Saturday, August 2, 2008

Torchlight Run Race Report

Last Saturday night was one of my very favorite races of the year; the Seafair Torchlight Run. It is an 8k that takes you up on the viaduct and then down through the throngs of people waiting for the Torchlight Parade on 4th Ave in downtown Seattle. Usually it is my brother, our friend Todd and I who run but this year my brother was sidelined with an Achilles' sprain so he wasn't able to join us. Kevin chose to run it this year so we still had a good trio to enjoy the race.

From the start in front of Qwest field you head out and immediately head up the viaduct onramp.

It is always hot on the viaduct at that time of day. Even though it was cooler than it had been at other races in the past (low 70's I would guess) the sun coming down on you on the viaduct, combined with the muggy air and the reflective road surface made for a warmer than I like first 1.5 miles. The pace felt good at this point. I didn't think I would PR but I didn't think I would get picked up by the sag wagon either. Going through the Battery Street tunnel I was thankful for the fans they had in the roof. That is when I started to feel my left foot go numb. I don't know if it affects my pace but it is annoying and a little worrisome. I am getting it checked out on Tuesday.

Rounding the corner at the Hostess Bakery smells good during the St. Patrick's Day Dash but kind of made me want to hurl on a warm summer evening. I had to take a walk break for about three blocks right before the turn onto 4th Ave. I was drained and to be honest the foot was bothering me a little. I started running again because I didn't want to walk in front of the thousands of people along the parade route. It was a struggle this year though. I kept going and thought I could run the whole way until I encountered the hill that I swear the city must have installed since last year. I have no recollection of there being any sort of hill heading south on 4th. Where did it come from? Who put it there? Could I slap them? Even though the appeal of running this race is you feel like you can't take walk breaks on the parade route because you don't want to embarass yourself in front of 250,000 people . . .I walked. No shame, didn't care, legs hurting, sluggish, fuck it.
After the crest of the hill (alright, it was more of a bump) I picked it up and started running and, whoo-hoo the happy downhill that I remember! The pace was great for the last mile. Garmin shows a 9:39 pace for the last mile and I believe it. I had nothing left at the finish. In all the races I have run none of my friends has ever seen me finish to know that even though I am slow I have a pretty good kick. Todd happened to be watching this time and I could not kick. I tried to speed up but my legs would absolutely not go any faster. I had nothing left in the tank at this point.

I couldn't rely on Garmin for an accurate time because it lost connection in the tunnel. The official results have me finishing in 53:30 which is a 10:42 pace. Not as good as 2006 but better than last year. I was really disappointed in this result. I truly felt like I was going faster than that and gave it all I had but apparently all I had wasn't so much this time.

Because the race is usually run on a very hot day at the hottest time of day the race directors hire a Seattle Fire Department truck to run misters for people to walk through and cool down. We are far too excited by the prospect of misters. It is Todd's favorite part of the race. Todd is also a sadist. Do you know how long it took him to take this picture while he "figured out how the camera worked"?
I didn't see any great costumes during the race this year but afterward I did get to see a guy wearing nothing but running shoes and a pair of shorts that were designed to look like Nemo; tail sticking out the back, head sticking out the front. Disturbing yet creative.
While this year's race won't go down as one of my better times we had a really good time as usual. Can't wait till next year.

1 comment:

James said...

Yay and then you came up to eat some crab,visit and fall into a dead sleep. I think the running is bad for you. My knees hurt just writing this comment...love ya, baby.

jbb