I have lots of Christmas shopping left to do, so I will try not to be so verbose. I was planning to do the 5K race at this year’s 12Ks of Christmas event on Dec. 15, but signed up for the 12K instead to see if I could run it all.
Yes, I’d done the Seattle Half Marathon on Dec. 1, but that was nearly equal parts running and walking (I ran about seven miles and walked the other six). A 12K is 7.45 miles; I figured I should do this longer race. I’ve run it eight out of the last 10 years, though last year it was a run/walk.
So, I did it Sunday, running all but 100 yards up a steep hill, and finished in 1:42:41 (a 13:47 per mile pace). Full results are here. I was happy to beat my last year’s time of 1:51:45 (14:59 per mile), which is my worst for this race (I walked about three miles or so of it). My best time is 1:06:55 (8:58 per mile) in 2005.
This is always a fun, festive race, but a challenging course through the heart of Kirkland. You tackle a significant hill in the first half-mile, than a longer, steeper one in the third mile. The fourth and fifth miles are mostly downhill, as you drop from Kirkland’s hills down to its Lake Washington waterfront. I have to run part of the downhill with my brakes on. The last three kilometers are a long but flat stretch along Lake Washington Boulevard (Lake Street) north to downtown.
Meanwhile, many of the runners don red Santa hats and other holiday garb. A woman I passed had her face painted as the Grinch.
Some 1,156 runners finished the 12K and another 488 finished the 5K — a total of 1,644 finishers that was down from the 2,185 last year, 2,174 in 2011 and 1,848 in 2010. A reason for the decline could have been the fear of rainy weather; rain was forecast but none fell and temperatures were near 50.
Highlights for me were finishing the race strong, after a slow start up the hill, and seeing a friend on the course, Brenda Frost, at about the four-mile mark. Congrats on your race, Brenda! Congrats also to Jen Gaudette, who ran a fine 24:57 for 38th place overall in the 5K.
For me, it’s back to doing a 5K on Jan. 1 — the New Year’s Day Resolution Run 5K race. Looking forward to kicking off 2014 with a run.
My apologies to readers who are tired of my pictures of people at the registration counter holding up the event shirts for me. I will stop at some point.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!
Thanks for reading. Till next time.