First ever 15k!
Start Time: 7:45 am
Temperature: 37, 100% chance of snow
Division Place: 92/350
Gender Place: 573/2125
Division Place: 92/350
Gender Place: 573/2125
Finish Time: 1:27:56
|Girls weekend with some amazing women.|
Most of us rode the train from Portland to Seattle. Saturday's 8:30am train arrived a bit after noon in the Emerald City.
|Union Station, Portland.|
There was no race day packet pick up. We ate lunch at a local Thai restaurant (not my pre race day lunch preference), then walked to the expo. The volunteers were terrific, handing out hot chocolate, chocolate dipped marshmallows and wrapped chocolate squares (also given out during the race at the chocolate aid station). I was able to pick up Trisha's packet easily, with just a copy of her confirmation. One of the many pluses for this event.
|Good looking swag!|
Volunteers willingly took our photo at many of the fun photo op spots.
|I have a thing for the gigantic marshmallow runner.|
The forecast called for 100% chance of snow all morning, but the rain didn't start until right after I crossed the finish line. If it had been wet, the Armory, located between the start and finish lines, was open for racers to stay dry and warm. There was even Starbucks in there (which I took advantage of post race, while waiting for our final runner).
|My favorite photo, on the walk to the start.|
|Trisha and I sported brand new chocolate socks from Sock Dreams. $10, free fast shipping. No blisters or chafing for 9 miles. I highly recommend this sock for a race.|
Corrals A-M were used for the 5k. I was assigned to O, but dropped back to P with a few buddies. A few speedy friends officially moved up to N at the expo.
The corrals started 3 minutes apart, and we were off down a very steep hill in the first mile. Watching my step, on the slippery pavement, I looked up and could see Puget Sound. Slowly, from behind a building on the left, a ferry boat came in to view and floated by as we continued to the bottom. Priceless, priceless, breathtaking uniquely Seattle moment.
As the rain started, we ended up in the Armory, staying dry and warming up. To my delight, two of my all time favorite (inspired my training for my first half marathon) Tacoma bloggers (and dearest friends) were still around after finishing the 5k, hours before us. Mom vs. Marathon and Tall Mom on the Run meandered back to chit chat with me in the Starbucks line.
|Admittedly, loving the "no walkers' sign. That's why we start in waves.|
Sonya ran with me, and we had hoped to use this as a training run, around 10 minute miles. The course was very hilly. Downhill towards Pike Place Market (where I saw Stacie and her daughter, in matchy chocolate socks, too). Turn around, then back up the hill we just ran down. The course was very hilly, my goal was to tackle the hills and run up each and every one strong.
Miles 3-9 were another out and back, over a bridge (I love running on bridges) that was uphill both ways. Aid stations were every 2+ miles. Two of them had Gatorade, one had disgusting city water and another had chocolate. Overall, not bad. The volunteers were enthusiastic and encouraging, in spite of the cold temps.
The finish is sadly similar to RNR Seattle, running down Mercer street, under the freeway, then a discouraging hearty uphill. I thought I dropped Sonya on that final uphill, but she caught me. I told her "we had run this far together, let's hold hands at the finish line". She nodded her head, adjusted her earphones and put on her gloves. As the banner got closer, I reached for her hand and…she sped up, put her arms above her head for the photographer and crossed two seconds in front of me!
I laughed, caught up to her and told her what I had said. Jokes on me, she heard "put our hands up" at the finish. Too funny…I couldn't stop retelling the story all afternoon.
My buddy, FreeJulie and her daughter volunteered at the finish line. They were there with Gatorade and hugs for us. What a treat to see her! They had been there since 5am setting up and encouraging the 5k and 15k finishers. What a task!
The hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and dipping snacks in the nifty mug are now my new favorite post race treats. They hit the spot perfectly.
|Cold, happy 15k runners!|
|Just plain happy to see them!|
I love it when a plan comes together as it did in Seattle last weekend. A well organized race, with great swag. Accommodations close to the start. Great local food. A little rain, awesome socks. On time trains to and from the city (isn't riding the train the best!?!)
Thanks to RAM Racing for the chance to be an ambassador for this event. I hope they bring the race to Portland next year!
|Race treats on top, converted to a pencil holder at home.|
This was my first 15k, so instant PR. Does it get any better?