2016 Issaquah Run with the Fishes 5K: Runs help me cope with difficult Duck football season

Family members and close friends do this race together

Family members and close friends do this race together

The year 2016 will not be remembered fondly by Oregon Duck football fans — at least if the team does not engineer a dramatic turnaround from their current abyss. So having running, among other diversions (e.g., Seahawks on the way to winning their division), is going to get me through my weekends until basketball season starts.

Finish line

Runners cross the finish line

I ran the Issaquah Run with the Fishes 5K last Sunday (October 2), the morning after I suffered through watching a thorough pounding of the Ducks by the Washington State Cougars. The annual Salmon Days festival run was therapeutic, even if I ran 38 seconds slower than my 2015 time for this event. I was able to get beyond the agonizing way our wet-cardboard defense let the Cougars run and throw for 51 points. (Our 2016 defense is even worse than last year’s Swiss-cheese defense.)

But, oh no! We’re now 2-3 and play the rival Huskies this coming Saturday, and I’m going to be there in person for what could be a horror show!

Yes, perhaps I am being overly dramatic. I will make it through this football season with the help of my friends, even if many of them are Husky fans and are relishing this Duck downturn. But doing training runs and races will help with the stress of watching another blown coverage on third down.

And now about the run

The number of finishers at the Run with the Fishes (formerly known as the Issaquah Salmon Days Run) dipped under 1,000 this year to 992, compared to 1,244 last year and 1,341 in 2014.

Course mapBut even with the slightly lower turnout, this race remains a good showing of community spirit, with all ages participating. I saw six-year-olds running with their moms or dads. I saw husbands and wives keeping up with each together. I saw elderly men and women helped by loved ones gently across the finish line after walking 3.1 miles.

I also like the flat course, much of it on Gilman Boulevard and Front Street, two main thoroughfares that offer lots of running room. Running in stride with others causes me to push myself, even if I’m at the back of the pack. I finish runs like this spent, but invigorated.

At the starting line

At the starting line

My time was 36:21 (11:42 per mile), my third-best of seven 5Ks this year, and, as I said, behind the 35:43 (11:31 per mile) that I clocked in this race a year ago. Full results are here. But I finished the race strong and felt better than I usually do in the last mile of a 5K, so there’s that.

It was my 12th run of this year (my, the year is going by fast), and my 201st race overall. For context, my 5K PR is 24:32 on healthy ankles in 2005.

Former Allytics teammate gets first place

Among the reasons I did this run, besides the mental break from thinking about Duck football, was the chance to see my former Allytics teammate Jamin King (who happens to be a UW grad). He texted me awhile back and said he was going to do this run.

Jamin King, former colleague at Allytics, won this race

Jamin King (orange shirt), former colleague at Allytics, won this race

Jamin is not only a talented developer who now has a promising new gig, but he’s also a strong distance runner who is a threat to win most any race he enters. And he won this race, as I thought he would and told him so at the starting line.

Jamin finished in 15:54 (5:08 per mile), nearly a minute faster than the second-place runner. Obviously, I was well behind him and didn’t see him, but my sense is that he jumped out ahead of everyone else and wasn’t challenged, winning going away. I’ve run three races with him in the past year, and he’s won two of them.

Congrats, Jamin, on a great race!

What’s next

The shirtI’m hoping to find another October run. I haven’t yet run the Seattle Rivalry Clash 5K, 10K and Half-Marathon event, and may try the 10K there. The Dawg Dash 10K and 5K at the University of Washington is the same day, October 23, but I have done that run enough times that I want to try something new.

In early November, I’m definitely planning to do the Mustache Dache 5K in Seattle; I missed this race last year because I was sick with a cold. I recorded my best post-surgery 5K time in this race in 2014. Ahh, November — basketball season starts.

Hey, I will get through this difficult Ducks football season. Wish me luck. And thanks for reading. Till next time!

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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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