1st annual event put on by the city of Hoquiam. Nice weather in Olympia but as I travel west it gets grayer and foggier and then some drizzle. I arrive in plenty of time for the 11AM start. Nice small race so packet pick up and parking are a breeze. $25 entry gets me a T-shirt, finishers medal, chip timing and plenty of on course aid and finish line food.
My second experiment of racing without my clunky orthodic inserts. I have the Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon next week, so for these reasons I would like to hold back and have a good run but not go all out. 1:45 to 1:47 finish time with no aches in the feet would be great.
Start - No rain but it could start any time. The race is larger than I expected and there is also a 5K that will start at the same time. No problem running my pace from the start. I did a minimal warm up but I feel ready to run from the get go.
Mile 1 - 7:50 - faster than I had planned but its easy going. Lots of turns and curvey roads on this course. At the start the race director had warned us to watch for traffic, but never said that we must stay on one side of the road or another. I normally would not cross all the way to the other side of an open road, to take advantage of the inner curve, but everyong else is doing it, so I do too. All of the roads are open today, but there is very little traffic and the course is safe.
Mile 2 - Past the mill and giant wood chip pile, then out to the airport. I am in a pack with 5 others. This course has two long out and back sections so I can see all of the other runners. Raining lightly now.
Mile 5 - On to the second, and longer out and back. My pack is down to me and two others. One is the lead woman. She is running a very even 7:51 pace and it is easier for me to settle in behind them a little bit. They are local and know the course well. I think that I will just stay with them and then maybe pull ahead in the last mile or so.
Mile 6 - The course had been very flat, but now we have a major and steep hill. Well it really is not that bad but it sure zaps my energy. The two ahead of me gain ground and I have to work hard to catch back up. From here to the finish will no longer be easy running. But I do get back to that 7:51 pace and am holding on OK. Heavier rain shower, I am well soaked now.
Mile 9 - On the return of the second out and back, have that steep hill to contend with. I struggle to get to the top. As I finally make it, I throw my arms in the air in triumph. Now the big downhill, then it will be mostly flat the whole way back. I lost the two that were ahead of me though. Just could not quite keep up. My average pace is slowing and I am pretty sure that they were able to speed up. I do pass two runners who are struggling a little more than me. Great support from enthusiastic volunteers at all the aid stations.
Mile 11.5 - One guy that I passed is not far back, but there is no one ahead that I can follow. I am following the chalk marks on the ground and they have not lead me wrong yet. Under a bridge and I am not exactly sure which way to go, but there is a well placed volunteer to steer me the right way. Sharp turn, another turn and onto the bridge and over the river. Pace is now 7:58 and I would like to be done and not have that guy behind me catch up. Off the bridge and swing on the lamp post (as instructed by Bullseye Bob) to make the 180 turn. Now on to a paved trail along the river to the next upstream bridge. I should finish around 1:45, which was my goal, but I am more tired than I should be. Whoa, wait a sec, the finish line is closer than I thought it would be. Over the bridge, and then a short bit to the end. 12.64 on the GPS. So my finish time looks great, but I did not run that fast. Other than the short course (some could be due to taking the tangents) this was a well done event and I was glad to participate.
My feet felt fine, but later I had unusual calf tightness. The next morning I could feel a little plantar discomfort. Not bad, but not good enough to make the leap to no inserts for the marathon. I am optimistic that I will be able to ditch them if I keep working at it.
13th of 59