For most people, the summer months are a time to kick back, slow down and relax. I’m certainly no exception to this rule and it’s one of the reasons I don’t run half marathons between June and August. I won’t even consider a September half because I want no part of summertime training. And why should I when there’s meat to grill and vodka tonics to drink?
However, I still try to keep myself in decent shape by maintaining a regular running schedule while mixing in the occasional short race. But for whatever reason, this summer has found me feeling a bit friskier than usual. I’ve come down with a weird case of ambition and am now scheduled to run races four weekends in a row. None of these races are particularly long or require any special training, but I am sacrificing four mornings of sleeping in.
So why did I do it? Why did I wantonly throw away valuable summer free time? Perhaps I’m suffering some kind of race withdrawal, a serious affliction that affects runners who go too many weeks between competitive events. The lack of bib numbers and chip timers in my life has clearly caused me to make rash, regrettable decisions.
Or perhaps I just thought these races would be fun.
Refuse to Abuse 5K at Safeco Field (Seattle, WA) – July 18th
This race raises money and awareness for domestic violence prevention, which is good. It also allows me to run through a Major League ballpark. For this event, I’ll be super laid back and as non-competitive as this year’s Mariners team. I’m also running it with my wife and son, so it’ll feel less like a race and more like an well-organized, leisurely jog… around Safeco Field.
Update: This race was fantastic! My 8-year-old son ran much faster than I was anticipating. Read about it HERE.
Whale of a Run 4-mile (Silverdale, WA) – July 25th
Whaling Days is an annual summer festival held in the town next to mine. Other than the fact that they have races, I know very little about it. I think it’s safe to assume they’ll have fried foods. This will be a wifeless, childless run, so I’m giving it everything I’ve got. With a little luck, I’ll knock out these four miles in around 32 minutes. Without luck, I’ll be looking at tight hamstrings and a lot of internal cursing.
Update: I did manage to run this race in less than 32 minutes. However, my wife ended up running it, which robbed me of my solo race day. Read about it HERE.
Race Against Violence 5K (Long Beach, WA) – August 1st
Each year we rent a beach house with friends in Ocean Park, WA. During last summer’s trip we discovered this small event in Long Beach that’s just a simple out and back on the beach. Last year’s race was my son’s first 5K and he even earned a trophy for finishing 2nd in the boys division. He was so proud of that thing he insisted on sleeping with it. I was able to convince him that was a bad idea. Is a second trophy in his future?
Update: The family had a lot of fun at this race. My son and I won trophies. Though I wish I lived in a world that didn’t require domestic violence themed races. Read about it HERE.
Rave Green Run 9K (Kirkland, WA) – August 9th
Saved the best for last. This race is being put on by Seattle Sounders FC, the local Major League Soccer team. I’m a big fan of the club and am excited for this race for a number of reasons:
- The distance is roughly five and a half miles, which is a good race length for me.
- I get a Sounders-themed shirt AND medal for participating.
- After the race, participants gather in a tent to drink beer and watch the Sounders play the LA Galaxy.
- It is the last stop in my summer race tour.
Update: A tough start, but a really fun event with the added joy of being the last race in this streak. Read about it HERE.
Four races in four weeks: An exciting new challenge in my life as a serious runner or a giant mistake that’s taking up valuable space in my summer calendar?
I will soon find out.