As certain as death and taxes, running a race through Kirkland means doing some hills. I guess I’d forgotten about that when I signed up for last Sunday’s (Aug. 9) inaugural Seattle Sounders FC Rave Green Run, at the unusual distance of 9K.
The lure was doing a Sounders-sponsored race. I’ve now done running events sponsored by the Seahawks, Huskies and Sounders. Wondering why the Mariners haven’t yet put on a run — could it be the turnout would be dismal? (In August, most assuredly; in April, maybe not.)
But I digress. This was a fun event, even if the run was as difficult as the Sounders’ season has turned out. There were mild, annoying hills and inclines throughout the 5.59-mile race. Nothing dramatically hard, but enough running uphill, plus a few steep downhills (which I take slow to preserve my joints) to sabotage my time.
Will there be people complaining about the hills, and forcing race organizers to change the course for the second year of the run? Possibly. But, as I said, a race in Kirkland generally means doing some hills.
My 9K time worse than a recent 10K time
I finished in 1:14:34 (a slow 13:20 per mile pace), better than only about 150 of 900 runners. Full results are here. In June, I did a 10K Run in a faster time of 1:13:47, although that comes with a few asterisks. Not only was the Snoqualmie Valley Run on a completely flat course, but it was marked incorrectly, as noted in my prior post, and not quite 6.2 miles. It still was very likely over six miles, so it still was a longer race and a faster time than last Sunday.
No excuses. I don’t do hills well. I also should point out that about two of the miles were on the very flat Cross Kirkland Corridor, an old railroad bed that has been nicely turned into a trail through the heart of the city. So it wasn’t all hills.
The event started and ended at Juanita Beach Park in the north end, and was well-organized. It featured a beer garden at the end, cheerleaders at various junctures, and lots of police to make the route safe to run. Finishers all got medals with a black-and-white soccer ball medallion.
And the spirit I saw for the now-beleaguered Sounders — missing top players like Clint Dempsey for much of what was a once-promising season — was cool. Nearly 2,000 people finished either the 9K or the 5K, with only slightly more people (1,044 to 905) doing the 5K.
Next year, Obliteride?
I would like to do this race again, although next year I will likely opt for the Fred Hutch Obliteride bicycle ride for cancer research, if it is on the same day. I’ve wanted to do Obliteride for some time, but have always hesitated because of the fundraising commitment. It appeared this year that the requirements are looser than I thought, so I will plan to do this ride (though probably the one-day ride, not the two-day event).
What’s next? I am signed up to run the Seattle Marathon 10K on Aug. 22, for the first time. The run begins and ends at Gas Works Park in Seattle’s Fremont area, which means more flat, fewer hills. Sounds great.
Thanks for reading. Till next time.