Monday, February 22, 2010

First Annual Y Run Club 50K

We hosted the first annual (I think) Y Run Club 50K and Marathon (and other) yesterday. We lucked out with beautiful sunny weather - about 28 degrees at the start, warming up to the low 50s by the end. Our course took us around the lake at a nearby park, a short jaunt across a field and up the back road of the local college. A lap around the perimeter of the college and back down the road to the park give us a three mile loop. Do that ten times and add an extra loop around the lake, and 50K was in the bag! I should mention that from where runners entered the back road to the main entrance of the college is about one mile, and oh, by the way, that's all up hill. On the other hand, heading back to the park gives a mile of down hill. Around the lake is mostly flat with a couple of rollers on the east side. This is one of my favorite running courses, though one I don't get to do often enough. The park and the road are wooded on both sides, and when campus is closed the road is closed to traffic. The campus itself is ringed by woods as well, and fairly deserted on weekends and early mornings. I don't think it's a wise place for me to run alone in the pre-dawn hours. Yesterday however, was a different story. There were runners and dog-walkers all over the place!

We put this up as a self-supported race. It was free, and I had it on a couple racing calendars, with an online link. We did not provide food, water, or bibs. We had a designated and lightly marked course, some maps (thank you Steve!) and a log for distance and time. It was the runner's responsibility to track laps and log results when they finished. We also had waivers to sign - and 36 people signed in. That was a surprise - originally I thought we'd probably get ten runners, and as we got closer to race day, the number creeped up to 30. We had nine 50K runners, 11 marathoners, five half-marathoners, and six others at distances from three to 18 miles. We also had six runners who didn't log their time and distance.

Since this was kind of a loosey-goosey fun run, we said runners could run the official 50K or marathon, or any other distance they chose. We also offered an alternative route that included one mile of trails. And, we said if the hill got to be too much, running repeats of the small lap was an option. We tried to be flexible and keep it fun. And, by all reports, we succeeded!

I know I had a blast. Jenny and I ran the entire 50K together. Rob joined us for several laps, too. He started out with a faster group, and by the time he joined us, was four miles ahead. Then he broke off towards the end and ran several small laps before rejoining us for the final three mile lap. Rob, Jenny and I make for a lot of fun when we run together - once again, I found myself laughing so hard I could barely run. Thanks you two! Jenny and I stuck it out on the big lap - running that hill ten times. The best part? I got a 14 minute PR! Jessica popped in to run a couple of laps with us as well. Eric and Steve ran the 50K too, utilizing the trail option.

One of our goals in deciding to offer a self-sufficient race was to have no need for volunteers. Our running group volunteers extensively at the Tacoma Marathon, The Grande and at CCC100, and some will be helping out at Rainier to Ruston (now that Rob and Eric are the race directors). We did not want to ask them to work at another, plus, we wanted them to run. But guess what? Patch and Sonya came by in the morning to cheer everyone on, and when one day-of-race registrant commented that she hadn't brought food or water, they went to the store and bought food and water. Other Y Run Club members dropped in and out all day, some running, some offering support. Our running club is the best there is!

All in all, it was a wonderful day. The weather was perfect, the runners enjoyed the course, we saw each other multiple times, it was the best!

11 comments:

LesleyG said...

Sounds great, as usual!


Coming up to WA and running with you is on my mental life list, you know! :)

Sarah said...

That sounds like a ton of fun! Every now and then I think about organizing a "fun run" or "fat ass". We need more of those down here in OR. Some day I'll do it.

craig said...

Sounds like a blast. I always enjoy reading about your exploits.

Anne said...

Sounds like an amazing day! What a creative and fun concept :)

Sunshine said...

Oh good for You!
Appreciated your report.

Joe said...

What fun!! You guys have great ideas and make it all happen.

Glad the weather cooperated so nicely!!

Wes said...

Of course your are the best! but I'm not sure about this 50K fun run business ;-)

Annette said...

You guys are great! I wish I had a running group like that. (Shhh! Don't tell my current group!) ;) Anyway, sounds like lots of fun!

olga said...

So, Rob and Eric are RD's for RtR? Wow! How are the boys doing? Neither is posting, Rob eliminated his blog, and the connection faded...and I thought we were friends:) Good job on the run, both putting it on, and then running it!

Darrell said...

It sure does sound like a great time with some great folks.

Sunshine said...

What happened to Rob? His blog is not there.