Fundraiser for the Westside Cooperative Preschool. I ran the inaugural race here in 2004 and came back in 2006, but have not been here since. Amazed to see how this little race has grown. Who are all these people? Most of my Olympia friends are at the training run for the May marathon, so it is just me and a couple of regular racers, and a whole lot of people that I do not know. $20 day of race entry fee with the no T-shirt option.
I am going to race again tomorrow and still getting over some nagging issues so I have vowed to take it real easy today. I'll start in the back and maybe put in a faster last mile if I feel like it. No concerns about finish time today, its just about enjoying the day and the event. Cool but no wind and blue skies. Great running weather.
The course has changed considerably. Apparently they have been changing it every year. We will start behind the school, then turn left onto a hitherto unknown section of the Maclane trail. Paved curvy path up and down a bit. Then we will climb up and over Mud Bay Road, a course change that makes the route much safer. No road crossings, however a few more hills on this course. Onto the old course/trail, then turn onto a quiet street before rejoining the trail. Back over the bridge, then head back the short way to the school.
Start - I find myself in about the middle. Lots of kids running and lots of real little kids in strollers. Lots of walkers too. This is a great race to finish with a good relative placing with so many casual runners, compared to Steilacoom where I am usually last in my age group. Off we go right on time, a smooth start considering the pack of kids up front.
Mile 0.5 - Picking my way through the crowd, but not in an anxious manner. Tough to pass on the narrow trail and it is slower going than I had intended. No worries, it will thin out soon enough.
Mile 1.5 - I have been going a little faster than I had planned and continue to pass people. Everything feels great and I pick up the pace even more.
Mile 2.5 - Definitely way faster that I had planned, but still in control and not red-lining. This is a fun way to run a 5K. Pick off a couple more people then up the little hill to the finish. About a minute and a half slower than my last 5K, but a most enjoyable time.
I grab my camera and jog around a bit to cool down and take some photos. So many runners still coming in. Later it is the awards ceremony where I am surprised to learn that I took second in my age group out of 14. The red ribbon is nice, but I am more pleased to win a $25 gift certificate to the local cinema. Great post race snacks, large indoor staging area, nice course. I hope to keep coming back to this one.
31st place of 296 runners and walkers
2nd of 14 in age group
race# 184, 5K#51, Friendship run#3