5K presented by Sanofi Genzyme, which is being held on July 30th at 6:30am at the Hatch Memorial Shell.

The inaugural WCTC 5K is an official activity of the 3rd World Congress on Thyroid Cancer, welcoming event goers, their colleagues and Bostonians to run or walk. This race has a very reasonable registration fee of just $15!

Join the WCTC 5K to raise awareness for thyroid cancer. For an additional $15 participants can purchase a technical race shirt. All proceeds from this event will be donated.

Runners will tackle a great flat course and will run along the Charles River in this out-and-back course starting and ending at the Hatch Memorial Shell.

To register for the World Congress on Thyroid Cancer (WCTC) 5K, please click here. Be sure to also “Like” and ‘Follow” the race on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


19th Annual Doyle’s Emerald Necklace Road Race


After a long winter, heading out into the Jamaica Plain section of Boston yesterday was a most welcome venture. The sun was beating down and being able to wear short sleeves and shorts while running really felt amazing. The race was the 19th Annual Doyle’s Emerald Necklace Road Race and the race was a great spring run on what turned out to be a truly nice day.

The race is sponsored by Doyle’s Cafe which is a traditional Irish pub in Jamaica Plain. Following the race, the pub does a sensational job putting on a block party complete with a DJ, Sam Adams beer and food. Doyle’s holds the distinction as being the first pub that poured Sam Adams beer therefore having a pint there is sort of the ultimate beer drinker’s utopia after running a good five mile race.

The course itself is a beautiful 5 mile course through Franklin Park which is part of the Emerald Necklace chain of parks. The course is paved the entire way and even with a tough winter the roads for the most part were in pretty good shape. It was great to hear the Boston Police Gaelic Column playing heading out onto the course and close to the finish line as we made our way back toward the pub. I’m not sure if I am the only Irishman who has a strange reaction while hearing bagpipes where I get goosebumps coupled with an extra little kick in the legs upon hearing them play but it was a great touch for an awesome race. Race volunteers were at each mile marker and water was provided by course volunteers and by Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley.

I finished the 19th Annual Doyle’s Emerald Necklace Road Race with a time of 39:56 or 7:59/miles.

JP Morgan Corporate Challenge


Last Tuesday evening, eight of my co-workers and I took place in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in downtown Boston. The race is a jam packed 3.5 mile course that takes runners away from Boston Common, down Massachusetts Avenue, through Kenmore Square and then back down toward the Common where the finish line is located. The run is not really a race as packing 12,000 runners on such a short and narrow course is near impossible but rather serves as a fun way for Boston area businesses to show their corporate pride and compete against one another.

The Corporate Challenge allows both walkers and runners to take place in the event and for several participants the race is either their first foray into running or serves as an annual event to keep the joints honest. For those looking to PR the race, this is probably not the one for you as there are significant course bottlenecks along the way preventing you from running your true pace.

The weather on Tuesday night was perfect with the sun beginning to set around the post-7PM start time but there still being some heat in the air to help you burn a few extra calories. The course itself is pancake flat and brings runner along a historic and scenic boulevard in downtown Boston before runners make a u-turn at the iconic Citgo sign and head back toward Boston Common. The post-race amenities are always quite good with a fan favorite this year being the Yasso Frozen Green Yogurt bars that helped us all cool down.

I completed the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge with a time of 30:32 which was good for 8:43/miles. Thanks to my company teammates for joining this year and I look forward to having more co-workers join in 2015!

The Boston Marathon 2014

ImageYesterday the big day was finally here. It was time for the 2014 Boston Marathon! After months of preparation, significant effort to fundraise and more cold winter runs than I would have hoped for we loaded the buses at Boston Common to make our way out to the starting line in Hopkinton.

In 2013, Beth Ann was unable to finish the Marathon due to the terrorist attacks at the finish line. You can read more about our 2013 race experience by clicking here. Given what unfolded, this year I pledged to run with Beth Ann for the entire race and promised to her that we would cross the finish line together. What might have started out as just a “nice husband sort of offer” turned out to be one of the best decisions I could have ever made surrounding running a race.

As we lined up at the starting line, the emotion of hitting the Boston Marathon course was pretty overwhelming. I looked at Beth Ann and told her “We’re going to do this” and post fist-bump we were off. The first several miles of the race went really well; we hit a nice stride and the support along the course was nothing short of amazing. The course was jam-packed with supporters and whether they were a casual observer sitting in a lawn chair and clapping or a raucous college student imbibing the same number of beers as we would be running miles, the supporters were screaming from the start to the finish line and helped motivate runners along the way.

Thanks to the Thirsty Irish Runners for their support at the Mile 4 water stop. Perfect timing as we arrived at the water stop as Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ was blaring on their speakers!

Around Mile 10 or so Beth Ann started to experience some rather bad leg cramping and knee pain which really began to impact the run. As we continued along, there became a point where Beth Ann looked at me and told me to go run without her but I committed to cross the finish line with her. It wasn’t an option to leave her; we were going to do this together. As we continued along the course, we mixed running and walking to help ease some of the pain. After a couple of emotional breaks, I told Beth Ann we would get to the finish together and I was proud of her. We both reminded ourselves of why we were running (raising money for a cause so near and dear to us) and we knew the finish line would get here soon enough.

The Wellesley College girls were amazing as always and their signs were better than 2012 when I ran Boston before. The Boston College students cheered for us with the same fervor as if we were running neck and neck for 1st and 2nd place. The crowds simply did not let up and certainly did not disappoint.

Between Miles 23 and 24 were my brother, my parents and family friends. Thankfully, Owen had the requisite gummy bears to help fuel the last stretch and the cheers of my parents was an added boost. It was awesome to have them there. They spent a long day in the city waiting to see us get to where they were but having them there even for the brief few seconds we stopped to say hello meant the absolute world to both Beth Ann and I.

As we made our way to the Mile 25 mark the famous Citgo sign became visible and knowing the route, we knew we were close to the finish line. Making our way into the Mass. Ave tunnel where so many runners were stopped last year was quite an emotional fete and as we made our final right hand turn onto Hereford Street, I looked at Beth Ann and she said “Let’s do this.” We ran on Hereford and then made the final left hand turn onto Boylston. I’ll never forget the look in her eyes when she challenged me to sprint into the finish line and was so incredibly proud to be joining her crossing the Boston Marathon finish line. Racing down Boylston was quite emotional as we ran past where I was standing last year, the location of the two blasts and the sites that even for non-marathoners became emblazoned in the minds of so many. We did it! We finished the Boston Marathon! The time was 6:02:18 or 13:50/miles. Beth Ann beat herself up a couple times on the course and told me “It’s just not my day.” To that, I say hogwash. We finished the Boston Marathon, an accomplishment most people can only dream of. It was her day. It was our day.

ImageHaving the volunteer place the medal over each of our necks was also quite an emotional point of the day and one that I will never forget. We earned the medal this year and Beth Ann received the honor of having the medal placed around her neck this year that was so senselessly taken away from her last year.

So now, with the race behind us, it is time for rest, ice, refueling and thanking all of those who supported us. We have raised over $7200 for Tufts Medical Center and The Floating Hospital for Children. You can read more about our efforts here.