This is probably one of my favorite races. Since moving back to Seattle and discovering this race I’ve only missed it twice. Once because it was cancelled due to the snow and ice and once because it was only weeks after tearing my MCL in that infamous fall off the cliff.
It has gotten cold in the last few weeks!! I made sure I had my gloves before I left. My fingers would thank me later. I also decided to wear festive socks (I wasn’t sure if they would make it through the race, but they did!). I hadn’t been able to pick up my packet beforehand so I got to the race site early to pick up my packet (they had tech shirts this year!! finally!!). I quickly got in line for the real bathroom (a park bathroom is definitely better than a port-o-potty) before meeting up with my co-worker. I met up with her by the wine store and was able to use another real bathroom. And it was warm!
The race started and we were off!! Up the hill we went. It was starting to mist and never let up the entire race, but at least it wasn’t rain! After reaching the first turn-around, I was running along when a car got impatient waiting for all the runners and ignored the volunteers telling him to stop and drove around the car in front of it and across the road right in front of me. Really? What was so important that you needed to do that?
My car issues did not end there. I was almost to the big bad hill when I came to an intersection and had to wait. There was a big group of us waiting and waiting and waiting as not one, not two, but at least three busses when through along with numerous cars. Again, really? I understand it is an imposition for the drivers but still, I am running a race. Can’t it be about me? Finally they let us go.
The hill loomed large and I ran as far up it as I could before walking. I was doing a lot of weaving for being this far into the race. Normally by this time we are a lot more strung out and not as bunched together. Although I wonder if the forced stop at the intersection had something to do with that.
Speaking of intersections, I came up to the next one and was stopped again. AGAIN!!! As we were waiting, a motorcycle cop came up to the cop directing traffic. I didn’t hear exactly what was said, but the result was we were able to go through the intersection. Yay!!
Coming into the race, without really having run in two weeks, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The nagging IT band pain was definitely present. But other than that, I was feeling decent.
We finally got to the downhill section of the course! I approached the next intersection which I was happy to see was working correctly – if there was enough space between runners, they would send a car through but as soon as the runners were close, they would stop the cars. This is how its done people!
They changed the course slightly in that we weren’t forced onto the sidewalk, but we got to continue running on Lake Street. I liked this change! The final stretch came into view and I was determined to keep running. I was hoping to come in at around 1:35 but after the stops at the intersection I wasn’t sure if that was possible. Oh, but it was!! I am happy to say I have a new PR (by seconds) of 1:33:04! How did that happen? Must have been that long downhill stretch where I made up time.
New this year (I think) was a wine garden. I happily had brought money along so I could enjoy some mulled wine after the race (Gluhwein in the house!). Delicious!!
And there you have it!