I ran this in its first year, 2010, and am happy to make it back for another run. New start and finish area and other great improvements to an already very good event. First race I have done that uses the Tumwater Historical Park. Easy parking, covered area, restrooms, playgrounds. Why has this spot not been used before? The course is certified and as I look at the map, it is all places I have run before. Timing by Craig (guerrilla) so I know that it will be accurate with fast results. Out and back along Capitol Lake (still closed till further notice), then a lollipop up the hill and left downhill back to the park. Beautiful sunny morning and nice to see some running friends here.
Warm up two miles and then some strides. Its been three months since my last 5K and I have done little speed work.
Start - Some Rett girls ( http://nwrettsyndrome.org/home ) are lined up along the start for added inspiration. It is so good to be able to race and support a local, specific group that is doing real and good work. Smooth and fast start but I have positioned myself well and can run at my own pace with little passing or being passed.
Mile 1 - 7:26 - Ever so slightly downhill. Feeling good but wonder if I can hold it.
Mile 1.5 - Somewhere around here is the turn around. Fun to encourage Gary, Amy and Martinho as they are ahead of me. Return along Deschutes Way on the road with the outbound runners on the sidewalk.
Mile 2 - Passing a couple of people and no one is passing me, but I am not running all that strong. Now up the gentle hill and under Interstate 5. I am ready to make the turn down to the park but then I am directed to keep going up the hill. I had misread the map and I have farther to run. Keep working hard as I am afraid that Joe might catch me. Finally the turn and this trail/road back down to the park is less steep than the way I thought we were going to go. I get some nice speed back. Then it is on to a gravel path for the last half mile or so.
Mile 2.9 - Two small children are running side by side ahead of me. They have numbers on but could not have completed the 5K that quickly. They must have done the 3K or they are part of the kids race (they do have numbers on) and are just running on the course. The boy gets ahead of the girl and I pass her too. Now the boy and I are sprinting to the finish and I just do not have the heart to pass him. It probably cost me two seconds but I enjoyed pushing him on and letting him get in before me. The volunteers take both our finish tags but Craig tells them not to keep the kids tag on the loop. Craig is able to sort through numerous extra and unlabeled tags and still provide quick results.
Finish - 3.1 on the GPS. Pleasant and not lengthy wait for the awards. Two entertaining kids races and I even get to dog sit for a few minutes. I take second in my age group which earns me a gift card to Twisty's Frozen Yogurt. A most enjoyable morning.
2nd of 7 in age group