2007 Pasta Dash in Olympia

Well, with 4 weeks to go until the Denver Marathon my calendar had me down to run a Half Marathon this weekend – one of the last preparatory “events” so to speak. There probably was one somewhere around the Puget Sound but I was more interested in returning to South Sound Running’s Pasta Dash. It’s a relaxed, fun end-of-summer event down in Olympia with both a 5K and 10K to choose from. Last year I surprised myself with a good 5K result (20th overall and first in age group) so I had to see what I could do this year.

Because I really needed to get 13 miles in this weekend (and a race at that…), I entered the 10K this year. Same start though at the Farmer’s Market and identical course initially. The big surprise came after 3 miles or so when we did a trails section inside priest Point Park. It was an overcast evening, threatening rain, so by the time we reached the park the light was already failing. Under the tree canopy we were running some winding dirt tracks pretty much downhill, making up for the long uphill on Boston Harbor Road. There were a few moments I thought I was going to take a tumble on a branch or exposed root. I didn’t but neither did I slow down and I could feel the effect of the slopes on my quads as I rejoined paved road.

The best part was the feeling of flying back down Boston Harbor Road on miles 4 and 5… and I do mean “down”. Leaning into the downslope and concentrating on using my arms like “metronomes” my tired old legs managed to average 6:54 (7:01 when we hit the flatter part).

The last quarter mile or so was tough – a long, flat curving road by the port. I couldn’t quite catch the guy in front and there had been no-one close behind me since mile 3. Still, I managed to put on a spurt of speed for the finish. I didn’t see Christina until I was almost at the finish chute and it was so cool to have her and the others “high 5” me at the end. CG said she thought I was one of the first to cross the 10K line but as of writing (Monday, September 17) the 2007 results had not yet been posted so I’ll hold off any “celebration” until I see it in print :-)

Looking for a race to mark the end of summer next year ? Try this one in Olympia. It’s not a huge crowd, but well organized, friendly and a great pasta dinner at the Farmer’s Market afterwards. Live music to go with the food and drink – random prizes too (didn’t win anything though…)

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~ by John Rankin on Sep 17, 2007.

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