Since this is our year of Seafair, of course we had to do the Torchlight Run. Originally planned as a teambuilding event... for a team that no longer exists. So I was glad to have Wil as a running buddy.
Here's one thing I learned. If you go for a bike ride and spend the day in the sun drinking a couple of beers, you may not be at your best for an evening run.
We ran in to Brandon and a friend in the starting area and got an awesome pre-race photo:
It was rammed -- over 5000 runners in a city block -- and we had to climb over a fence to get into the starting corrals.
It stayed packed for the first several blocks -- past the park, up the road, and a few blocks... until, with a roar, we hit the parade route. Kinda fantastic to run down a road lined with cheering folks, little kids standing up to be high-fived, feeling a bit like a rock star.
This euphoria lasted for a few blocks... until I looked a block or so ahead and saw a man running at full speed, shouting "GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!".
Now, I had looked at the course online. I knew that the 5K was an out-and-back. But I didn't really think about how fast the leaders would be going, and that they would have long since turned the corner. And I should point out that I wasn't alone -- in fact, the entire width of the street was taken up by people running south... except for this lead pack of 3 people running north.
We shot over to the left, giving the leaders plenty of room, but others weren't as fast. I hadn't even seen the cones in the middle of the road. Oops. I was actually most worried about the little kids, who would have been smack in their path, but facing the other direction.
Anyway, we ran along the parade route, trying to avoid the oncoming crowds. The turnaround was well marked, but somehow a lot of people missed it. Still, it was much more fun once the 5K folk had turned back, so we could run along the whole route. Who doesn't love high-fiving strangers?
We ran down the hill toward the Viaduct -- fantastic in the evening.
Then a bit of out-and-back on the top of the Viaduct -- awesome. I had slowed WAAAAY down at this point... and of course we had to stop to take photos. Beautiful evening:
One lowlight -- at the water stop on top of the Viaduct I grabbed a big cup of Nuun... which apparently doesn't agree with me. About 5 minutes after drinking it I feared I would hurl. (Yeah, well, it wouldn't be the first time I lost it during a race!) So I just slowed down a bit more until I felt better.
We ran through the tunnel (why does everyone always speed up in a tunnel?), then out, around a corner, and a sprint to the finish. There was a huge bottleneck at the chip collection point... and huge huge lines to get into the beer garden (beer p-patch?). So we grabbed some goodies and headed home.
Overall, a fun race -- great to run on the parade route, great to run on the viaduct, fun to see so many people in costume, fun event shirt (even if it wasn't the "pirate tuxedo...". Not sure I need to run it again, but I'm glad to have finally run Seattle's classic running event.