BOSTON — Red Sox manager Alex Cora’s pregame routine underwent a facelift Saturday, as he took a different approach to preparing for the Los Angeles Angels.

He embraced the spirit of competition.

Cora was among a small Red Sox contingent to run in the Boston 5k on Saturday, taking to the streets of Boston in the early morning and getting his competitive juices flowing. He didn’t really intend for it to turn out that way, but his hand was forced.

“There was some lady who came up to me, and she says, ‘I beat you… that was my goal,'” Cora shared with reporters Saturday. “I asked, ‘What was your time?’ and she told me, and I said, ‘You didn’t beat me! I finished before you.’

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“… I thought we were running for fun, for health. Unbelievable.”

It was a light moment for Cora, which was preceded by a day that kept his spirits high and served as a reminder of how special Boston could be.

“It was a great experience to be out there and just be around people — older people, young people, kids — running this thing,” Cora said. “It’s like, ‘Wow, this is cool.’ I haven’t competed myself since I retired in 2011. I wasn’t trying to beat (anyone) but it gets you going, and the adrenaline took us. It was like, ‘Holy shoot, we’re going fast.’

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“It was a great experience, it’s a great weekend and obviously Monday is the big test for everybody, but the atmosphere and having people there so early in the morning — I always say this city is different. It’s different in a good way, because they love their sports and they come out in bunches. I’m not saying I’ll run the marathon in the future, but if I get into a fight tomorrow and get suspended for Monday, why not? I’ll put the tennies on and go run.”

Cora quickly made his way over to Fenway Park following the race and even had enough energy to throw batting practice prior to the Red Sox’s matchup with the Angels. The monotony of 162 games is sure to make a few run together throughout the season, Cora undoubtedly will remember one Saturday in mid-April.

Featured image via Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports Images