Finish at the 50 Race Report

On Tuesday the whole family headed down to Gillette Stadium (home of my beloved Patriots) for the Finish at the 50! We arrived in plenty of time to score a prime parking space for the fireworks later, and headed over to the entrance to the stadium for the kids races. All of the event emails had said that the kids races started at 3 – well at 3:05 we along with 700+ kids and their families were still waiting outside the gates, melting in the sun. We finally got in and seated according to age-group heats only to hear our master of ceremonies announce that the races would kick-off at 3:30 — more waiting in the sun and heat! Uggh!

Finally the first group of kids were called down to the field to get started. There were kids as young as 2 participating – they were so cute! And with some many kids there were multiple age group heats, plus each age-group was split by gender. Watching the kids all give it their best was a lot of fun and parents did there best to whoop it up and make a lot of noise for them. Each kids race crossed the same finish line the 5k & 10k would use later and they could see themselves on the jumbo-tron as they finished!


with the Patriot’s mascot!

Once my son’s race was done we made a beeline for the covered part of the stadium and the concession stands! Despite doing my best to keep downing Nuun throughout the kids races I could feel my energy level draining. There was still an hour and a half until my race so we decided to avoid the very crowded expo/mall and headed back to the car to hang out. I grab a banana and Luna bar and more water. Soon it was time to head over to the start. It was approaching 6 PM and unfortunately wasn’t cooling off (my phone showed a temp of 85).

Pre-race with my favorite cheer squad!

I waited as long as I could before heading down into the corrals. Unfortunately, the race didn’t start right at 6 and waiting in that heat with 7000 of my closest friends was a little tough! I chatted with a couple of people and tried not to think about how hot it was. Finally the crowd started to shift forward and everybody let out a cheer -We were off!

My only plan for this race was to run on feel so I just tried to settle into among the crowd and find a pace that felt comfortable. I was holding up pretty well for the first 3+ miles but as I neared the 4 mile marker I could tell the heat was starting to take a toll. I walked the water station drinking some water and dumping the rest over my head. The 5th mile became a run/walk death march – I was ready to be done! We were running through residential neighborhoods and people had brought out hoses and set up makeshift water stations to help. There weren’t many spectators but the ones that were along the course were really enthusiastic! I was so happy to see the 5 mile marker! We were looping back towards the stadium now and I started to hear the music and race announcer. For the last stretch of the race, we came through the same tunnel that the NE Patriot players use to come on to the field, and then down the center of the field to the 50 yard line finish! Truly a cool way to finish a race, especially with the announcer calling your name and your finish up on the giant screens both above and outside the stadium!

Happy the race is over!

J and the kids were right where they said they were going to be in the stands so we had no problem finding each other. There were pre-packaged goodie bags for all the runners – I grab a bag, some water and a greek yougurt  and was ready to head out. We made our way back to the car and set up the picnic blanket and chairs to wait for the fireworks. It was a great fireworks display!

All in all despite the heat it was a fun day! The course itself was a nice route and I kept thinking I would have love to have run it first thing in the morning (or as one runner and joked during the race – in October!) I didn’t love running late in the day – and it showed in my slowest 10k time ever. I think if I run another summer race that I’ll stick to the early morning starts! But it was a fun event for the whole family to participate in and a great way to kick off the 4th of July celebrations!

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Comments

  1. I almost did this one just so I could see the stadium up close and personal! What a bummer they didn’t start on time on such a hot day.

    Sounds like you & the family had a great time!

  2. Sounds like you did have a great time despite the heat!! I still have this one on my bucket list….I keep postponing it due to heat!!

  3. Awesome report!
    I did this race last year (on July 4th) and I remember that it was just as hot that day as well. Can’t win this time of year.
    I wish I could have done it again, but being that it was in the afternoon, there was no way I could make it.

    Glad to hear you all had fun.

  4. What a great experience Michelle! You had the right attitude with that heat The kids are adorbs!

  5. What a cool setting for a race. Mine seem to start next to a warehouse, or near a gas station …. very exotic. I’m with you on the early morning starts for races. If these last couple weeks are any indication, this is going to be a mean summer to be a runner.

  6. Heat changes everything for sure, but you’re smiling in your pictures – can’t beat that!

    And how fun to be @ Gillette for that 🙂

  7. Looks like a fun event. Nice job battling through the heat!

  8. What a great way to spend 4th of July! Good job!!

  9. I’m not a fan of late day running either, but you did great! The heat has been baaad this summer! I ran a race yesterday and the humidity did me in!

  10. This race sounds like it was fun for all of you guys even if it did turn out to be your slowest 10K. I prefer running early in the morning too. I really like the picture of you and the boys!

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