2014 Spirit of Bellevue 5K: Shade, classic rock help get through it

SpiritofBellevueRun6Last Sunday’s Spirit of Bellevue Run, with a 12K and 5K, is a smaller event only in its third year. Organized by the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, the run benefits the chamber’s education-focused Foundation, which has provided more than $130,000 in college scholarships and teacher grants to date.

I decided to enter a week before the run, and largely because I live in Bellevue and want to support the community. Perhaps I should have been training for this week’s 188-mile Seattle-to-Vancouver (B.C.) Bicycle Ride (RSVP), which begins Friday. At any rate, I was one of only 197 finishers of the 5K; another 131 runners completed the 12K.

SpiritofBellevueRun7It was sunny and hot, even at 8 a.m., and the 5K course featured a long, tough hill, which screwed up my time — not that I would have set any speed records anyway. I finished in 39:20 (12:40 per mile), my worst 5K time this year (best this year is 35:55; best ever is 24:32). Ah, but who’s keeping track? Anyone besides me? Full results are here.

Actually, I was happy to get a morning run like this in (it was my ninth road run of the year and 170th race overall since 2001). I spent the afternoon on a bike, riding 40 miles to train for RSVP. (All that was missing for a triathlon was the swim.)

No need to say a lot about this road run, except that it did provide a different 3.1-mile course than I’d ever done before. It did not mirror the Bellevue 10K/5K Run course that I did in April; that race also started at the city’s Downtown Park, but went east and south. The Spirit of Bellevue 5K course went westward, staying in the Bellevue city limits but reaching close to Medina and Clyde Hill.

Steep hill slows everyone down

SpiritofBellevueRun5The tough hill I mentioned began when runners started going north on 92nd Avenue N.E. (from Lake Washington Boulevard N.E.). But it got much steeper with a turn right onto N.E. Eighth Street; this section went upward for more than 1,000 feet.

Fortunately, a Jackson Browne song I like, “Somebody’s Baby,” came on my headphones and helped give me energy to climb the hill without breaking stride, while many others walked (and went just about as fast as me, to be fair). Yes, the classic rock tunes helped me climb that hill and then get through the boring loop that followed around the post office and Bellevue Square.

SpiritofBellevueRun3It also helped to have the shade of the buildings on my running lane for much of that stretch, making it bearable on a muggy, uncomfortable day.

I crossed the finish line disappointed in my time, but relieved my run was over before it really got hot that day (late morning and afternoon). I was on a bicycle around Lake Washington in the afternoon, but I can handle the heat much better on a bike.

SpiritofBellevueRun1Speaking of bikes, I must get ready for the RSVP ride, with lots of planning and packing ahead. I need to say congrats again to Edifecs friend Paras Bedmutha for his 12K finish in the Spirit of Bellevue Run. But I’ll end this now, because I need to meet Paras at 5:45 a.m. (!) Friday at Husky Stadium to start riding to Vancouver.

Hoping for a safe ride!

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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