Sunday, December 5, 2021

Jamestown S'Klallam 5K race report

* I'm writing this race report months later, but want to make sure and note how great I thought this 5K was! I'm dating it back to when the event happened to keep the blog organized. 

The Jamestown S'Klallam 5K was the last race is the Run the Peninsula series. And, yes, going over to the Olympic Peninsula is a long way to go for a 5K, as we decided when we signed up, it made for 5 nice weekends away. 

I also loved the structure of this race -- a glow-stick and headlamp-lit night run out and back on the Olympic Discovery Trail. Because it's December, "night" starts at 4:30 up here in the north... and because the race was on Saturday, we didn't have to try and cross on the ferry on a Friday night. 

In fact, we were able to cross at a civilized time on Saturday, and time it so I could pop into Quilted Strait... where I bought more fabric for my overflowing stash. (Quilt fabric, why can't I quit you?)

We also poked around Port Townsend for a little while, buying cider and bread and cheese at the farmers market, and then headed to 7 Cedars, the fancy casino / hotel where the race would be starting. Nice rooms, good soundproofing. We changed into running gear and then headed out to the parking lot to get on the shuttle bus, and quickly realized WE WERE UNDERDRESSED. 

image courtesy Peninsula Daily News

Lots of people were fully decked out in holiday attire -- Christmas lights, Santa hats, elf dresses, FULL REINDEER ONESIES. All I had to offer were my reflective NYC GTS shoes. 

The shuttles loaded quickly for the short ride (it's not far, but there's a highway to cross). It's clearly a popular race with the locals, which meant bib pick up was a little slow. (I wonder if running pickup at the shuttle point would have been better?) But the weather wasn't too bad, with only a bit of drizzle. And, of course, it was festive! 

Eventually we lined up toward the back and got underway. We knew we'd be walking most of the race, but started off trotting just to help spread out the pack a bit. 

image courtesy Peninsula Daily News

Not much to report from a course perspective -- we had run this stretch of the ODT before. It was fun to see all the costumes and the lights, including a nice glimpse of 7 Cedars all decked out across the highway. Seriously, it's almost Disneyland, right?

It was also great to see the other runners, including the very fast reindeer. ("Run run reindeer!") After we hit the turnaround it was a little more challenging -- lots of headlamps shining directly in our eyes -- but we just kept moving and eventually crossed the finish line in 44:37. Not great, but not terrible either. 

why, yes, we are wearing raincoats...

We picked up our race swag -- some very nice folding backpacks this time; again, I love that the race swag is different for every race in this series! 

Then back on the shuttles and back across the highway to 7 Cedars. Did I mention the decorations?

We changed out of our running gear, put on street clothes, and spent the evening exploring the casino. We signed up for the "loyalty program", and received $10 each to "try things out". Wil managed to lose it all in three spins of a slot machine, weirdly, I doubled mine and promptly cashed out. We took the $20.43 to a bar and had winter cocktails made by an overworked bartender ("may we see your cocktail menu?" "we don't have a cocktail menu" "oh, we saw these online?" "oh, that cocktail menu"). Then we grabbed a pizza, some beer from the nearby minimart (second best gas station in Washington state! seriously!), and retreated to our room where we relaxed and remembered that we're not really casino folk. 

In the morning we admired the view, then scraped frost off the car and headed home on an early ferry. Perfect. 

Jamestown S'Klallam 5K
14:22 pace

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