Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Seafair Pirate Run photos are online!

I know that event photos are a money stream for a lot of races. But I LOVE a race that lets you download your images for free. I mean, sure, add a sponsor logo -- AND make them easy to share -- and they'll pay for themselves in word-of-mouth marketing next year. So thank you Seafair and Orthopedic Specialists of Sea ttle… and My EP Events for taking these awesome pix!

Some of my favorites:

A fantastic series on the Viaduct, showing our pirate race faces


(yes, I do hear the "Jaws" theme when I see this sequence….closer….closer….)

These shots from the finish line… pretty lonely, oddly enough!

A couple of photos taken just AFTER the super soaker incident:

And, finally a nice "posed" pic …

Monday, July 27, 2015

Seafair Pirate Run 5K race report

The Seafair Pirate Run -- let's face it, Seattleites are going to call it "Torchlight" for years to come -- is one of Seattle's classic running events. Run along the route of the city's beloved Torchlight parade, it's a chance to run down the street thronged with cheering spectators. I love running through the city, high-fiving kids, waving at princesses, sprinting away from clowns, and exchanging hearty "Arrrrrr!"s with pirates. And did I mention that it's traditional to run dressed as a pirate?

Brooks is a big sponsor of the event, so we are all encouraged to sign up to run or to volunteer. And this year's race was more fun than ever. 

We arrived at the Seattle Center to find a happy atmosphere, complete with music stage. 

(oh, and, yes, why, that IS a big beer garden…)

We, of course, had done our pre-func at T.S. McHugh's … because, well, tradition.

We milled about a little -- bumping into a few other Brooksies, saying hi to the events gang, and admiring the pirate outfits. 

the Brooks events team -- arrrrr!
We didn't really go overboard ourselves (pun intended!!!) -- but we did wear our skeleton bike jerseys.


We filtered into the start chute -- giggling when we heard the announcers encouraging runners who would be running a 6-minute mile or faster to get to the front. Ho ho ho. (Yo ho ho?) We were warned that the Seafair Pirates would be firing their cannon (okay, I can't resist noting that the website and promo emails both said they would be firing their 'canon'… which still makes me giggle, a little…). One thing the organizers could have done better was use the cannon fire as the starting pistol -- but instead it was 5 minutes before the start. C'mon, Seafair -- let's really start this race off with a bang next year!!!

We ran into some friends in the starting chute, but managed NOT to take any pictures… but let me assure you that they were WAY more piratey than we were!

The start felt a little funny -- we weren't very far back, but it took us over a minute to cross the starting mats… it took a while to get the people in front of us moving! But we started off down the hill (knowing that we would have to run up the hill at the end), and then made a few quick turns to end up on the parade route. This was taken toward the beginning of the route -- before I shifted over to the side for more HIGH-FIVIN' ACTION!!!

Is there anything better than high-fiving kids along a race course? Kids got super excited when they could see you were running up to them… and not leaving them hanging. At one point I overheard a kid say "cool shirts!", and his mom shouted "skeleton crew!" NICE.

But soon it was time for my other favorite thing about this race -- running on top of the viaduct! We managed to take the worst viaduct photo in the history of viaduct photos. But, seriously, this is genuine run happiness!!!

Quick aside, for full disclosure -- Wil was running in the place of our friend Ryan, who wasn't able to run. Ryan had registered for the 8K, while I had registered for the 5K. This caused a bit of consternation from friends we saw before the race: "But, you guys ALWAYS run together?!?" "Are you seriously going to split up during this race?" "Wait, WHAT?"

But we had decided to just run the 5K, and hope that the fine folks at Rogue Multisport Timing had set up timing mats en route to show who did run the 5K and who ran the 8K. (And, of course, they DID.)

As we were running along the viaduct our speedy pal David Kornfield came running up between us -- I think that, despite the horsing around, he came in 13th overall or something ludicrous like that. Speedy, speedy Korny.

We made the turn onto the Big Dumb Hill and -- no shame here -- dropped to a walk. Later another friend would describe that stretch as essentially climbing on all fours, it felt so steep. But then another turn, and another, and it was time for the tiny little hill to the finish. We were woefully undertrained, a teensy bit dehydrated, and feeling less that perky, but we finished in a pretty satisfactory 32:03.

After finishing we entered the Pirate Athlete Zone… where, unbeknownst to me, Wil had flagged down a couple of the Brooksies and I was pelted with a Supersoaker. A lot. I believe Wil even used me as a human shield at one point. Awesome.

Then we redeemed the little tab on our bibs for a "Brooks gift" -- these super sweet trucker hats:

We considered lingering -- could have had a free Michelob Ultra in the beer garden while listening to a local band… but instead we decided to just go back to McHugh's, where we walked in to surprised folks saying, "Oh, you're already DONE? Wow!" Nice. 

obligatory post-race photo!
Thanks to everyone at Seafair and at Brooks for a fun race -- already looking forward to next year!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Semiahmoo run!!!

We went for a run! No, really, a run. By ourselves. No one even gave us a medal at the end. Sure, it was 3 miles at a slow, 11-minute/mile pace... but it was a RUN. 

I woke up this morning at 5:30 -- again -- but made myself try to sleep and was able to lie in until almost 8. Success!!

But then I was restless, so I decided to get up and read on our lovely balcony -- really need to take advantage of this view, you see!

I made a strategic decision: put on my running clothes. It didn't mean I would necessarily run, but it did make it slightly more likely. 

Wil got up a little after I did... saw me in my running gear, and put his on, too. We decided to run an easy 3 miles -- 1.5 out, 1.5 back -- along the spit that connects Semiahmoo to the mainland. There's a nice paved path that runs along the shoreline, so off we went, seeing bunnies, seagulls, people walking their dogs, and even one or two other runners. It was surprisingly warm already, though we were on the sheltered side of the spit so there wasn't much of a breeze. 

I'm pleased to report that it wasn't too hard, that I could have kept going for quite a while, and that I could have happily sped up a bit. But it was just nice to get out there and put a handful of miles under my feet for the first time in FIVE WEEKS. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dream girls' day out! Deena and Joan to run this year's Chicago Marathon

It's not secret that I am a fan of Deena Kastor, who, when I was first starting out, I frequently referred to as "the sweetheart of American marathoning". No, really. One year I even made one of her recipes to take to Thanksgiving Dinner. She's one of my all-time favorite runners. I was thrilled when she set the world masters half marathon record at this year's Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia, finishing in 1:09:36. I mean, look how badass this woman is: photo from

Another favorite of mine is Joan Benoit Samuelson. I love this picture of the final yards of the 1984 Olympic Marathon -- the first one women were allowed to race in. She has run into the stadium in Los Angeles, the crowd are on their feet, and she looks SO STRONG:

photo from
Sure, I now have other favorites, but these ladies were my first. And they are BOTH going to race in the Chicago Marathon on October 11 this year. Deena is attempting to set a new world masters marathon record (time to beat: 2:28:40, a record set by Colleen De Reuck at the 2005 Chicago Marathon). Meanwhile, Joan is hoping to run within 30 minutes of her 1985 Chicago Marathon time, which she won in 2:21:21. Which, of course, was the American record until Deena ran sub-2:20.

I've never been a spectator at a marathon -- but this one would be a good one to see in person. (Except that I'll be running my own half marathons that weekend…) And I'll be cheering them both on and trying to take inspiration from them as I struggle through my own race.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Run THROUGH the finish line, not TO the finish line...

The Peachtree Road Race is one of America's iconic races. It's an Independence Day tradition, and tens of thousands of people enter the lottery for their chance to run this 10K in Atlanta. And then, this year, this happened.

photo from

American runner Ben Payne, nearing the finish, raised his left hand in a "number one!" salute… Only to be pipped at the line by a hard charging British runner, Scott Overall.

AP photo from
 The two runners finished .09 of a second apart, but, clearly, Overall was the winner.

AP photo from
I feel bad for Payne… I mean, no one wants to be a cautionary tale / subject for coaches and trainers. But, wow. Ouch. From the side view, maybe he's holding up one finger to say, "Hold on -- I'd like to finish first!"

But kudos to Overall, who ran THROUGH the finish line. And to the guy who stood there dressed as Uncle Sam for heaven knows how long.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

Well hello there, stranger.

Life has been good, if busy. Not much running, but some fun plans in the works. But I wanted to write about something I read the other day that still makes me giggle. A couple of days ago, my friend Carrie sent me this article:

It's a clever little piece about shoes that he thinks are hideous… complete with images of the shoes, and funny comments, such as "They must be in meetings, and show each other these colourways. And then they must agree to proceed."

And, you guessed it, some of the shoes were by Brooks. 6/25 to be exact. Now, I totally agree with some of the ones called out. Because I didn't like them either. But one pair was especially funny to me:

"These are the hallucinations of a dog sedated for tooth extraction."

Why is this especially funny? Because I OWN THESE SHOES.

Why do I own them?

Because they are ridiculous.

And now I can describe them, thanks to Nick Crocker, as "the hallucinations of a dog sedated for tooth extraction".

BTW, the comments in the original article are great -- a lot of people said they actually liked -- no, LOVED -- some of the shoes on the list. And, well, the shoe companies are really only responding to trend in most cases. So, clearly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Read the entire article and judge for yourself here: