Cupid’s Chase 5K
Saturday, February 9, 2019
10:00 AM Start
Lakeside Inn, 595 North Ave, Wakefield, MA
This was the 6th annual running of the Cupid’s Chase 5K. It seems to usually be held a week or two before Valentines’s Day. The race is a USATF sanctioned event open to runners, walkers, and strollers. The course is a fast and flat loop around Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, MA.
Proceeds from the race were donated to the National MS Society.
Online registration and chip timing were managed by North Shore Timing with payment processed through PayPal. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, they offered a discount for registering as a couple. They considered a couple any group of 2 – friend, foe, family, or significant other.
Race day registration was also available for a higher fee with no guarantee of a shirt.
Expo & Packet Pick Up
Early packet pickup was Friday, February 8th, 4:00 PM-7:00 PM at Marathon Sports in Melrose.
Race day packet pickup was Saturday: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM near the start at Lakeside Inn Wakefield, 595 North Ave, Wakefield MA.
With my history of race day woes, I opted for the early pick up at Marathon Sports on Friday. In theory, it would also allow me to sleep in a few more minutes. Although further from my home than other Marathon Sports locations the Melrose store is my preferred one. Parking is usually easy there. You might get lucky and grab a parking spot right in front, or there is a small shared lot behind the store. Worst case scenario there is another parking lot off of Grove St.
Marathon Sports was offering a 20% discount on purchases at bib pick up but I couldn’t justify buying anything new so just grabbed my bib & shirt.
Race shirts were guaranteed to all runners registered by 1/27. If you registered after that they were given out on a first-come-first-served basis. The long sleeve tech shirt was a nice upgrade from the cotton shirt when I ran this race a couple of years ago. Typical race shirt with the race logo on front and sponsors on the back.
105.7 WROR had a booth at the finish area and I managed to get a nice WROR coffee mug. There were only a couple on the table so it wasn’t clear if they were free for the taking, but I asked and they said “yes.”
They did a good job of providing pre-race details via email. The emails had all the key info you could want without being spammy. However, it seemed odd they were sending me reminders to register when I registered a month earlier.
They also provided info and messages on their Facebook page.
When I ran 2 years ago the race was postponed 1 week because of a snowstorm and they did a great job communicating the change.
Day of Race
245 runners and walkers finished the race.
Parking & Logistical Tips
Parking was available in the large parking lot at the Lakeside Inn. It was conveniently located between the start and finish lines. Also perfectly situated to access the post-race activities at Lakeside Inn.
The race organizers recommend carpooling but in the 2 years, I’ve run the race I never had a problem getting a good parking spot when only showing up about 30 minutes before the start.
There was no gear check but with parking so close to the start and finish it really wasn’t necessary.
The race started on Quannapowitt Parkway near North Ave. And then made a clockwise loop around Lake Quannapowitt. All right-hand turns and you didn’t have to cross over any major intersections. The Finish line was located in the parking lot off Willard Road, just before the Inn. Maps were available online and at registration on the day of the race.
A very fast and flat 5K course with my Garmin reporting an elevation gain of only 38 feet.
The roads were open to automobile traffic for most of the race and you were running with traffic. After the start, the crowd thinned out some, so by the time you got to a busier street, you had plenty of room to run on the sidewalks. Overall the sidewalks were in good shape and I don’t remember any parts where I had to worry about my footing or twisting an ankle like most sidewalks in my home town.
It was sunny, windy and cold for the start of the race. It was 29° F with wind speeds around 30 Mph so with the windchill it felt like it was in the low teens or colder.
With the cold temperatures it’s no surprise there weren’t many spectators out on the course to cheer you on.
The Mystic Runners running club donated time and resources for a water stop right after the 2-mile mark. Although I didn’t need any water this race I always appreciate the support of volunteers.
Post Race / Refreshments / Food Water
Whole Foods donated water and bananas for the finish line. There were several additional booths at the finish area including 105.7 WROR, Eat Your Coffee, Soul PT and Orangetheory Fitness.
There was a post-race party at The Lakeside Inn restaurant with awards, food, and beer sponsored by Sam Adams. Due to the cold weather, I just wanted to get home and warm up so I didn’t stick around for the festivities.
Like most 5K races there were no medals awarded to finishers. Since this race is a fundraiser I’m glad the proceeds went to a good cause instead of paying for a medal I didn’t really need.
Like the first time I ran this race, it fit perfectly into my training schedule for the Aruba International Half Marathon. I wasn’t trying for a PR and it was more to gauge where I was in my progress for the upcoming half marathon.
This was also the first time running a race after starting to train using the pose method a few weeks earlier. I definitely felt more winded. The pose method can have a negative impact on running efficiency when starting out (and possibly longer.) It also seemed I was overthinking things during the race.
I ended up running the race a couple of minutes slower than when I ran it 2 years ago. Hopefully, it wasn’t because of age. It was colder this year and I may not have stretched and warmed up enough before the start. Also experimenting with pose may have thrown me off some too. It was faster than the last 5K I ran in the summer so I’ll take that as a win!
I definitely like the course and need to find a race there when it’s warmer. Even with the cold weather, I’d run it again. Simple no fuss, no drama well-orginized race for a good cause. If you can handle the cold temperatures I recommend running it.