My tenth time here! Off and on since 2000. My last race here was in 2014 and I remember being a little unhappy with my finish time. But it is a quality event steeped in tradition. Back from England yesterday afternoon, the jet lag had me in bed early but also up before the alarm and feeling well rested. I know to get there early, so I can get a good parking spot, with easy exit after the fair is all set up and in progress. Great DOR at $20 with chip timing by Terry Fritz and crew.
Sunny and warm. Beautiful views across Puget Sound, to the snow capped Olympics. 1.6 mile warm up finishing with strides at a decent speed. No injuries to report. Very little running in the past 10 days, but lots of walking around England. No speed work in, so little expectations to be fast.
Start - Nice to see Wayne. No other friends here though. But it is a very good turn out, with lots of families and young runners. National Anthem and we are off. Crowded. Three groups pushing kids in wheel chairs which is great, but do they need to start right in the front? I will beat at least two of them by a long way. One guy standing still fiddling with his watch. Some of the kids and young adults are not patient and are zigging and zagging in a dangerous way. Close calls but no tripping. By a tenth of a mile there is room to run and everything settles down.
Mile 1- 7:21 - Zoomed down the big hill and now it will be flat. Keep the yellow lines to my left but try to run the tangents as much as possible.
Mile 2 - 7:38 overall pace. Staying even with most runners but passing the small kids who went out too fast. Take water and splash more on myself than goes in my mouth. Trying to focus on keeping up the pace. Mostly it is my breath more than my legs. I can put on very small surges, but they don't last. Running so that I will have no regrets that I did not try hard enough. This is tough.
Mile 3 - Along the water. Bald Eagle flies across the road and lands in a tree just ahead of me. So fitting for the 4th of July. Back to race focus and then the uphill to the end. Confident that I will beat an 8/mile pace, I relax just a little. A couple of runners pass me, but none look like they are in my age group so I do not freak out. Can't help but slow on the hill. Give it a good effort to the finish.
Finish - 4.04 on the GPS. A little nauseous, it takes a few minutes to recover. Then with this great timing service I can get my result and third place in age group ribbon. Happy to see that I finished 9 seconds faster than three years ago.
Don't stay long, but really happy that I raced today.
77th of 341
Race#420, 4 on the 4th #10