I pulled a switcheroo. I was planning to do the Mother’s Day Half-Marathon 5K run in Kirkland last weekend, but changed my mind and did the Husky 5K at the University of Washington’s Bothell campus instead. Part of the reason was because Dave “Softy” Mahler urged me and other KJR-AM listeners to run it. More on that below.
The Kirkland 5K course, I remembered, was not one of my favorites. I’ve done this race at least three times and the course is hilly and boring. The event’s organizers this year put much more energy into re-doing the half-marathon course so that it incorporated the new Cross Kirkland Corridor through town. But they left the lackluster 5K course as is.
The Husky 5K was something different for me. This is an event, in its 10th year, that I have ignored until now. So I did it on Saturday (May 9), and enjoyed running with UW alums, college girls (!), young mothers and fathers pushing strollers, kids of all ages, and lots of dogs. The 5K Run and Walk had 667 human finishers and at least 25 dogs breaking the tape.
The UW band and cheerleaders were there, and pretty much all I saw was purple. I, on the other hand, was not decked out in purple — but I was also not entirely outfitted in Duck green and gold, as I was for the Dawg Dash 5K at the UW in 2013. Nope, no need to do that again. Instead, I wore my 2015 Seahawks 12K Run shirt, and an Oregon Duck hat (sort of a Seattle Duck look). The good news: No one really cared what I was wearing.
A hilly but enjoyable run
I have to say that this 5K course around the UW Bothell campus and neighboring areas was even more hilly than the Kirkland course I decided to avoid. Regardless, I really enjoyed this run, even though the hills were taxing and I felt sloooooowwwww. And even though participants were instructed to shout “Go Hus-kies!” multiple times while queued up at the starting line.
I ended up with my best 5K time so far this year — 35:27, an 11:26 per mile pace. Full results are here. It was my fifth race this year and my 180th road run overall. There was a decent-looking free breakfast of fruit and pastries afterwards (nice touch!), but I skipped it. I did enjoy taking some pictures of the cheerleaders and band.
I wasn’t totally unfamiliar with this campus. I ran the old Super Jock ‘n Jill Half-Marathon on Labor Day for five years between 2003-08, and that course, which started and finished at the Redhook Ale Brewery in Woodinville, meandered through the campus. It was on a loop that took you off the Sammamish River Trail and then back onto it as you headed to the finish line at Redhook.
The UW Bothell campus has greatly expanded in the seven years since, including the addition of a four-story garage where runners parked on Sunday. The campus is adjacent to Cascadia Community College, which has also expanded in the last decade, and the two colleges now basically share one campus.
Softy, where were you?
The one big disappointment: I did not see “Softy” Mahler, the KJR-AM sports talk-show host who is one of the biggest Husky homers on the planet (even though he never attended the school). All week, Softy had pumped up the event in radio ads, including how he’d be there as a guest of honor to cheer on the runners. He might have been there, but I didn’t see him, before or after. And I looked for him.
Oh well, I still had fun.
What’s next? Got to get ready for my two big, upcoming bicycle rides: the 7 Hills of Kirkland metric century on Memorial Day, May 25, and the Flying Wheels Summer Century on May 31. Haven’t been able to ride as much as I had hoped, but I will be OK. Back to running some time in June.
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Thanks for reading. Till next time.