Thursday, April 3, 2014

Daffodil 5K Challenge pre-race report

In just a few weeks I've gone from someone who had only the tiniest awareness of the Daffodil Festival and had never been to any of the Daffodil Parades to someone who is going to run four 5K runs in one day -- one in each of the communities that will host a Daffodil Parade on Saturday.

The distance isn't challenging, of course -- other than just getting back to the start, lining up, and "racing" four times in one day. To me, the interesting part of this event has to be the logistics of it all.

Here's the schedule for Saturday:

8:45am: Tacoma 5K start, 1600 Commerce St.
10:15am: Tacoma Parade start
11:15am: Puyallup 5K start, 1110 W Pioneer Ave
12:45pm: Puyallup Parade start
1:00pm: Sumner 5K start, 1627 Bonney Ave
2:30pm: Sumner Parade start
3:30pm: Orting 5K start, 200 Washington Ave S
5:00pm: Orting Parade start

Given that this is the first year of the challenge, and there are, ahem, other large community events taking place in each of the towns on the same day that involve a lot more than a few hundred runners, I'm not super surprised that there has been a bit of a delay in getting information finalized. And, hey, they're just 5Ks. We'll figure it out.

(That said, it's 8:40pm … 36 hours before the start of the first race… and we don't have course info, parking info, or any other info from the organizers… though they did say it would be coming tonight. I trust 'em.)

Of course, me being me, I have been trying to figure out what to do. Where to park so that we don't get trapped by the parades? How to get from town to town? How many dry changes of clothing should we bring???

I did learn a few things about the challenge:

The event is sponsored by Nike and South Sound Running, and each of the 25 Daffodil princesses received a pair of yellow running shoes as well as exercise gear. (Apparently the princesses have a super busy schedule, including lots of events with local kids: NICE.)

Proceeds from the race will benefit the YMCA's Late Nite Program, which provides a safe place for high school kids to hang out on Friday nights.

At the end of the race in Orting, runners who have completed all four races will receive a Daffodil medal… FROM A DAFFODIL PRINCESS!! Can you say photo op?

And then, the challenge runners are invited to march as a group in the Orting parade. Which I admit seemed not particularly interesting (really? you want me to march another couple of miles???) -- until I saw the sweet Orting parade route: essentially two blocks along the nice park in Orting. Yeah, I think I can do that. As the organizer noted, "Orting isn't the longest parade, but once you're seen it, you have to come back. Three times the population of Orting is there. " Awwwww!

There's still time to sign up on race morning, I'm told. For more info, check out

this year's festival theme -- apparently there are PINS!!!

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