COURSE STRATEGY

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!