Thursday, September 13, 2012

Athleta Iron Girl 10K Race Re-cap

Last Spring my friend Tara asked me if I would be interested in running the Athleta Iron Girl 10K with, as it fell on her birthday and she really wanted to do a race on her birthday. Of course I said yes! We had such a blast running the St. Paddy's Day Run Tacoma 10K together that I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do it again.

We decided on a sort-of matchy outfit at the last minute, we both bought gunmetal Team Sparkle skirts and then Tara bought some socks to match a pair I already owned. We were going for a sort of girly pirate-ish type theme (our socks had skulls and cross-bones on the back).


I met Tara and her family-- her kids, husband and mom-- early the morning of the race at the packet pick-up. Neither of us had been able to pick up packets early and we were nervous it was going to be a zoo doing it on race day. Turned out it was easy peasy. We had time to get photos taken, walk around a little and then wait in the loooong porta-potty line. One would think that at an all-women race there would be an abundance of porta-pottys. Nope.

We lined up and waited a bit. And then we heard the announcer say "Happy Birthday!" to Tara and I screamed and hollered for her. Cause I am an annoying friend that way.

Can you see us? Probably not. We were about 100 women deep in to the crowd. 

Taking off at the start. Sort of. Check out Tara's awesome form!
I thought I was getting better,but it looks I am still straight up and down.
Darn it!
I mostly enjoyed the course, though it started out really crowded. I am not sure if it was because it was so crowded, or because people weren't lined up in the appropriate spot at the start line, but we were running pretty slowly for the first mile or so. We lined up in the 9:00-10:00 min/mile area and were passing a lot of people trying to even maintain a 10:30 min/mile. During the first mile is when my pretty socks slid down to my ankles. I tried to pull them up once but it was a losing battle. 

This picture cracks me up. My braid ponytail kept whacking me and it kind of hurt! 

Once we got past that first mile the runners spread out a little and we were able to run the pace we wanted for the most part. We still did some dodging, of other runners AND of pedestrians on the Greenlake walking path, but it was totally fine. Tara and I talked the whole time, catching up and enjoying the grown-up time, and had fun thanking people for complimenting our fantastic skirts.

The course made two loops of Greenlake, so we got to see Tara's family at the start, at the end of the first loop and at the finish. They were awesome cheering for us and taking pictures. In fact, Tara's husband, Dan, took all of the photos on this post. Nothing better than having a crew out there for your race! 

While we ran pretty hard the whole way, our primary goal was to have fun. Doesn't matter how "for fun" the race is, though, you have to sprint in to the finish! 

I was probably the only one in the race wearing sunglasses.
I didn't wear a hat and I knew if I didn't wear my sunnies the
sun would definitely have come out!
We had a great weather for the race. Also, my hand looks giant in this photo.  
Official race photo. I love that you can't tell my left sock was around my ankles,
nor is it drastically obvious I am holding my sunglasses in my hand. Hooray! 

I was really surprised to see the pace chart from my Garmin at the end of the day. Our overall pace just kept decreasing until the end. Hello negative split! Of course, our second lap was much more sparse than our first, so we kind of ran the negative split without trying. 

In hindsight I am only a wee bit bummed that we finished in 56:49. I know that we could have gotten a sub-55:00 for Tara if we had not been stuck in a crowd in the beginning and had been watching our time a little better. Darn it. Next race! That said, I am glad a time goal didn't come before our goal of enjoying ourselves.  Tara just informed me that she has, indeed, already run a sub 55:00 so we didn't blow our chance, after all. Whew! No longer a wee bit bummed. 

Overall I really enjoyed this race and would definitely run it again, especially with a friend! I felt like the race was very well organized-- the packet pick up was flawless, the expo was okay, the course was well-marked and beautiful, our bibs had our names pre-printed on them, the finishing chute was nice and they had enough people taking timing chips off of shoes as well as someone handing out bottled water right away. The medals for all finishers were a great touch, and the medal was very nice, too! My two complaints were that they needed more porta-potties and the food at the end of the race gets a huge thumbs down. They gave the runners pre-boxed food, and in the box was things like crackers, trail mix, granola bar and a packet of hummus. BLECH. When I finish a race I want bananas, chocolate milk, oatmeal, bagels, PB&J, rolls, oranges, things like that. Not hard, dried food. Luckily Tara's husband had a stash of homemade scones in his bag. YES! That definitely hit the spot. 

Happy post-race. Tara is rockin' her Canada gear, being a pround Canadian and all! 

Such a fun morning, I was bummed to say good-bye at the end. After the race Tara and her family had to head out for a day of sight-seeing and I had to head home to, well, spend most of the day laying on the couch. Kind of my favorite post-race activity! 

I think it's almost time to get our next race on the calendar . . . maybe up in Victoria next time? 


  1. I was disappointed with the food this year at IronGirl. Last year they had breakfast burritos and they were great. I did the 5K this year with friends and it was congested most of the way for us. I think that is just how GreenLake races tend to be.

    1. Breakfast burritos?!?! Oh man! Now I feel even worse! ha ha. Good to know that about Greenlake races. If I am expecting it to be crowded I can relax more about it!

  2. Great photos, Sybil! Looks like fun. I had hoped to go but it was too much to try to do before traveling to AK :( Next year!

    1. Thanks Alma! I hope to see you there next year!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!