Saturday, July 30, 2016
Whale of a Run 4 Miler - Silverdale WA
36th annual event and our first time here. Whale Days weekend in Silverdale. Race is a benefit for Meals on Wheels and is reasonably priced at $20 with no T-shirt option. Parade to follow the race. Jody surprised me by wanting to race too, making this our third race this month.
Easy drive from our Hood Canal cabin. Park at the Kitsap Mall, and get our numbers in plenty of time to warm up, but not much time to wait around. Cool for July and cloudy with a little breeze. Decent mile plus warm up.
Start - Race seems so huge compared to my recent ones. Wide road is closed here, but we are still packed in. Find a good spot back a little ways and wait for the go. Judy Fisher sighting. Ten second count down and then we are off. Chip timed at the finish line only. Crowded, boxed in but running at a good clip. Get passed, pass others, after a quarter of a mile there is room to run. Downhill start, now flatter and gentle uphill.
Mile 1 - 7:35 - ten seconds slower than last weeks 5K and exactly where I want to be. But now the hill. Turn right and start up a long major hill. Road is open here and there are some cars. Go under Route 3 and there are cars getting on and off the ramp. Kid volunteers not really doing much to control traffic. Uphill is steep and twists and turns. I am slowing but so is everyone.
Mile 2 - Think about walking but keep moving in a slow run. Wonder what Jody is thinking of this course ( I did warn her that I thought it might be hilly). Finally the top of the hill. Right turn and just a little more up. Now a long flat way. Overall pace is 8:03 and I should be able to lower that now that the awful hill is done.
Mile 2.5 - Recognize Erik Lindberg ahead. Slowly gaining on him. Get passed by a guy with a stroller. Gentle downhill. Erik takes water at the aid station, so I do too. I think I might be able to catch him, but then he starts extending his lead. Martinho is here and should be passing me soon.
Mile 3 - More downhill. Working hard and getting faster. Flatter and a headwind. I draft off a kid for a few steps then pass him. Left turn and back on to the parade route. Brass band is playing. Road is lined with spectators who have staked out a parade view and now are cheering for us. Long view to the finish line. I had hoped to beat 32 minutes (8/mile) but now I have my sights on beating 31 minutes. Passed by one guy but now I am working to catch him back. Push really hard to the finish. Catch the guy and also get in under 31.
Finish - Mile 4 (3.99 on the GPS) Congratulate Erik who says I will beat him next time. Martinho comes in next just a few seconds behind me. We go back along the finish to cheer Jenny and then Jody who both had strong runs. We are tempted to join the Silver Striders for lunch, but decide to head back to the canal sooner than that. Walk the half mile back to the start line and our car. Surprisingly large event that I would do again.
75th of 312