Sunday, July 15, 2007

7/15/07 Tacoma Narrows Bridge Run 5K

I am going to remember this one for a while. What craziness for a 5K.

Race was slapped together with little notice and tied into the grand opening of the new bridge. This was to be a once in a lifetime chance to walk/run across the new span. I signed up a few days before, a little anxious about my first "double" 10k/5k but decided to take it easy. Seems like they are expecting a good turnout, they have asked us to park far away and take a shuttle bus. Billy meets me at home and we ride together with Caleb and Jared.

Traffic on Highway 16. This is race traffic. Wow. Takes forever to get to the parking lot. We end up parking on a side street and having to walk quite a ways. Streams of people walking to the buses. Lines of runners waiting for buses. Thousands of people, most wearing their new bridge run t-shirts. Good thing we left the house good and early, this is amazing and I am not so sure we will make the start. We get on a crowded bus. I have decided that I will just run along with Jared so that we will not get separated. Bus drops us off at a small park, many people waiting for bathrooms, and some of my group need to use one.

It is getting close to race start, but supposedly the start is just on the other side of that small hill. We walk up, then look down at an amazing site. 10,000 people walking and lining up for the race and we are at the very end, although even more people are coming behind us. We can see masses of people far into the distance. I snap a few shots with my cell phone and as we walk and jog to try to get into a better position we realize that this is ridiculous. Where did all these "runners" come from? What a contrast to yesterday!! We keep manuevering up towars the front but the race starts before we can get much closer. Billy and Caleb take off, swerving around everybody but not making very fast progress. Jared and I take the easier route, we are passing lots of people but not working too hard. So glad I am not running this for time.

Mile 1 - Beautiful weather. Seeing lots of familiar faces. Many people walking.

Mile 1.5 - Turn around on the other side of the bridge. Miguel Galena goes flying by off to the side, swerving around all the obstacles. He could have won this thing if he had gotten to the start on time.

Mile 2 - It is hot. Jared is slowing but in good spirits. Thousands of people in front and behind us. My legs feel a little tired from yesterday, glad i am not really racing.

Mile 3.1 - Done. That was absolutely nuts. Find Billy and Caleb. We laugh. They are glad I had my yellow shirt on, so they could find me. Not what we expected. A race like none other.

Chip timing was messed up, so results for us, but it took me about 31minutes to finish. Glad that the boys got to experience the madness. Long trip back to the car and mellow trip home. Give me the Mcleary Bear Run any time over this.

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