Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Snohomish River Run 10K Recap

I set out to run the Snohomish River Run 10K in under an hour. There was a crazy mistake along the course which meant I raced 7 miles instead of 6.2, but I still hit my goal and ran the first 10K in 58:39! A PR! The race was a little stressful with most runners being misdirected on-course, and the chaos that ensued when runners realized the mistake. However, the run was in a beautiful location, and honestly I would probably sign up for this race again because I still had a lot fun.

On Sunday morning, I woke up at 4:00 am and never went back to sleep... so I ate a bagel for breakfast and hung out watching Harry Potter on my phone until it was time to get ready to leave. My in-laws Bob and Kelli came with! We all drove over to Snohomish and arrived with at least 30 minutes to spare. It was very cold out and foggy! I jogged in place just to warm up a bit. Craig stood by me until just before the start, then I gave him my sweatshirt to hold on to until I finished.

Mile 1: 9:38

To start, we ran down centennial trail. I was feeling good and confident. After awhile, though, I had a feeling we weren't on the correct route. I decided to trust the people in front of me including the race pacers knew what they were doing. Maybe there was a last minute change to the course?

Mile 2: 9:07 

All of a sudden, some runners started turning around randomly, while others just stood there confused. Some people seemed panicked, and some people seemed pretty mad.  Now, slower runners were in front of faster runners, and there was a human traffic-jam. I ran into the gutter and grass at times just to get out of there. Funny enough, this was one of the fastest miles I ran even though there were times I was just standing there or going at a walking pace, unable to pass people.

Here's what officially happened from the race director:

"None of the half marathon or 10K participants were supposed to go on the Centennial Trail. That's why there were no course markings, signs or mile markers for the 10K or half marathon runners on the trail. 
When the half marathon and 10K runners started, a course monitor who was not familiar with the race course thought there had been a mistake made when they saw no one directing traffic onto the Centennial trail. They thought they were saving the race by running to the Centennial trail entry, stopping the police escort and directing half marathon and 10K runners up the Centennial Trail."

Mile 3-4: 9:17 & 9:19

At this point, I knew the course would be too long. For a second, I thought of foregoing my goal of running the 10K in under an hour. Then, I decided to just run the first 10K of the race in under an hour, then worry about the remainder of the race when it happens.

Towards mile 4, I started to worry that we would never turn around. No other runners had turned around at mile 4, which was unusual. I did not feel I was that close to the front. The fog meant I could not see very far in front of me, so I had no clue about what was ahead.

This image sums-up the course: The Snohomish River, engulfed by fog and surrounded by autumn-colored trees.

Finally, a little after mile 4 there was a turn-around point.

Mile 5-6: 9:19 & 9:42

This part of the course felt pretty good. It was nice that the group of runners had thinned out and I only had to focus on running straight down Lowell Snohomish River Road.

Mile 7: 8:49 

I hit the 10K mark at 58:39! My goal! But I still had a ways to go to the finish. We turned onto a bridge near the finish line, and Craigs parent's ran with me for a bit, which was a great distraction.

I crossed the finish line at 7 miles feeling happy and not too tired.

I asked a few runners who finished with me about what had happened on the course, and it seems that some runners ran further than others depending on when they realized they should turn around.

My official time was 1:05:33, but that was for 7 miles rather than 6.2. Because everyone ran different distances, I think some participants are frustrated about the posted results and how people "placed." I basically have just disregarded the "official results" and will just remember the first 10K of the race that I finished in 58:39.

Overall, the course was actually very scenic, and it was fun to run in the fog. I would definitely run it again, even given the mistake, in hopes that I could run the true 6.2 mile course in the future.

Also, the course director is offering 50% off of next year's race to this year's participants to account for the mistake this year, so I may end up registering for the 2019 race!

Showing-off my medal at breakfast

For breakfast my family walked over to Snohomish Bakery at First and Union in Snohomish. I had challah bread french toast and split a lemon ginger scone with Kelli. So good!

I started to feel really cold. When we got back home I took a nice warm bath and took it pretty easy the rest of the day, feeling happy I hit my goal. :)