I rarely get talked into doing road runs, but the Bellevue 10K in my hometown last Sunday was a first. I was not planning to do it this year.
A fellow Oregon Duck, John Uppendahl, urged me to run it to support the charitable fundraising efforts of sponsor Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club, of which John is a member. John is also senior director of global communications at Parallels, a Renton-based software solutions company, and we’d been talking.
When he asked me to run it to support his club, I asked him if he was running it too. No, he was not, he said; he was going to be on a business trip out of the country. I said OK, safe travels. And then, for some reason, possibly the challenge of it, I went ahead and signed up.
Last year, I ran the Bellevue 5K version of the race for the first time. That was OK, but not exciting enough to want to do it again. So if I was going to do this event again, it was going to have to be the 10K. I hadn’t run a 10K since November 2012 at Green Lake, and in that race, I walked close to half of it. I wanted to run an entire 10K.
On Sunday, I ran the whole race, and beat that November 2012 time by almost 10 minutes. My time Sunday was 1:23:56, a 13:32 per mile pace. Full results are here.
I would have liked to have run it faster, but I am just not swift running up hills these days (there were a few on this course). Another excuse: I had to stop to re-tie my shoes in the first mile. Still another: Weaving in and around the walkers who were finishing the 5K on the last, Bellevue Way leg of the course cost me valuable seconds. Out of excuses.
This is a family-oriented event, and the vibe is pretty much sedate. No costumes, no beer garden afterwards, no bands playing along the route. But lots of families, kids and strollers. Some 1,048 people finished the two races — four more than last year. Only slightly more women than men finished the races.
Interestingly enough, though this event is in my hometown, I did not see anyone I knew. Cindy Mueller, you live in Bellevue — where were you?
I enjoyed doing a 10K for my sixth road run of the year (and 167th road race since 2001). My first four races in 2001 and 2002 were 10Ks — it once was the most popular distance, but has since been surpassed by the 5K and the half-marathon, in terms of runner participation.
Of those 167 total races, only about 20 or so have been 10Ks. My 10K PR is 51:44 in the Dawg Dash of 2004, and I’ve run all but four of the 10Ks in under an hour. I’ll never forget that first 10K that exceeded an hour, in 2008 — what a disappointing race. But these days, after my ankle problems and ankle surgery in 2011, I am unable to run an 8K in under an hour.
Oh well. I’m very happy to still be able to run. And crossing the finish line at Bellevue’s Downtown Park on Sunday felt as sweet as it has always felt.
Thanks for reading. Till next time.