I ran this Beat the Bridge race today! (Sunday, May 19, 2013) It's an 8K (5 mile) race, which is a lovely middle-ground between a 5K and a 10K. The "bridge beating" come from the fact that there's a drawbridge at the 2-mile mark that they raise 20 minutes after the start of the race, so you are incentivised to run at a certain pace for those first two miles. Otherwise the draw bridge raises and you have to wait for it. After the bridge, there are another 3 miles. The race is also a fundraiser for diabetes research.
Here are some random anecdotes from race day:
Yes, we beat the bridge! They raise it 20 minutes after the last person crosses the start line. We were still technically on the bridge, but way past the drawbridge part. But we stuck around to take pictures. A lot of people switched to walking after making it to the bridge.
A while ago, I was searching the web trying to figure out what the fancy running shirts were like, and I found a blog post about some guy's fairly hungover experience running the race. I was thinking how since 5 miles is right at my limit when I'm well-rested and properly fed, I would not be able to manage it otherwise. Last night held many potential adventures, but I managed to get home by midnight. I also managed to go to numerous eating-oriented social outings yesterday and stuff my face at every one.
I've never run a race with a chip before. Actually, the only organized races I've ever done are the UCSC 5K Slug Run through the woods and the Chilly Hilly bike ride around Bainbridge island. I also learned that you have to give the chip back (there are de-chipping stations at the end of the race) otherwise they will charge you $30 or something. My chip said I ran the 5 miles in 53 minutes, at a 10:41 pace. That includes the time stopped lollygagging and taking pictures of the drawbridge going up. My phone said the last two miles I ran at around 9:30 minutes per mile. That's super good for me!
Igor and Svet were kind enough to run with me the whole way, even though they can both probably run twice as fast. It probably helped me keep a faster pace that I would have done alone.
We planned to take a cab to school because the bridge we were running over was supposedly closed to traffic, like the bus we'd otherwise take to school. We sort of tried to communicate this bridge-closure to the cab driver, but he took us directly to the closed and traffic-jammed bridge anyway. The magic of cab social networks (aka another cab driver) let our cab cut in line and then we got out within reasonable walking distance of our destination.
While finishing the race was a lovely accomplishment, it was actually really crowded and claustrophobic and bad-feeling at the end. No, I don't want a bag of advertisements and one mini cliff bar... no, I don't want to stand in a slow-moving herd... I just want some water and a banana and space. Ah hah, there's the bananas!
I realized today was also the Bay-to-Breakers in San Francisco. This banana guy was one of the most outrageous costumes here in Seattle today.
Okay, I'm out of anecdotes. It was an excellent race and we emerged victorious!