I had such a great time racing on Saturday! After a high-ish mileage week, including 10 miles for my pre-race day, I was really curious how I would feel on race morning. I was a little tight, but have felt worse on race days in the past so I knew I could run a good effort. I was warned that the course was 5k-ish, very hilly, full of roots and gravel, and was a few minutes slower than a normal 5k. I wasn’t going for time, but for effort.
The race took place at Wilburton Hill Park in Bellevue, WA. It’s a cute little park with a large playground and some great running trails. I instantly loved the location and knew it would be a great morning.
I watched Jeff run the men’s race and took a few pictures. I had about 20 minutes between the end of his race and the start of mine. I handed him the stroller with Currie and headed out to run the more confusing part of the course as my warmup. Before I knew it, I had run about a mile (usually warmup 2 or so miles, but kept it short due to time constraint) and it was time to put on my flats and get racing.
As we stood on the line, the race director explained the course, then took a moment to thank us for coming out to support Aidan, his son, and reminded us that we are out moving our bodies in ways that so many others, like Aidan, can’t. Talk about a tearjerker, yet a wonderful start to the race.
The second we heard “on your mark, get set, go!” we were off sprinting and my Oiselle teammates were cheering me on – love my team! I instantly started thinking about my college cross country team. The corners of my mouth turned up and formed the hugest smile that didn’t leave until well after I crossed the finish line. As my mind wandered, I realized I went off course. I was in the lead, and although the path was well-marked with cones, I lost track of them because I was lost in a moment. I quickly got back on course and tried to pay attention!
After the first mile, I realized I was pretty far in the lead and knew it would be more of a tempo effort. I was the only non-high-school person trying to run fast. (My teammates were running for fun and the others were high school kids.) I ended up gaining more of a lead each mile.
By the end, I was a few minutes ahead of second place. We ended on a nice, flat soccer field so when Currie started chasing me down the field, I stopped. I waited for her to catch me and we ran about 50 meters into the finish holding hands. It was one of my happiest race moments! My time was over 20 minutes which was expected given the course, and stopping, and jogging it in with a barefoot Currie. I didn’t care one bit!
Things I loved about this race:
- true cross country style course with hills, roots, gravel, grass, interesting loop course
- separate race for males and females so Jeff and I could both run
- Oiselle teammates ran
- finished with my little lady
- small race atmosphere with friendly runners, bake sale, funny awards
- people cheering for me and each other all over the course
- the race raised money for a cause – to help fund medical costs for Aidan, a little boy who is full of life and diagnosed with DMD (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy) at a young age.
I would recommend this race to anyone and everyone in the Seattle area in the future. Make sure to pack water and any food you want (other than bake sale items). It is a small race atmosphere and all proceeds go to help Aidan’s medical needs.
Do you like cross country courses? What is your fondest racing moment?