2013 Labor Day Half (4-Mile Run): My fastest pace yet

Every so often, runners need to have a completely flat course, just to see how fast they can go. I got that opportunity on Labor Day, at the 2013 Overlake Medical Center Labor Day Half. I did the 4-mile run at this event; it covered almost a third of the half-marathon course through the Redmond-Woodinville area.

I never did have blazing speed, even injury-free, but these days I am happy just to finish a race before they take down the finish line. So it was nice to improve my per-mile pace in this run to 12:34, my best since my ankle surgery in August 2011. My overall time was 50:14, a PR since I have never done a 4-mile running event before. (I will take any PR I can get.) Full results are here.

A little history about this event: It used to be the Super Jock n’ Jill Half-Marathon, a Labor Day run starting and ending at Redhook Ale Brewery. There was a shorter-distance “fun run” as part of the event, but I never did it. I ran the half-marathon five times through 2009 or so  (I base that on how many race shirts I have), and the course was centered further north in Woodinville and Bothell.

Some time after 2009, the race got a new sponsor (Overlake Medical Center) and the start/finish line moved south to Marymoor Park. And the course, even for the half-marathon, got flatter. The last six miles of the half-marathon and last 1.5 miles of the 4-mile run traverse the super-flat Sammamish River Trail.

Since I’m only running once a week now, and walking, bicycling or doing the elliptical machine the other days, I am never sure about my running stamina. But while I was sucking wind in the first mile of this race, I got stronger as my bad ankle loosened up and race wore on, and I finished strong.

Nice to cross that finish line. And nice to be running again, even if it’s slow going. Two years ago, I thought I’d have to give it up. Preserving my ankle is still my priority, but being able to run short distances without serious pain is awesome.

A bit more about this event:

  • The turnout: Labor Day is not the best time to have a running event, even in sun and pleasant 70-degree temperatures. So many people are out-of-town for the three-day weekend. Still, there were 960 finishers in the half-marathon run, 94 in the half-marathon walk and 281 in the 4-mile run; 1,335 participants altogether (60 percent women).
  • The half-marathon finish: I was done running, and had gotten my water, bananas and other goodies, in time to watch the top six finishers in the half-marathon. This will tell you how flat and fast the course was: Travis Boyd, 29, won the race in an amazing 1:07:47, a 5:10-per-mile pace. He beat well-known local runner Uli Steidl (1:08:59) by more than a minute, and didn’t even look tired. The top six all finished in under 1:15.
  • The course: For those interested, this PDF shows the half-marathon and 4-mile courses pretty well: LDH_2013_Route-Map_no-crops.
  • The vibe: Thankfully, there were no Zombies on the course. Also, there were runners slower than me. It was a nice, flat out-and-back through Redmond Town Center and along the Sammamish River Trail.
  • The after-event: I didn’t stick around for it, but there was a barbecue and picnic, a rock band and a beer garden. Looked like fun.

What’s next: I am looking forward to riding in the Harvest Century bicycle ride (probably the 45-mile route) in Washington County near Portland on Sept. 29. It’s a nice late-season ride with my brother and a friend; I did this ride in 2011. I also plan to run another 5K before then.

Thanks for reading. Till next time.


About monteenbysk

I am not an elite runner or bicyclist, though I am friends with many. I run, walk, and bike for fun and the health benefits. I can get you to the finish but probably not to the Boston Marathon (and especially not to the Tour de France).
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3 Responses to 2013 Labor Day Half (4-Mile Run): My fastest pace yet

  1. John says:

    Nice job, Monte. Sounds like your ankle is getting a little better. Not great, but OK for occasional runs. That’s good. I almost ran the Labor Day Half this year, but decided to take another summer weekend trip with the family instead.

    Have you heard about the new Fall City Half and 10K on Oct 12? You might like it. I’m going to run it. Put on by the same people who organize the Fall City 5K/10K every spring. https://www.signmeup.com/site/online-event-registration/93474

  2. Pingback: 2013 Run with the Fishes: Football stress delays this post | Monte's running commentary

  3. Pingback: 2015 Labor Day Half 4-Mile Run: Nearly 20 years running this trail | Monte's running commentary

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