The 4th Annual Tory Row 5K Road Race, Harvard Square, Cambridge
A blend of several parties and a full weekend of activities, the Tory Row 5K Road Race will run in Cambridge, Massachusetts on June 29, 2014. It is a modified course, but much of it will run on the famed, historic Brattle Street, also known as “Tory Row” since the days of the American Revolution. It's sponsored by the Harvard Square restaurant of the same name, "Tory Row". And they know how to throw a party—actually several parties, before, during and after the run! Changes and amenities make a great event even more enjoyable!
Posted Tuesday, 24 June, 2014
The Tory Row 5K is returning for a fourth year, and is organized for maximum fun as it has been the first three years. The venerable Brattle Street, or “Tory Row”, is one of the most historic streets in America—and one of the grandest. And runners in the Tory Row 5K get to enjoy running right down the middle of it, traffic free, on an early summer day in wonderful Cambridge.
Tory Row, the restaurant, sits in the middle of Harvard Square at 3 Brattle Street, and they sure do know what runners want—a beautiful, mostly flat course in lovely residential neighborhoods, and a party atmosphere with good food and adult beverages!
Times three! For their Sunday morning race they have arranged a Friday evening, June 27th, “Pick-up Party” at the restaurant from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for runners only; which is to say, the restaurant will be closed to the general public. Runners are welcome for free beer and snacks as they enjoy pleasant conversation and pick up their numbers, custom T-shirts, and handy draw-string back packs (also free with registration).
Then there is the “Row Party”—see the race website at www.toryrow.us/tr5k/ for details on this aspect and for information on registration, results, photos, awards, volunteer opportunities, course map and info, and much more.
Following their competitive and enjoyable 3.1 miles, runners can look forward to the traditional after party, which will include a selection of beers, including runners’ favorites, Wachusett and Long Trail along with Bantam Cider, as well as good food and conversation only steps from the finish line. They will have a large tent for the proceedings and will close off an entire parking lot off Church Street for the occasion. You will enjoy this party and the awards ceremony!
The winners actually receive a traditional laurel wreath or crown, beautifully crafted by nearby Petali Flowers, another highly respected Harvard Square business. The women’s and men’s winners also will be presented with engraved Tory Row beer pitchers--they will know what to do with that—and a $50.00 Tory Row gift certificate. Last year it was Melissa Henry and Chad Carr in the winner’s circle.
Age group winners (10-year divisions) will receive handsome logoed or custom engraved beer pint glasses and $40.00 Tory Row gift certificates.
Aside from individual runners there are two other ways to get involved in the Tory Row 5K. They will have team competition with women’s, mixed, and men’s divisions. In each case the top four score (in the mixed or co-ed it is the first two women and first two men), and team winners get a $100.00 TR gift certificate. Even if your team is not first, dress and act the part and your group could be eligible for the “Team Spirit Award”; no matter where you finish, it’s how you participate and enjoy it.
This event also respects and awards their volunteers: Of course, without volunteers road races would not be possible. But most events do not go to the extent Tory Row does to reward their volunteers: They receive a Racing Staff T-shirt and a $50.00 Tory Row gift certificate, plus a $10.00 discount on a family member’s or friend’s race registration. Outstanding! and it’s a great way to get involved rather that just standing around waiting for your participants to run and return.
Nice Course—Different than the Original
This year the course is a modified figure eight, and changed somewhat from the previous years. As before the race starts and finishes on Church Street in Harvard Square, only one block from the Tory Row Restaurant. From Church there is a right turn on historic Brattle Street and soon a slight right on James Street to Phillips Place with a brief turn on St. Johns Road.
It then follows Berkeley Street with a slight left on Craigie Street which again intersects and crosses Brattle onto Sparks Street, followed by a right turn on Mt. Auburn Street where runners will pass the one mile mark. After a brief stint on Mt. Auburn the course turns right on Lowell Street and then left on Brattle. From Brattle it goes right on Fayerweather Street—at which point there will be a water stop, the half-way point.
Then there are three right turns in sequence on Highland, Sparks (2 miles), and Brewster; then a left on Riedesel Street takes the course back to Brattle. From that intersection it is nearly a straight shot on Brattle back to Church Street and the finish except for a “U” off Brattle for a 1/10th on Longfellow Park, then home. This course is outstanding and affords great views of the mansions that make up “Tory Row” as highlighted below.
What is Tory Row, a.k.a. Brattle Street?
This is the nickname historically given by many to the part of Brattle Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts where many English Loyalists had mansions at the time of the American Revolutionary War. It generally refers to seven Colonial mansions along Brattle Street. Its historic buildings from the 18th century include the William Brattle House (42 Brattle Street) and the Longfellow House–Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site (105 Brattle Street), also known as the Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House.
On July 16, 1775, George Washington occupied the abandoned house as his first official headquarters. It served as his base of operations during the Siege of Boston, until he moved out on April 4, 1776. Andrew Craigie, Washington's Apothecary General, was the next person to own the home, which several decades later was owned by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who lived and wrote there from1843 until his death in 1882.
The other houses include: the Henry Vassal House (94 Brattle); Lechmere-Sewall House (149 Brattle) a.k.a. Lechmere-Riedesel House; the Judge Joseph Lee House (159 Brattle), a.k.a. Hooper-Lee-Nichols House; the Fayerweather-Ruggles House (175 Brattle); and the Oliver-Gerry-Lowell House (33 Elmwood which was once part of Brattle Street).
Tory Row Restaurant
This unique establishment has a “Euro-American menu and wide selection of beer and wine”. The hours are convenient: Monday through Friday they are open 9:00 a.m. to 11;30 a.m. for breakfast and 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. for lunch and dinner; Saturday and Sunday their hours are 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for brunch, and again 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., lunch and dinner. And in all cases their bar is open 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. unless closed for private functions.
The menu is excellent with many choices. The design is minimalist and fits the space. In summer there is also some outdoor seating. The art on the back wall is intriguing (now Shepard Fairey pieces), and seating is made for conversation. Harvard professors and alumni and students, Cambridge locals, regional foodies, and unassuming tourists and curious international folks make for a vibrant setting and atmosphere. The Manager is John O'Riordan.
Tory Row does not accept reservations. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. Private parties may be accommodated during non-peak hours. Please contact them for more information. Check it out at http://www.toryrow.us/ .
Be There for this One!
If you love running and post race party fun, enjoy pleasant conversation with a few brews, enjoy a great course on historic streets in one of America’s great cities, come and run the Tory Row 5K. http://www.toryrow.us/tr5k/