The Dam Race, 19 October 2013

What: 5K

Where: Sutton, Massachusetts (course map)

Who: Me and Colin, with Drew as our moral support

Benefited: The Manchaug Pond Foundation*

Time: 34:25 Personal Record! (Since beaten)

Photos: (click to open larger versions)

Starting line

Starting line

And they're off!

And they’re off!

Never too early in a race to start the banter

Never too early in a race to start the banter

Runners crossing the dam. Photo from

Recap: It was a lovely fall morning, hardly a cloud in the sky, and the pond looked like a dream. While waiting for the race to begin, I was seriously questioning my decision to wear tiny shorts… I never knew goosebumps could be so giant! However, the temperature proved to be perfect for a run and my kit was a good choice.

We faced some of the steepest hills we’ve run yet (but not as bad as Portland!), and Colin and I bemoaned the lack of visible hills on Google Maps, as we weren’t able to mentally prepare ourselves for the climbs. The worst hill was during the first half of the race though, and since the course was a loop, we kept telling ourselves that running back would be all downhill. That knowledge, along with our singing a few lines of Meatloaf’s “Bat Outta Hell” and Muse’s “Uprising,” proved to be good motivation.

As we approached the dam and the finish line, Colin checked the stopwatch on his phone and announced we’d been running for 31 minutes. Knowing the end was close, and knowing that my PR was currently at 35.08, I pushed myself into a faster pace. Colin and I tend to sprint once we get in sight of the finish line, but I was determined to set a new PR, even if that meant running faster for longer than I was used to. It ended up being a good decision, because I beat my PR! It wasn’t a chip-timed race, and I didn’t have my own stopwatch going, but I glanced at the timer at the finish line and saw 34:2-something, and until I get the official email, I’m going with 34:25. [Edit: The results were finally posted, and whaddyaknow my official time was actually 34:25!]

I felt great after this race… no sore muscles to speak of! I didn’t feel too faint either, which is a huge benefit of running in cooler weather. The pumpkin waffle and chocolate milk at The Picket Fence afterwards didn’t hurt either!

*My grandma’s second husband lived on Manchaug for decades and was very involved in the pond’s upkeep and preservation. I ran this race in honor of him!


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