Since my parents bought a place in Brewster and we discovered this late summer race, it has quickly become one of my favorites. It is also the race that almost killed me. I ended up in a kiddie pool instead. Talk about a love/hate relationship.
The Brew Run is a bit of an odd duck when compared to most other domestic road races. It’s 5.2 miles long. It starts at 4 in the afternoon. The primary post-race refreshment is beer and cookies. Weird, but sort of attractive, right? I know I’m not alone.
Don’t let outward appearances fool you. This is a professionally organized and timed event. This year was the 38th running and brought out another large (over 1k runners), fast field.
As much as I love a free cold beer after a race in the afternoon, as opposed to the early morning, the late day start time does bring some distinct disadvantages. Namely, the heat and humidity of the Cape in August. This year was no exception. While the heat and humidity actually improved over the previous few days, Saturday was still in the low 80’s with uncomfortable humidity (71 dew point for you weather nerds). A stark contrast to my early morning race in the cool climes and low humidity of San Diego just last week.
The late afternoon time was actually doubly tough on me as with Addison’s your cortisol levels are near their lowest point late in the day (hence the second pill at dinner). Almost all of my workouts now are done in the morning now and rarely much beyond lunch.
Heat. Humidity. Late day timing. Who’s excited to run?! Me, of course. I love a challenge.
After the usual preliminaries, we crossed under their trademark huge American flag and were off. The legs felt a bit heavy at the start and given the temperature, I tried to go out conservatively and grab any water that was available. I had a feeling 5 miles in today’s conditions would feel more like 7 or 8. Mile one was dead flat and I just tried to stay to the shady side of the street and find a pace group.
Mile 1: 7:21 – Not bad, I’d be happy today with 5 miles at around 7 minutes/mile.
Mile 2 starts the gradual, quad suffocating climb that doesn’t ever get really steep but never really gives you a break until you hit mile 4.5 where you finally get a downhill to the finish. Miles 2 and 3 I held to plan (7:25, 7:33). Not exactly cranking it up, but maintaining well enough. Or so I thought.
The wheels completely came off and I careened into the wall during mile 4, reduced to walking the last section of hill before recovering slightly to get to the finish.
The most memorable part of this year’s Brew Run wasn’t the beer or cookies or bonking, but the large temporary pool they had at the finish. I don’t remember this the other times I’ve ran, but I have never been so happy to get in an ice bath.
Mile 4: 8:18
Mile 5: 8:13
Totals: 40:35 7:48/mile 162/1223 overall 43/115 AG