Sunday, July 22, 2012

West Seattle Float Dodger 5K

I was super excited to get to run in a race that was practically right in my back yard. This year is the first year for the West Seattle Float Dodger 5K and the race was held right before the West Seattle Grand Parade, hence the name "float dodger". We didn't really dodge any floats, however. The Hi-Yu float was positioned at the north end of the course, but we just had to run around it to make a 180 degree turn back south.

Even though I have been sidelined with an IT band injury, this 5K was going to be my big race. I prefer to race longer distances, since a 5K just means fast and hard. There is no watching the Garmin, figuring out splits, working out pacing. You just run as fast as you can until you cross the finish line. And that is exactly what I did.

I met up with a couple of my friends before the race began and it was a lot of fun to have some familiar faces in the crowd. I think the race was about 300 people. It would have been nice if there had been more runners because about half way in I felt like I wasn't really running "with" anyone. It was a very nice turnout for the inaugural running of the race, however. The best thing about the course and the crowd was that my family was able to situate themselves right next to the finish line so I saw them three times as I ran!

Iris and I before the race. Taken by Eloise. 
When the gun went off, I just took off. First we ran north before making a 180 degree turn and running south again. I passed my family about a quarter mile in, then again after another quarter mile or so on the way back south. We kept going south for a mile or so and were treated to a slight downhill along the way. At the bottom of the loop we made another 180 degree turn to head back north to the finish line. And back up the hill we just ran down. It wasn't a bad hill, but when you are racing as hard as you can, any slight incline is very noticeable


I spent the whole race just waiting for the pain in my knee to rear its ugly head, but amazingly, it never did. Maybe my knee is a fan of speedy short races? Who knows. 

Making the first pass past my family. Photo taken by Eloise. 
As I came up to the second turn around I thought I had counted all of the women in front of me. It seemed like there was maybe seven. I passed two women on the last stretch so I was absolutely convinced I finished in the top five. Clearly I was off a few, as I placed 12th of 142 females. Nothin' to sneeze at, to be sure, but not what I expected when I hit the finish line.

Heading back south again, about a half of a mile in.
Check out the form of the guy in front of me. I should have been taking notes!
Photo by Eloise.

My official time was 23:45. My goal was a sub-25:00, so I smashed that out of the water!


Photo from the race. The finish line was right around that corner.

There was yummy food and drinks at the finish line. As I was grabbing a few snacks a man came up to me and said I had done a nice job. I thanked him and he mentioned that I had been his pacer for the last little bit and that this was his first ever race. I congratulated him on the amazing effort, my first 5K was run at about ten minutes slower than my time that day! He said one year ago he weighed 308 pounds and had been working on his fitness. My jaw dropped. He was a bit shorter than me (I am 6') and looked fit, I would guess he lost over 100 pounds. In a year. Amazing. I felt so honored that he came to chat with me, and I remembered all of the people in races who I paced myself behind and how grateful I was to be able to follow their effort.

All in all a really wonderful race. I hope to race again next year, when I move up an age category. I would have taken first in my division if I was a year older, haha!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great event. I might have to check it out if it comes back next year. :) Great time!!!

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