For people who like to write about road runs, the Fluke Day 5K comes with an asterisk. That’s because the course ran short of the 3.1-mile distance. My MapMyRun app put it at 2.92 miles.
Many of you will be thinking, “Close enough!” I am inclined to agree, even if my best 5K time this year was really not my best 5K time this year.
I enjoyed this run around (and around and around) the Fluke Park campus in Everett and am glad it was part of Fluke Day last Tuesday (August 6). By offering it, the Fluke Corporation is giving its fitness-minded employees more reason to be proud of this 71-year-old company and to participate in this annual event, which celebrates the Fluke history and legacy with product demonstrations, free food, an ice-cream truck, and more.
There also were activities such as basketball shootarounds, ping-pong, cornhole, ladderball, miniature golf, and outdoor chess with the large pieces.
A lot of pride in the company comes out at Fluke Day, as evidenced by one employee dressed entirely in a bright yellow business suit with black shoes (the Fluke colors are gold and black). You see how many husbands and wives and other family units work there.
Let me put in a quick plug for the Fluke Digital Systems product booth, which I helped operate for the last half-hour of Fluke Day. It was educational; I learned a lot about our relatively new Fluke wireless sensors from demonstrations by teammate Samantha LeSesne — stuff I need to know. Thanks, Samantha!
Back to the run. Thanks to lead organizer Kate French and her team of volunteers for holding the 5K* for a fourth straight year as part of Fluke Day. It was unfortunate that only about 30 people (out of 1,000 or so who work for Fluke in Everett) took part, including Kate herself. Next year, I’d like to help with the marketing.
Great to do a race on work time
While working at Microsoft, I ran the Microsoft Giving Campaign 5K twice, in 2007 (when it was the Diversity Dash) and 2009. It became an annual event after 2009, and I could still enter it today as a Microsoft alumnus. Both runs were fun and I enjoyed the chance to do a race with employees on work time.
Ditto for the smaller Fluke run, which took place at 11 a.m. on a Tuesday.
I joined Fluke around mid-May, so I am just coming up on three months there, and hadn’t been to a Fluke Day before. It is celebrated on a vacant asphalt space the size of a football field just outside the Fluke headquarters building where I work. Three large tents hosting the food fest and product demos take over that asphalt field, which includes a basketball court and hoops in one corner.
We began our run near the basketball court and did three laps around the western side of the campus, which was entirely behind our building and included a small pond in the center. We ran two-thirds of the race on an actual road through the woodsy park area that is closed to traffic. The remaining third was on the gravel trail behind the Fluke building that took us back to the asphalt space.
Official times were not tracked by anyone, but a race clock stationed at the finish line (which was the same place as the starting line) let us know how fast we ran. Even though I got lapped by several runners, my lap times (11-12 minutes) did not seem horrible for someone who has had two surgeries on his left ankle since 2011.
I finished the run as the clock struck 35:34, which for 2.92 miles is a 12:10 per mile pace. Until I learned the course was under three miles, I was jazzed about bettering my previous 5K best this year of 36:43 in April (on a Marymoor Park course that seemed suspect). But not to be; oh well.
I beat five or six people, including walkers, but this was a friendly, good-natured bunch. The other participants seemed appreciative of the opportunity and many let me take random pictures of them.
Looking ahead to more running, less bicycling
This was my ninth race of 2019 and my 233rd overall. (My 5K PR, by the way, is 24:32 in 2005.) I plan to do it again next year and, as I said, will lobby for a spot on Kate’s volunteer organizing team.
My next race is likely to be the 5K route of the Overlake Labor Day Half-Marathon and 5K. This half-marathon is one of the flattest around, but I think I’m going to bypass it for the shorter run. I did my 40th half-marathon in March and will probably wait until next year or do the Seattle Half-Marathon in November for No. 41.
Meanwhile, my bicycling riding season appears to be over. I haven’t been able to find anyone to ride the RSVP (Ride from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C., and Party) with me on Aug. 23-24. I decline to do it alone, even though I rode it with a friend in 2014 and it was by far my best bicycling experience. Maybe next year. I’m not really ready for such a ride now anyway.
Thanks, Fluke, for the celebration and the 5K*, and thanks, all, for reading this post.