Summer Race #4: Rave Green Run

This past Sunday the fourth and final race of my summer tour took place in Kirkland, WA, a suburb of Seattle and the former corporate home of Costco. If you’ve ever lost sleep wondering why the warehouse retailer named their brand “Kirkland Signature” you can now set your mind at ease and enjoy peaceful nights of slumber. (You’re welcome.)

The Seattle Sounders FC Rave Green Run featured two races (5K & 9K), as well as a post-race beer garden and viewing party for the Sounders match against the Los Angeles Galaxy. (Spoiler alert! They lost badly.) The event was very well attended, especially compared to the smaller races we’ve participated in this summer. This simple reality wreaked havoc on our ability to find a parking spot.

As my wife and I drove around desperately trying to find a place where we could leave our car, it became increasingly clear I’d be unable to run through my pre-race ritual. So I decided I’d just have to settle for starting the race on time. Which I did. Sort of.

As the race officially got underway, I was still in the Honey Bucket wrapping up a little pre-race urination. However, I quickly finished up, hopped a fence, and joined the back end of the 9K runners as they flooded over the starting line.

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Rave Green swag!

The blazing sun and hills made for a tough course, as did the fact that I was wearing the black race shirt I’d just been handed on top of my other shirt because I didn’t have time to check a bag. Was it an ideal start to Race #4? No. But I navigated the adversity knowing it was the last stop on my summer tour and, more importantly, there was a beer garden waiting for me at the end.

All things considered, I ran okay, finishing in 51:35. Definitely slower than I would’ve liked, but when you consider the aforementioned obstacles, I can’t complain. (Though I suppose that’s what I just did, so…) On the bright side, I crossed the finish line around the same time as former Sounders player and fan favorite Roger Levesque. So I’ve got that going for me… which is nice.

Four races, four bibs.
Four races, four bibs.

Earlier this summer when I decided to participate in races on four consecutive weekends, I worried somewhat about my 41-year-old legs. The distances weren’t obscene, but pushing my quads, knees, calves and feet to their limit every week for a month seemed a bit ambitious. And while my legs are certainly feeling tight these days, they nevertheless made it through my summer tour without and cramps, pulls, or ruptures.

What turned out to be the most tiring aspect of this entire endeavor was the logistical ordeal that accompanied each event. You know, getting up early, driving to the race, finding parking, stressing about warm-up time (this might only apply to me), standing in long lines, and having to spend time around runners, who are, let’s be honest, the worst.

In fact, running might’ve been the easiest part. When I’m out on the course, even though my legs are aching and my body is telling me to make this the last race I ever run, my mind seems weirdly at ease. No more lines, no more worrying. Just keep moving forward and resist the urge to yell at “walkers” who refuse to move to the right and get in your way.

So congratulations, me. Nicely done. And kudos to my wife for also running races in four consecutive weekends. She didn’t blog about it, but she had to put up with me, which is far more trying.

Now that it’s over, there’s nothing I’d like more than to reward my impressive four weeks of racing with some well-deserved time off. But for some reason I’ve recently decided to start a new challenge… running every day in August.

As the old saying goes, I can rest when I’m dead… or when a stress fracture leaves me unable endure the physical rigors of accelerated movement.

Whatever comes first.

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