Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2013 Seattle Locks Fat Ass Half Marathon race report

Other than work stresses and general life busy-ness, I have no excuses for why this report is so late. But here goes.

Look, I was jonesing for a race. I mean, I LOVE a race. I just thought it would be nice to run one last half marathon in 2013. So -- since we ran this race in 2012 -- and since it was a few minutes'  drive from our house -- and since it was essentially free -- this was the obvious choice.

We arrived only about 15 minutes before the start of the race -- such a luxury! -- picked up our bibs (26 for me, 58 for Wil, and yes, I made the "oh, I got my age!" joke. Again.), and then just milled around for a few minutes.

Steve Walters (aka the Marathon Freak) puts on this race -- and I handful of others, I think -- because he loves racing. He's both a Marathon Maniac (#338) and Half Fanatic (#18!!!). It's a nice, very low key affair, with minimal frills other than a surprisingly lush spread at the finish. My one wish is that Steve had a megaphone, as it's sometimes difficult to hear him when he gives the course talk! That said, we knew the course, and it was well marked…

Bang on time at 9am, the race started, and we set off down the hill. It was a much larger group this time -- or maybe it just seemed that way? However, it was frustrating to see the runners darting across roads rather than just waiting for the lights to change -- especially in a large group, it causes chaos for drivers. I mean, it's not like we were all out there trying to qualify for Boston or something, right? Just relax, you're running for fun…

But we ran all the way down Stone (nice to overhear another runner saying, "that's going to be the Brooks headquarters!" when we were waiting to cross the street), onto the Burke-Gilman, and then on on on to the Ballard Locks. The weather was pretty okay -- a bit of drizzle, off and on, but nothing to complain about.

We helped ourselves to "ultra kibble" at the water stop and turnaround (oh, Red Vines, how I love thee?) and basically just kept going.

Of course, the fact that neither of us had run … essentially AT ALL … since the Wine & Dine Half Marathon some 6 weeks before was eventually going to be an issue. And given that we needed to run in Disneyland on back to back days three weeks after this race, well, it just seemed prudent to take it easy. How easy? We walked the last half of the race. Sometimes it's better to just take it easy…

We made our way back to the start, up the last big hill, and to the finish line, where one of the Maniacs took our timing "strip" off our bibs. I lunged forward so that I could "beat" Wil, which made the Maniac laugh. But it worked, I came in 80th to Wil's 81st. Of course, we did finish in a dead heat, tied at a leisurely 2:52:16.

Overall, a nice morning out. Some nice memories: the Maniacs (one with a poorly leg) moving along the course to appear at different spots to cheer -- "you guys keep moving so faaaaaast!"; RED VINES, Ruffles, and flat Coke at the water stop; seeing the updates to the "missing link" part of the trail; the runner with "check out this FAT ASS runner" painted on the back of her skirt; friendly volunteers; wrapping up the year with a final race.

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