The Seahawks 12K and 5K Run is four years old now, and this year drew more than 4,000 runners and walkers. I finally decided to give it a try. In past years, I was marathon training during April, and last year was training for some bicycle races while letting my ankle heal a bit.
I did the 5K run today, and found it to be a very well organized and enjoyable event. It’s been less than a week since the bombings at the Boston Marathon, but I noticed no extra security, no weird vibe, or no lessening of enthusiasm among participants. I did, however, notice several participants wearing Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, or other Boston-related apparel in tribute to that great city that had to endure such a tragedy (see this Renton Patch account of today’s race).
Most everyone else wore Seahawk blue or green — either the race shirt itself or a Seahawk jersey or shirt of some kind. This event is a great way is rev up Seahawk pride in the hometown of the Seattle Seahawks, Renton.
Both races start and finish at The Landing in Renton, an interesting outdoor mall with numerous big-box retailers (Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods, PetSmart, Fry’s, etc.) as anchors but also a pleasant assortment of restaurants and shops, as well as a large apartment complex or two. The best way to describe The Landing: Run-of-the-mill brands in an elegant setting. To me, it works.
The 12K run takes you north along Lake Washington to the Seahawks’ headquarters and training facility in north Renton, known as the Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC). It is indeed the more interesting course — you get to run around parts of the Seahawk facility that I’ve yet to see. Maybe I will do this run in the future. But it made more sense to me this year to run the 5K version, which essentially loops in and around The Landing. Read: Flat.
And flat is good. Despite a slight downpour and wet streets, despite a lack of running room for at least a half-mile, and despite having numerous dogs and strollers to avoid, I had my best run of 2013. My time was 39:15, a 12:40 per mile pace, and my fastest 5K since my ankle surgery in 2011. Now that I have come to terms with my stride being mercifully slow, I welcome any incremental improvements that come along. But, to be fair, the flat course was a differentiator today. Full results are here.
Other race tidbits:
- Gender domination: Some 4,084 people finished the two races, of which 2,529 were female (62 percent). Interesting how women are continuing to dominate running.
- Female 12K winner: Congrats to Shelly Hack! Shelly was my physical therapist during my Microsoft days, and treated me for a variety of running ailments. She once told me she doesn’t do a race she doesn’t expect to win — she did so today, finishing No. 1 in the 12K among women in 48:29, an incredible 6:30 per mile pace.
- Beaten by a coworker: Congrats also to my Zones colleague Jaime Massie, as well as her husband, Boyd. Unable to run much in recent weeks, Jaime still recorded one of her best 5Ks to finish ahead of me, and her husband ran a swift 52:46 (7:04 per mile) to finish 38th overall in the 12K. It’s only going to take him one marathon to qualify for Boston, so I hope he does it.
- The real winner today: The event generated tons of business for restaurants and shops at The Landing, both before and after the races.
- One more thing: The Seahawk 12th-man t-shirts that all event participants got were simple, but nice. I wore mine today.
I have signed up for another 5K, the Bellevue 10K/5K Run, for next Sunday. It’s another April race, this one in my hometown, that I’ve never done before. But I am getting my new bicycle’s free 90-day maintenance done this weekend, and will be focusing on bicycling for May and beyond.
Thanks for reading. Till next time.