Needham New Year’s 5k Race Recap!

Greg and the boys showed up to surprise me and cheer me on! (I told them to stay home where it was warm, but the kids held signs up from the car while Greg got out and took this photo 🙂

Started out the year with the Needham New Year’s 5k! I ran it in 2013, 2014, and 2015 too and it’s such a great race. It’s put on by the Needham Running Club and they do a wonderful job.

Registration is at the Needham Y, so there are bathrooms and warm areas available to hang out in before the race, and the starting line is close to the building. The race is chip-timed by racewire with free finish-line photos uploaded the same day of the race.

There’s always plenty of street parking available, and they shut some of the roads down for safety. There’s a great police presence at intersections, and there are volunteers all over the place – they have someone at every turn and plenty of people answering questions, handing out water, and registering people same day. (Same day registration: $25. Advance: $20.)

So impressed by the people outside singing in the freezing temps!

They handed out hand-warmers, Needham New Year’s 5k race socks, and reusable water bottles for race swag, customized with your name if you registered by December 5th. I put the hand-warmers in the toebox of my shoes on top of my feet. It was amazing.

Despite freezing cold temperatures, 296 runners participated. It was a relatively flat course through residential areas and one main street with wide breakdown lanes and mostly stopped traffic.

I didn’t stay afterward, lured home by the promise of a hot shower and lunch. But they had free coffee and hot chocolate inside both before and after the race.

The Needham Running club has the most modest membership dues of any running club I’ve seen in the area ($15 per year) just enough to cover their race expenses, USATF fee, cones and orange vests for safety, etc. They have weekly runs on Saturday mornings with mileage options ranging from 4 all the way up to 20, and seem very welcoming of any pace or distance (they even have Couch to 5k info on their site.) Needham area runners should scroll to the bottom of their homepage to see their running routes around Needham for ideas.

This is my fourth time running the Needham New Year’s 5k, and my slowest, but I was impressed that I had a nice, steady run despite spending most of 2017 swimming and taking classes at the Equinox instead of running. I put in very few miles this year. In 2016, when I was also biking a lot and swimming a lot in preparation for Tri For a Cure, my mileage was down but I still completed the Chilly Half Marathon in November. In 2017 I dropped out of Tri For a Cure because of plantar fascia issues, and did very little running.

So I’m thrilled that I’ve resolved to run 500 miles this year, and that I was able to start out with a 5k. It might have been my slowest Needham New Year’s 5k yet, but I got up and braved a “feels like -6 degrees” temperature and ran the whole thing without having to walk.

That’s a win as far as I’m concerned!

Past Needham New Year’s 5k Times:

Needham New Year’s 5k – January 1st, 2018 – 33:20 (10:43 pace)

PR: Needham New Year’s 5k – January 1st, 2015 – 27:49 (8:58 pace)

Needham New Year’s Day 5k- January 1st, 2014 – 28:39 (9:13 pace)

Needham New Years Day 5k – January 2013 – 30:37 (9:51 pace)

I remember running that sub 28 minute 5k in 2015. That was the year I did the Run Less, Run Faster half marathon training plan. It definitely provided results. And so did taking a year off from running. 😉

Happy New Year, and HAPPY RUNNING!

(Or vinyasa-ing, or cycling, or swimming, or tabata-ing, or walking, or hiking, or tennis playing, or aqua-sporting, or whatever helps you happily live an active life!)


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