The First 3 Miles
- Have a race plan going into the race: have a sense of the time that you are looking to run and break that down into mile splits.
- You should feel pretty good to start (don’t get caught up in the excitement), so don’t try and push the pace too soon. Be very cautious on the initial downhill - you want something left in the tank to climb the hills to get back to the finish.
- You should use the first couple of miles along the Arborway to get a sense of your pace and settle into a rhythm.
- By the time you reach Jamaica Pond, you should be feeling reasonably comfortable.
Miles 4 - 7
- There are some long downhill sections on the Riverway - again, be careful not to push the pace.
- Use the stretch between the 4 and 6 mile marks to settle into your goal race pace.
- The turn-around point is at the 4.75-mile mark.
- If you are running around 6 minute pace, you are likely to see the lead men’s pack heading back just after you pass the 4-mile mark.
- As you make the turn at 4.75 miles, you will see the race participants heading out to the turn-around for the next mile before the course turns off of the Riverway onto Pond Ave.
- Once you turn onto Pond Ave., you have about a half mile before the 10K.
- Use your 10K time to see where you are in relation to your goal pace.
- As you return along the flat stretch adjacent to Jamaica Pond and the Jamaica Way, this is a good time to assess how you are feeling. If you are feeling good, you may want to pick up your pace slightly; if you are not feeling great, you may have to back off a bit.
Miles 8 - 9
- As you make your way past the Arnold Arboretum, stay relaxed, maintain a steady pace, and begin to mentally prepare for the climb into the zoo.
- This is the part of the race that may start to become hard - especially if this is your first time racing over 10K.
- Maintaining your mental focus may be a challenge here - as you did on the way out, try to settle into a steady rhythm - cruise control!
- As you approach the 8-mile mark, you will rejoin the course heading back from the 2-mile mark to the 1-mile mark.
Miles 10 - 12
- You will enter Franklin Park and have a quarter-mile climb.
- Take a right, just past the Shattuck Hospital onto Circuit Drive. This part of the course is relatively flat with a turn-around just past the 10-mile mark. You will see other runners heading toward you as they approach the 11-mile split.
- As you reach the 11-mile mark, bear right onto Circuit Drive. There is a half-mile hill as you climb toward the zoo.
- Your splits will slow down on the hill.
- Good hill running technique: relax, shorten your stride, lean slightly into the hill, don’t try and sprint. A good goal is to try and maintain your place - don’t worry about the mile split.
- Just before the 12-mile mark, you will be directed onto a footpath that parallels Circuit Drive. Be aware of the sharp turns to get onto this path.
- Just past the 12-mile mark, you will make a left turn, heading towards the zoo gate entrance
- You will have a few zigs and zags as you navigate a relatively straight shot up through the zoo.
The Final Mile
- You are almost home!
- As you exit the zoo, you have about a half-mile to go - too soon for that final sprint, but you can start to really pick it up. You have less than 5 minutes to race!
- You will hear the cheers at the finish line as you circle past White Stadium.
- You will enter the Stadium at the 13-mile mark - .1 to go! Time to bring it home and then you can relish your accomplishment - and enjoy the post-race festivities!