In Phoenix during the summer, races are hard to come by because of the heat. In Seattle, however, it is prime racing season and there are dozens of races to choose from. As our last weekend in town, I decided to do one last race, since I know it will be a few more months until I get to cooler weather again.
The race was the SeaFair Torchlight 8K and is a popular race in Seattle because it is at night and is held in conjunction with the Torchlight parade. It started and ended at the Seattle Center (home to the Space Needle), with the route going through downtown and on the waterfront. The first half of the race was along the parade route, which started right after the race, so we had all of the parade spectators cheering us on, which was fun.
I had never done an 8K (4.97 miles) before, so I wasn’t quite sure what time I should aim for. I was hoping to keep a 7:30 pace for the entire race, which would put me at 37:30, which I did for the first half of the race. But then there were a few massive hills, which combined with the sun beating down on me and possibly not enough food in my stomach (I am not good at fueling for night races), I had to stop and walk three times. I felt dizzy and nauseous and 30 seconds of walking helped me recover a little bit. I finished in 38:10 and as soon as I crossed the finish line and stopped moving, I thought I might faint. I was dizzy and lightheaded, but after sitting for a while felt fine.
The race itself was fun, the course was great, and the energy from the spectators and participants was energizing. But there were a few things about the race organization that need a lot of improvement. For starters, the bag check was a joke. Nobody knew where the bag check was and there were no signs. Our only indication was the line of people 20 minutes deep. And the wait to pick up our bag at the end took over 30 minutes. Also, each runner got a ticket for a free beer after the race, but by the time we picked up our bag and made it to the beer garden (which was enough to hold probably 200 people), the line to get in was probably over an hour long. With a one-in-one-out policy and 4,500 runners, there was no way we were going to get into the beer garden to get our free Michelob Ultra anytime soon. We decided instead to go pay for a GOOD beer somewhere else.
I’m glad I did the race, but I have to admit that I am raced out. Three races in one month is a lot, no matter what the distance is, and I’m beat. I’ve got nothing else lined up until October when I do the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, so now I can just focus on doing some long (and hilly) training runs for that.