Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Emerald City Run 10K race report

It has taken me a long time to get around to writing this report... in part because life and work and prep for our Inca Trail trip has been a little overwhelming, and in part because this race left me feeling a little... meh.

I got a deal (of course; it's the only reason I decided to run this!), signed up weeks in advance, and then just forgot about it until a week or so before. 

Got up earlyish, got to Gas Works Park on the early side so I could find good parking, picked up my packet and shirt, and then just went back to my car to relax until start time. 

Though the color isn't really my thing, I liked that the shirt was "brick road" yellow, AND that it had glitter on it. 

2014 Emerald City Run shirt -- yep, that's GLITTER!!!

Made my way to the start with about five minutes to spare... Nice to see the costumes, especially folks who were more creative than running as Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, or the Cowardly Lion. (Though bonus points for those who got a "Gang of Four" together!) Saw a couple of Glindas, a Wicked Witch of the West, a pair of flying monkeys (loved that!) and, perhaps best of all, a man wearing a cardboard house and a woman wearing a swirling thing with a sign that said "I'm a tornado." 

The race director read out a pretty corny prepared intro in an Oz theme -- which he sounded uncomfortable doing -- and then we went over a little race / course info. Runners were confused about the course split for the 10K / 15K, I explained to a woman near me that it would be really obvious when you got to that point. The course was marked at very frequent intervals -- seriously, every 10 yards or so -- with bright yellow signs that served the triple purposes of advertising the race, letting residents, trail users, and drivers know that there would be a race, and keeping runners on course. (Smart!!)

We runners were released in clumps to reduce congestion in the first mile or so; I was toward the back of the second clump, but never felt too crowded. Of course, self-seeding is always problematic, and there were several walkers in my clump, but at least they mainly stayed to the side, and I was able to scoot past them almost immediately. 

The course followed the Cheshiahud Loop around the lake, which is relatively flat and scenic -- though when we run it on our own, we avoid some of the up and down on the NE corner by just running up to Eastlake and staying on the sidewalk...

There were two or three water stops on the course; the first of which was inconveniently placed in the narrow spot by the base of the footbridge on Westlake -- which resulted in a bottleneck and the need to stop. But other than that, the stops were okay. 

The race was, well, just okay. I guess I thought there would be more theming, somehow -- like we would be chased by flying monkeys, spooked by wicked witches, cheered on my good witches -- maybe at the cardinal points around the lake? I mean we could even have run through poppy fields or angry orchards. But if there was any Oz-themed stuff on the course I missed it. This seems like a big miss. 

On getting to the finish line, there was a rainbow arch and a "Welcome to the Emerald City" arch, both of which were nice. But it was too little, too late. 

rainbow arch

Welcome to the Emerald City!

Oh, and then there's the medal. It's handsome, has a lovely finish and good weight to it. But... One small problem:

Yep, "SEATTLE" is misspelled. 

Apparently, it was misspelled on the proof, too (at least I assume this graphic shows the pre-production proof):

I know, I know, mistakes happen. It's an imperfect world; screws fall out all the time. But still, ouch. 

Overall I have to give this race a B- -- still "above average", but with plenty of room for improvement. Even if I did run a new PR, and finish with a pleasant race face!

photo by On The Run Events

Things I liked:
- being able to pick up my packet on race morning. It's so much more convenient for me. However, I also love that they offered early pickup for
People who wanted it. 
- glittery race shirt!!!
- the bright yellow course marking signs
- custom medal

Room for improvement:
- needed more Oz theming on the course, whether that be costumed volunteers or signs or something. 
- typo on the custom medal :(

I don't need to run this race again, but it's a nice course -- and great to have the option to run a 15K in town. So I *can* recommend it, given that the price is pretty reasonable. 

No date has been set for the 2015 race yet, but you can look for it to be updated on the Emerald City Run website

1 comment:

  1. I think misspelling Seattle on the medal is a huge fail.