a Mass Transit Race in Boston

posted in: Unstoppable | 0

2013-05-18 11.25.162013-05-18 11.25.10

I had a crash-and-dash visit from one of the guys from the Mass Transit Racers. A guy named Pat, who I know through another fast friend Corey, came over from New York for a short stay. Pat hosts a run club THAT RACES TRAINS AND TROLLIES. Badass. While he was here, he set up a race against the Boston T with Corey. Perfect! I said, the night before, as I saw the tweet that set the time and location. We raced a green line train twice, once from Coolidge Corner to St. Mary’s, and then form St. Mary’s to Kenmore. The racing takes a bit of coordination. You need a friend willing to ride the train that you’re racing, that way he or she can arrive at the train stop (finish line) and run out to the specific finish location, so that you can tell if you beat the train. So for our race, Renata was the rabbit on the train, and the plan was for her to stay on the train through St. Mary’s, but then meet us at the kiosk in Kenmore, above ground. Whoever touches the kiosk first wins.

The first race wasn’t even close, we won easily and had to wait for the train at St. Mary’s. From there though is was a different story. The train goes underground at St. Mary’s, so right as it left we had the dis-advantage of dodging everything above ground (cars, trees, pedestrians, etc.). Also, because the train was out of sight, we couldn’t gauge our pace very well. If the train gets caught at the underground intersection just before Kenmore, the pace you’re on will probably hold, but if it went straight through then you’d better get moving! By the time the three of us got to the top of the bridge I could sense that we were probably behind and I gunned it from there to the above-ground Kenmore intersection. I slowed a bit just before the light to look for cars but luckily I didn’t have to wait. I got a second wind over the pavers of the street, then kept the pedal down onto the bricks of the sidewalk. Again got lucky because there’s no day-game today and I’m almost there! At this pace I am now easily the fastest thing that will move through Kenmore Square today, including any motorcycles. Through a thin crowd of people I could see that Renata wasn’t up at the kiosk yet and there was only 50 yeards left! 30 feet left and she’s STILL not there! The stairway down to the T is just a few feet from the kiosk and she leaps out of it with 10 feet to go and slaps the kiosk for the win. I lost. by. seconds.

Less than a minute later Corey and Pat arrived at the kiosk and asked how it had finished. Renata had to tell them because I was keeled over surviving.

It was cool because we talked strategy about racing the train while getting to know each other, not something you find yourself doing very often.