Precious seconds ticked away as I picked myself up off the ground. That small but sturdy coil of wire at my feet had taken me down. There it was, lying near a guardrail at the Seneca Street entrance onto the downtown Seattle viaduct. I was unable to spot it and step over it since I was not wearing my glasses (and I don’t when I run).
This was in the middle of Mile 2 at last Saturday night’s Seafair Pirate 8K Run. My left foot, with the bad ankle, got stuck in that loop of metal and I landed hard on my knees, hands and elbows. My spill was a freak accident, one I never could repeat in a million years if I tried. But it really freaked out two women running beside me. They might have thought I was toast for the night until I quickly got up, threw the wire to the side, and resumed running. “See you next fall,” I said.
I can deal with the knee and elbow scrapes. But I would love to have had the time back, as I was on pace to finish this five-mile run in under an hour. As it was, I clocked 1:00:08 — still 2:44 better than a year ago and more than five minutes faster than my 2013 time for this race. Full results are here.
I am happy with this post-surgery 8K PR. But I wanted to get my time down under an hour. (My overall PR for an 8K run is 43:00 in this race in 2007.)
However, to go on and on about this fall, and how the 10 or more extra seconds wasted hurt my time, would be overkill. It was embarrassing, but it was not caught on video, fortunately. And I’ve tripped and fallen before during a race, at least once.
On the whole, I had a very fun, enjoyable run, and I continue to like doing this festive Saturday evening event just before the annual Seattle Torchlight Parade.
Torchlight Run is now the Pirate Run
The Seafair Pirates apparently have become a race sponsor, because it is now called the Michelob Ultra Seafair Pirate Run (with a 5K as well as an 8K). As of last year, it was the Michelob Ultra Seafair Torchlight Run. I’ve done this 8K eleven times now, over four different courses, and have always known it as the Torchlight Run.
But the Pirate theme works. Numerous runners wore pirate shirts and hats or bandannas, and carried toy pirate knives. One male runner created a metal-and-cardboard contraption that looked like a tiny ship, and ran in it for the entire 5K race. Everyone seemed in good spirits, and the anticipation felt like that of a rock concert at the starting line.
Nearly 2,000 people finished — 893 in the 8K and 1,070 in the 5K. In both runs, you start on the north side of the Seattle Center, run down Second and the Broad streets to Fourth Street, and head down Fourth in front of 100,000 or more people getting seats for the parade to follow. After a mile or so, you turn right on Seneca and head down a steep hill to the Highway 99 viaduct.
That’s where I fell, just before getting onto the viaduct. This part is no longer along the parade route, mercifully. The 8K runners go left on the viaduct for a down-and-back to near CenturyLink Field, while the 5K runners go right and do 1.5 miles before they hit the finish line, also on the north side of Seattle Center. The 8K runners take the same path back to the finish, after they’ve done an extra 3K along Highway 99.
Knee scrape looks worse than it was
This was my seventh race of 2015 and my 182nd overall. I will get to 200 one of these days.
I’d signed up to get free race photos — which haven’t been offered for any runs I’ve done before. Interesting that, three days after the race, the organizers chose and posted a photo on their Facebook page of each participant who signed up. I expected the pictures via email only. At any rate, I’m not complaining about the photo they chose for my Facebook page, other than that my eyes were closed (I’m blinking again, damn it!). I found a better one to run higher up in this post.
In these shots, the scrape on my knee did not feel as bad as it looks.
And I am running another race on Sunday, August 9. It’s the inaugural Sounders FC Rave Green 9K Run — my first 9K ever — beginning at Juanita Beach Park. My plan is to stay upright.
Thanks for reading. See you next fall.