I really wanted to race a 5k before Boston so I would know what I'd be dealing with when I began my big sub-17 quest after the marathon, so on Tuesday night I headed up to Lowell for the opening night of the Good Times 5k series. I'm really glad I did.
It was a cold, windy night but otherwise okay racing weather. I was lucky enough to get a guided tour of the course by Good Times regular, EJ Hrynowski. The course is pretty flat, except for a couple bridge crossings but it does have a few quirks including some pedestrian bridges and weird-shaped walkways, so I was glad to see it before the race. The last mile of the race also includes a bit of the end of the Bay State marathon, so that brought back some harrowing but good memories.
Anyway, I ran 17:38 for my first ever road race win. Turns out all I had to do was find a weekly 5k race when no real fast guys showed up! Mostly though I was pleased with the time in a solo effort on a cold night, off of nothing but mileage--and it makes sub 17 seem somewhat within reach. After the race every week there is a fun post-race party at Hookslide Kelly's sportsbar in downtown Lowell. This was a lot of fun and I will definitely try to make it back for a few more Good Times races.