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Race #3 of 2012: St. Paddy's Day 5K

Saturday, March 17, 2012

This morning was the St. Paddy's Day 5K/10K in Tacoma. We had signed up for the 5K, and it would have been SO easy to not do the race at all. The weather forecast was for light rain, but when we were getting ready to leave the house, the rain turned to snow. Eesh, enough with the snow already!

My husband and I talked about not doing the race as we headed out for our usual Starbucks pre-race breakfast, but we decided to go on and see what the weather was like when we got there. The snow turned back to rain as we headed south, so we made our way to where we planned to park.

Once there, my husband went to the nearest pay station to pay for parking, and it whirred and made noises like it was printing, but nothing came out. Lovely. He came back to the car and I did a quick check online to see if we had been charged (gotta love a web-enabled phone!); we again talked about forgetting it while the app came up. It didn't look like we had been charged, so he went to another pay station and actually got the parking receipt. Okay, I guess we were committed--or crazy.

We made our way to the start line and found an overhang where we could huddle out of the rain with others as we waited for the race to start. For the first time, neither of us had to take a 'bio break' at the porta potties--somehow standing in line in the rain for the few porta potties was not too enticing, and for this short a race, it didn't seem necessary.

Soon the 10K racers were off, and it was time to line up for the 5K race. With the weather, we were really glad that we had chosen to do the 5K only; over an hour running in that rain would not have been fun. The rain let up a little, then it looked like there was a little snow mixed in with the rain. Oh well, we were truly committed at that point!

One of the things I appreciate about the races that are sponsored in part by Marathon Maniacs/Half Fanatics and the Tacoma City Marathon Association is that they are generally well organized. They had signs posted for the different paces so runners and walkers could line up accordingly; that helps a great deal with the congestion that is typical at the start of the race, at least if people pay attention. We lined up where we thought our pace would be (around 11-12 minutes) and waited for the start.

The race itself was fun; there were hills, but nothing too surprising. We have done a number of races in that general area, and there are always hills. We did take a few short walk breaks because of going out a little too fast and then going up the hills. Someday I'll learn how to pace myself better; I have yet to master the art of running negative splits.

I suspect we'll keep this one on our list of races to do most years; it's a fun, family-oriented race replete with costumes, kids, strollers, and dogs. Maybe next year we'll come up with costumes, too; you can't help but grin when you see people dressed in shamrock-print boxer shorts, green top hats, and green tights!

Now it's off to finish fixing our St. Patrick's day dinner: corned beef and veggies cooked in Guinness, Irish soda bread, and chocolate Guinness cupcakes for dessert. Have a wonderful St. Pat's Day!

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