Hey Worcester! Do you know where Newton Hill is?
It's in Elm Park, behind Doherty High School, and it's a big old hill. There's a halfway decent disc golf course there, in case you didn't know. The Central Mass Striders and the Friends of Newton Hill run a 5K series on Tuesday nights at 6:30 in August. For the past two years, every day, twice a day, my husband and I would drive past a sign advertising the event on the way to and from daycare. And I always said, "I want to do that race!" But I always forgot.
Today, my husband remembered for me while we were at a small party at work. I wasn't sure I could do it. My daughter had a piano lesson from 5:30 to 6:00. It was already 5:00, and I was still in my work clothes, we didn't even have the kids picked up yet, and the piano lesson was a couple of towns away. Plus, I had a belly full of brie and champagne (rough life, I know). I was feeling bold, so I figured I'd at least try to make it. On the way to pick up the kids, he slowed the car down a few blocks from home and let me out to run back to the house, get changed, and get the piano books together.
We made it to piano lesson, then I dropped my daughter off at home and headed to the race. I had to run up to the tent to register, but on the plus side, I got a decent warm-up. I forgot my watch, though. Oh well.
What a fun course! Newton hill park isn't that big - apparently, the perimeter is only 3/4 of a mile around. In order to have a 5K there, obviously, the course has to loop around and climb Newton Hill a few times. Newton Hill has about a 200 foot elevation change, so that's somewhere near around 500 feet of climbing in a 5K.
There were just over 40 people racing, and I got started near the middle of the pack. There was one woman ahead of me, and she appeared to be a teenager. About a half a mile in, another woman shot past me, but somewhere before the halfway point, I saw her jogging slowly back the wrong way. I don't know what happened to her, but it meant I was the second woman!
I leap frogged with a handful of guys for the rest of the race. I'm a very fast downhill runner, so I was able to get to the front of us every time we went down, but they'd keep passing me on the uphills.
Just a warning that the last 20 yards of this course is extremely steep and rocky! I passed two guys, and tried to catch a third, but he came in a few seconds ahead of me. My final time was 26:30. The woman that beat me was indeed a teenager, so I won my age group (20 to 39) and took home a Friends of Newton Hill Pint Glass. Yay!