Last Sunday’s Mustache Dache 5K — “Seattle’s hairiest race” and part of a national road-race series to support men’s health — started the week off right. The Seahawks’ game against Buffalo on Monday Night Football followed and was agonizing, but it was a win.
Then the whole week was trumped by Tuesday’s depressing presidential election. I spent several hours Tuesday and Wednesday in a state of shock. I am still recovering as I write this, and am not incredibly inspired to make this blog great again. (Which means my usual boring post.)
But the protests over the election will die down, people will move on, and I too must try not to think the world is rigged. And I will continue to run, on a gimpy left ankle, because it eases tension and generally changes my mood. This type of stress reduction, I need. Maybe more so now than ever.
Lots of mustaches but fewer runners
Now, about the Mustache Dache. It was held at Seattle’s Magnuson Park, in cloudy but dry weather after a night-long downpour. The flat, loop course through the park had, as a result, wet leaves and puddles everywhere, along with bumps and cracks in the asphalt surface that made it all messy and slick. However, I stayed upright.
The turnout was down, possibly because of the threat of rain. Some 510 people finished the 5K this year. That’s less than half the 1,143 who finished a year ago, and a bigger drop from the 1,300 in 2014 and 2,000 in 2013.
However, even with the smaller field of runners, the vibe was upbeat and festive. There was a mechanical bull and beer garden, though no live band this year. And a costume contest — many runners wore costumes, and many women (and men, and children) pasted on fake mustaches. After all, this is Movember, a month for appreciating the male side of the population.
At mid-race, a women I was running behind stopped to ask a female friend, “Is my mustache still on right?” It certainly was; I looked to make sure, too.
Nice to run with teammates and friends
Also, I ran the race with two teammates from Allytics, where I work, which was fun. Great to have R.J. Ricker and Kiersten Walker waiting for me at the finish line. Thanks, you two (and you, as well, James Taylor)! I also saw two Microsoft friends at the starting line, Jen Gaudette and Jonathan Stutz. But I somehow missed out on seeing another former co-worker at Zones. Sorry, Tyra Nelson (who ran with daughter Taryn)!
Congrats all to them for their great races, especially Jonathan for finishing in the top 20 and Jen for third in her age group.
I finished behind most of them in 36:11 (11:40 per mile), my second-best 5K of the year. I wanted to be in the 35:00 range, but I will take this time because the course was narrow, congested and slippery in spots, forcing me to run cautiously. Full results are here. On a bare and dry course in 2014, I got my best post-surgery 5K time (34:29) in this very same race (and that time is nearly 10 minutes slower than my PR of 24:32 in 2005).
It was my 14th race of this year and 203rd overall. You can see the start and finish of the race by watching this YouTube video. (And I noticed that I do run with a pronounced limp.)
A few tips
Here are some tips to pass on for this event:
- Get a good start: The first mile is on a roadway. By moving ahead of the crowds, you avoid getting caught in the bottlenecks when the course turns and narrows in several parts of the second and third miles.
- Watch the wet spots, icy spots, and crumpled asphalt: Twisting an ankle or tearing a hamstring is simply not worth it. Run through puddles if you must. The middle mile of this race has some rough spots; slow down if you must to get through them safely.
- Turn it on again in the last mile: You reach a trail and then run alongside a soccer field, and both offer good running room. Push yourself, even though you can’t see the finish line. You are close.
- Hit the beer garden for a Blue Moon: I had great time afterwards enjoying a brew with teammate Kiersten Walker. She had the Blue Moon Ale and I had Blue Moon’s Apple Cider beer. Very nice post-race beverages, we agreed. We got to watch the costume contest too.
This is it for November/Movember. I’ll be on vacation in another week or so and will miss the Seattle Marathon and Half-Marathon for the first time since just after my surgery in 2011.
Potential December races to run: The Ugly Sweater Run 5K at Marymoor Park on Dec. 3; the Jingle Bell Run 5K in downtown Seattle Dec. 11, and the 12Ks of Christmas 12K/5K in Kirkland Dec. 18. On New Year’s Day, I will be back here at Magnuson Park for the Resolution Run 5K & Polar Bear Dive, which I will likely wade through the cold Lake Washington water again.
As bad as the election was and the Oregon Ducks football season has been, I’ll get through it. The football season is almost over and the Oregon basketball season has begun! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Thanks for reading. Till next month.