A benefit race for the family of Dan Sorrell who was a music teacher in Thurston County. The race is being organized by a friend of the family, Anna Brooks. This is also her High School Senior project. Before the start of the race it was announced that they had raised over $3,000 so far. That is amazing considering the $10 registration fee and that there will be post race pancakes! Donations and raffle tickets had most people paying more than the minimum I am sure.
Cold but so bright and sunny. A little windy too. Race is twice around Capitol Lake. I am so burned out on racing here, ( I have raced at least 172 loops here at ten races in the past five years) but I really wanted to do this one. Good sized crowd, mostly from NCHS. A few hard core runners here. The super fast NCHS boys and girls are here so I have no chance of being near the front. Lots of people are walking one loop.
Good 2 mile warm up and I am ready to go. Some people still signing in, so it is announced that we will start at 9:15. More time to warm up. By race end I will be at 45 miles for the week. Near the end of January I decided that a fun goal for the year would be to average over 40 miles a week. The most I have ever averaged for an extended period is about 35 miles and that is very low for a marathon runner. If I can increase the miles, and stay injury free, it should help my endurance and finish times. For these shorter races I will not taper my mileage and I know that I will be slower than possible. Feeling pretty good though here at the start.
Start - Start is on the grass and the finish will be off away on the grass to add the 0.1 miles for a true 5K. My watched had almost timed out of GPS mode but I saved it. Now right as the start is announced I go to start my timer and see that I have timed out of GPS mode again. Frustrating aspect of this cheaper Garmin. I start running and my watch starts searching for satellites. On to the crushed gravel path and then I am good to go and I start my watch. There will be a clock at the finish, although all finish times might not be reported as an overall results table. Jody is here to cheer me before going off on her long run.
Mile 0.5 - Round the lake we go. Pass the super fast little kids who are now hitting the wall. Dodge one kid who is looking back and staggering across the sidewalk. Sort of running with a woman, we dodge walkers and dogs and push the pace with each other.
Mile 1 - Through Marathon Park and now into a strong wind. Colder and blowing at us in this shaded section. Still with the woman. Volunteer with a radio is sayting (into the radio) "number 708, number 708". I remember that I have number 707 and I had seen this woman I am with warming up and noted that she has number 708. "Why is he calling in your number?" I ask. She has no idea. I wonder if she is in first place. We round back toward the start and hear the announcer say that our second place female, number 708, has just completed the first lap. First place woman must be way ahead of us, we do not see her. Photos by Walt Dale.
Mile 1.5 - I like my new running buddy. When she gets a little ahead I am able to get even and even get ahead of her. I feel like I am running strong, but also as fast as I should be going. Watch says 7:27 pace but I don't know if that is right. Have to dodge a dog and I jump a little but avoid disaster. Passing most of the event walkers and others enjoying the morning. I let 708 pick the best way around walkers and I follow behind her.
Mile 2.4 - Jody again, waiting on her friend. Telling me that #708 is getting away. She is now 10 feet in front and my surge to catch up only gets me half way. She keeps getting faster as I start to slow a bit. She will go on to pass Steve from Elma. I get closer to him but can not pick it up enough. Round to the finish on the grass and have decent power left, but am tiring for sure.
Finish - Cup of water from Kay. Congratulate Steve and #708. Pancakes are ready and hot. Coffee too! Music by Mr. Sorrell's former students. Short wait for raffles and age group door prizes. Alas I do not win, but that is OK. Really well done event Anna!