Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy ending (race re-cap)

This was the most happy ending to 2011: At 6:55 a.m. on December 31st, I commuted via car and car ferry to the Olympic Peninsula to participate in the Yukon Do It half marathon in Port Orchard, WA. As the sun rose, it was looking to be a clear but cold day (24 degrees!). The crossing took just 35 minutes from West Seattle to Port Orchard/Southworth with a pit-stop on Vashon Island.
View from ferry while docked on Vashon Island
The start of the race was located at the finish point on the map. The course headed due north to the water then headed northeast along the waterfront to Manchester State Park where it took a few turns then headed back along the water.

Route from Seattle to Port Orchard, on the Olympic Peninsula
This race I signed up for on my own and enjoyed having the commute and race time to contemplate 2011. This year I experienced some extreme highs and lows in running and this race was a beautiful, happy ending to all of it. While the North Olympic Discovery Trail Half Marathon (also on the Olympic Peninsula) was beautiful, this course topped it - handily. (I would like to make a tradition of doing this race every year.)

The pictures don't do the course justice and I didn't take nearly enough, but see for yourself the mountain and water views (I completely neglected taking photos of the old growth forest views in the state park): 

Walk-jogging gingerly down an icy hill.
Olympic Mountain range across water
Runners starting out along the Yukon Bay
Part of the course between the water and state park ran through quaint small family farms, mostly populated with horses and cows, but also CAMELS!
BIG smile on my face pretty much the entire race (thanks for the pic and cheering along the course, Carla). This photo was taken in the state park.
Race shirt with our iconic symbols of Seattle: Space Needle, ferry, Mt. Rainier.
As far as the "race" goes, I set out to take it easy. I hadn't trained as I would have liked for this race so I wasn't really sure what I had in me. My primary goal was to finish without hurting myself. My secondary goal was to try to finish in less than 2:00 hours. I ran conservatively, focusing on enjoying the time to contemplate and enjoy the views.

Mile splits:
1 = 9:26 (Everyone had to walk down a steep hill at the start because the road was icy, but this was a good way to keep from starting out too fast.)
2 = 8:56 (I can't believe what a gorgeous morning this is!)
3 = 8:48 (Sound of seals barking from the bay.)
4 = 8:57 (Stopped to use a port-o-potty, it was occupied, got tired of waiting, kept running & kept it in!)
5 = 8:59 (Running inland now, quaint homesteads.)
6 = 9:18 (This is where the hills started.)
7 = 10:18 (The course most mostly flat but where there were hills, they were fairly challenging. I did NOT push myself hard up those so I could conserve energy. Fortunately, the smell of the forest was invigorating.)
8 = 9:09 (I realized I had a good amount of energy still in the tank and decided to start picking up the pace on mile 9.)
9 = 8:41 (Making our way out of the countryside and back to the water.)
10 = 8:46 (Oh the waterfront views are back!)
11 = 8:38 (Feeling good, can I pick it up more?)
12 = 8:34 (Lots of people ahead of me, I'll just try to move up one at a time.)
13 = 8:11 (Uh-oh - I'm going to be sore tomorrow.)
Finish time = 1:57:29 (unofficial)

Race results and photos have not been posted yet and yes, I'm quite sore today (New Years Day) from that run.

I'm curious to see how Elizabeth Mitchell (actor in TV's Lost) did in the half marathon! If I see pics of her, I will post later. I did not notice her on the course but heard she ran (I don't know that I could ever recognize a famous person without someone pointing them out).

Happy New Year & welcome 2012!


  1. Happy New Year! what a great way to end 2011.

  2. Happy New Year! This looks like a beautiful race. I am jealous. I would probably make it an annual event too.

  3. Looks like a beautiful course. Congratulations :)

  4. SOOO Beautiful!!! Great race! I would never recognize a famous person either LOL

  5. Oh wow, that is such a pretty course! I bet you never tire of that view :). Congrats on a great race...I think it's cool you ran a half to start the new year off :). Hope you have a fantastic, healthy 2012!!

  6. Happy 2012! Have a great New Year filled with happiness and blessings!

    Great job in the race!

  7. Happy New Year!

    Glad you had a great race! The course is gorgeous. I have yet to run a really pretty road course.

    Loved Lost, but I'm still mad that they cancelled the last show Elizabeth Mitchell was in "V." The second season started out badly but it ended with a bang. Now I will never know what happened. Boo! I would have asked her if she knew LOL!

  8. Happy New Year! What a beautiful course! sounds like you had a great race :)

  9. OK I am IN for next year.. You rock lady!!!

  10. Looks lovely! Great time too, well done!