9th race in 8 weeks (10 miles, marathon, 5K, 50K, 5K trail, 5K, 5K, 5K, marathon). After this I will rest. And today I am not motivated to try to be fast and risk falling apart in the last miles. I want to take it nice and easy with walk breaks and I am so happy that my third favorite Canadian (after Atsk'ia and Bruce Cockburn), Maniac Tracy is here with the same attitude.
Double out and back on the paved Sammamish River trail that I have described before. My third time here, but first on Veteran's Day weekend. Lots of maniac friends, many take the early 7AM start. 50K, half marathon and the full. Some people running the half and adding extra training miles. Some arrive late for the early start and take a "medium" start. One starts, runs for a while, then goes out to do an errand for an hour before coming back to finish. Maniac Betsy celebrating a special birthday by running her age in miles and running right through our race with her entourage. All this means is that I will see people all day long and have little idea where they are in the race.
Cold but dry and once we get running it will be fine. Bathrooms at the park are locked until after the start, but I won't complain since it is a free race (donation funded) with a huge aid station at the start/finish.
Start - Off we go at 8AM. Immediately there is a bald eagle swooping low over us and landing in a nearby tree. What a great site. I will see two more eagles in trees a few miles later. Tracy and I fall into step with her friend, Maniac Mica. Now I have a new friend. We keep it around 10 minute miles, running faster than that, but taking some long walk breaks. Have to watch for bikes on this trail, and can not always run three together. But we stay close and it is a nice time. Tracy ran the NYC marathon six days ago. She has a new goal, to run her 118th marathon at the 118th Boston Marathon next year. That sounds like something I would try to do. Alas, I am looking for a goal. I have really enjoyed the 5Ks recently and perhaps I won't run so many long races for a while. I will need to build up the trail and hill work as I plan some good adventures for next Spring.
Mile 6 - Bob Dolphin sighting!
Mile 6.55 - Takao's turn around rainbows.
Mile 13.1 - Mica will run the half today. Tracy needs to get something from her car. I grab a big cookie and start the second half by walking. I tell Tracy to not rush, I will just keep moving and walking.
Mile 14 - Still walking. I guess that I am walking quickly and I am just beginning to wonder if Tracy will catch up, when she does. It will be a slower second half, but not because I am tiring. Just enjoying the day. We run a few miles and then start catching some of the early starters. It is fun to see them up ahead and slowly gain on them. Then we walk or run with them for a while. First up are Rick and Monte. They have a very fast walk. I can not keep up with them if I walk. But if I run, I get ahead. I decide to keep running slowly and when Tracy is done conversing, she catches up to me.
Mile 20 - Run with Betsy's entourage. There is video of her and you can see me in my Manic Jacket in the background at the start of the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXXfA1gUzsw&feature=youtu.be
Mile 22 - Chalk writing on the pavement; I am reading it upside down and it says "this got you". Discouraging words at this point in the race, but then I see it the way it was meant to be read.
Mile 24 - Feet are hurting some. Legs are a little tight. Otherwise I feel good and I guess I could pick up the pace if I want to, but I don't. Tracy and I run a long stretch with no break. Then we catch up to Marie and Deb. We run and walk and run with them all the way to the end.
Mile 26.2 - I hit the wrong button on my watch and will have to wait for official finish time. Overall a good day and nice time.
18th place of 35
Race#310, marathon or ultra#103