I managed to grab a place at the Cambridge Oktoberfest 5k from a friend at my local running group in Boston, and I’m glad I did, it was a blast! I’ve never been to a 5k that finished with free beer, food and a dance party – all before noon – but I’d certainly go again!
The race itself was very well organised. Slight queue for registration but very efficient in distributing T-shirts and glasses, and checking IDs for the post-race party. Bag check and a quick visit to a porta-potty and I was set for the race.
The course was essentially an out-and-back, with the out and back sections being one block apart. It is also flat. So all the ingredients for a
great time. The only thing that could have made getting a great time easier would be a more organised start; I spent the first minute in a little bit of traffic, mixing it with people in fancy dress and strollers, before I could really hit my stride.
But I wouldn’t change that for the world! The crazy fancy dress, with people running in lederhosen, dirndls and all kinds of ‘Germanic’ dress make the race special! Including the post-race beer, pretzels, dance off and costume competition.
And that’s not to say the competition wasn’t fierce; the winner came in 15:38. So it’s great mixture of athletics and partying. I guess that’s the American way – it was similar at the Boston Triathlon two months earlier.
In terms of my performance, I ran well and pushed myself. I got a stitch at about 2 miles, something that has been happening more and more to me recently. Still I was pleased to run in 23:08, and just pleased in general to be out racing again!