|Spoiler: 2nd AG finish = beer mug = very cool!|
Because this was a first run of the SRR, there were a couple hiccups. The only significant one was a slight shortage of porta-potties (easily fixed for next year), which meant long lines and a delayed start. Well, with the delay it was a bit uncertain when it would be best for me to ditch my warm-ups and I was quite pre-occupied with socializing so forgot to pay attention to announcements.
Too late, I decided to run ~200m back to my car to ditch my raincoat & sweats. On the way back, I heard the starting horn for the 10k race. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
I SPRINTED to the start line, arriving out of breath, and for the first time I was LAST in a race. What a crazy feeling! I instantly thought of the Traveling Runner who missed the RNR NOLA start this year.
I spent the first mile weaving between walkers and joggers trying to find Sybil who had a similar finishing goal: sub-50:00 or bust. I found her (gunmetal Sparkle skirt!), admiring her beautiful mid-foot strike as I approached, and tried to hang on. I was pretty pooped already from the crazy start but found a rhythm.
The course followed a rural road, which was a nice change from my city runs. We looped back toward the start after about 1.5 miles then headed in the opposite direction on a paved path along the Snohomish River.
Between miles 2.5 and 4, I felt my energy flagging and it seemed like Sybil was pushing the pace. I told her I was going to drop back; she picked up the pace a bit. I managed to keep pace a bit behind her, just focusing on following her footsteps. I concentrated on watching her feet and trying to have the same nice stride (yeah Sybil!). This saved me.
By the time we were on the river path, Sybil & I were in pace together but not talking. I couldn't. But, I was SMILING from ear to ear because I LOVED this section of the race. The last 3 miles along the path reminded me of cross country because except for being paved instead of dirt or wood chips, it was rather narrow and windy, tiny little hills, slippery leaves, and trees around. Most people DIDN'T like this part of the course for these same reasons but what can I say? It made me think of the old days.
At mile 4, I checked my watch and realized that if I maintained pace, I'd probably break 50:00 but I wouldn't hit my A goal of breaking 49:21 (2010 You Go Girl finish time). My first thought was to wait until mile 5 to pick up the pace. Some quick math made me realize that wouldn't be good enough. I had to go NOW.
Fright. Could I pick up the pace for another 2 miles without tanking? I usually play things quite safe and wait until the last mile or even half mile to push. Would I be ok with not meeting my A goal? Nope. UNcharacteristic of me, I decided to go for it with 2 miles left. I picked up the pace just a bit. I passed a few people and just kept focusing on the next people to move up on. I cheered for runners who were already doubling back to the finish.
I kept smiling.
Spectators smiled back, telling me to keep smiling. I think they thought I was delirious. I was, I was having SO MUCH FUN! But, I had no idea if I could make it to the finish at that pace (whatever that was, I don't wear a Garmin).
Sure enough, at mile 5+, I started to get weak in the legs. OH NO, YOU DON'T! SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP! I talked myself down and told myself I would be the biggest lame-ass that ever was if I couldn't make it just ONE MERE MILE while my friends were out running a full 13.1 miles.
I checked my watch. 46:##. It was going to be close.
The cheers of spectators along that last half mile really helped. I kept smiling and crossed that finish in 48:36! A very flat course and nice cool temps certainly didn't hurt. This gave me a 2nd place in the age group, 6th overall female.
Women's 10k winning time: 42:12, not far behind the winning men's time of 38:04.
Women's Half Marathon winning time: 1:24, with first male finishing in 1:09.
|Nice shirts (female sizing!), medal, mug.|
While I ran a mere 10k, my friend Mr. S was kicking some serious butt on his half and managed a P-f'in-R in the rain = 1:44:43! Mel didn't have her best day but STILL finished in sub-2:00, as did Sally. All in all, I think everyone had a good race.
|Pre-race, Mr. S saying that he felt it was a good day to PR.|
A great day for PNW running, indeed. I would definitely recommend this race for next year and hope to participate again myself. Gold stars awarded to race planners for:
- Female sizing of shirts (v-neck tech tee)
- Nice color RED with simple but bold logo.
- Great sponsors - local health practitioners, RunningSkirts, PowerBar, Endurance Sports NW (which has an AWESOME selection of RS, SkirtSports, and Oiselle clothing), and StockPot Soups
- FOUR KINDS OF HOT SOUP post-race!!!
- Water from coolers instead of bottled water (THANK YOU for not contributing 1,000+ bottles to the landfill)
- Beer mug age-group awards, very cool
- Interesting course with a mix of roads and river-front path (despite being a narrow path, I wouldn't mind more of the course running along the path for next year)
- Large tents to huddle under, including kerosene heater
- Post-race give-aways
- Friendly race organizers
THANK YOU SRR ORGANIZERS, ESPECIALLY PORTER, FOR ENTRY IN YOUR INAUGURAL RACE!
Looking for a 5k tune-up? Check out this same group of folks who are organizing the MUSTACHE DASH on November 17.