For the second year in a row, the St. Patrick’s Day Dash in Seattle was run on St. Patrick’s Day, not a weekend day before or after. As I was finishing the race today, I looked for signs of vomit along the last half-mile of the route. Didn’t really see any. Maybe most participants saved all of their drinking for the beer garden AFTER the run.
Eight or nine years ago, when I did this race on the old course (from Seattle Center to Safeco Field via the Highway 99 viaduct), I trailed a woman heading to the finish line. I just could not go fast enough to pass her. Suddenly, about 50 yards from the finish line, she stopped in front of me, turned to the side, and hurled everything she had. Had she been drinking that morning? Who knows.
On Sunday, as always, the runners and walkers were in a great mood in their festive green. The sun made an appearance and there was a rock-concert feel. The current course is an out-and-back to and from the Seattle Center (near the Space Needle). The turnaround is on the Aurora Bridge, around the 2-mile mark, after good-sized incline. A sea of runners in green stretched as far up the hill as I could see.
As far as my race, I ran my fastest post-surgery pace to date, 13:00 minutes per mile, to finish the 3.8-mile race in 47:16. Not exactly hauling ass, but I am running again (favoring my good ankle, of course) and getting a workout.
This was actually my fastest time on this St. Patrick’s Day Dash course since 2010, when I ran 38:03 just before my ankle went bad. Mostly walking it, my times were 53:53 and 50:21 the last two years (see my 2012 and 2011 posts). I was pleased to beat 50 minutes today, and to handle those hills. I even had a finishing kick (well, for me).
- The turnout: The race results are here, and list 7,300 finishers. But these are just the participants running the timed waves. Two slower waves are non-timed and may add another 5,000 or more. At any rate, this race is wall-to-wall people every year and it was again this year. But, for the second year now, the Kirkland Shamrock Run 5K the day before is providing competition and siphoning Eastside and other runners.
- The costumes: Most everyone wears green, and many augment that with Irish hats, green hair, green face paint, tutus, women in fake beards, and shirts with all kinds of Irish slogans about drinking and revelry. This is fun. I celebrated my Oregon Ducks winning the Pac-12 men’s basketball championship the previous night by wearing Oregon green-and-gold. Probably my favorite outfit was a guy in a Green Bay Packers jersey with the “Favre” name on back changed to “O’Favre.”
- The flashing girls: OK, O’Favre was my second favorite outfit. After the turnaround, as runners headed down the hill and back to Seattle Center, I noticed two women who passed me wearing green bonnets and short, thin shower dresses. To my surprise, they opened their dresses to select runners in later waves going the other way. When they flashed, they revealed green pasties, green thongs and nothing else. They did this several times. Maybe I did run a little bit faster to keep up with them.
- I missed Detlef: Detlef Schrempf, the former NBA star and Seattle Sonic and Washington Husky, has a foundation that sponsors this event, and donates the proceeds to charities benefitting children. He usually runs or walks it too, and is easy to spot as one of the tallest people out there. I couldn’t find him this year. May have just missed him, but a St. Patrick’s Day Dash without seeing Detlef is memorable.
Next Sunday, I am doing the Mercer Island Half-Marathon Walk (my 10th Mercer Island Half), and will likely walk most of it. I’m not sure how smart it is for me to try to run long races. Short races, either, to be honest. But today’s race felt good, and my ankle isn’t too sore.
The pictures I used for this post were taken from the Gametiime Facebook page. Please check out their page for running info and Like it.
Thanks for reading. Till next time.