So this weekend I set a PR…because I’ve never run a 15K before! New distances = automatic PR. In this case, I’m not too thrilled with where the bar was set but I otherwise really enjoyed the Birch Bay Road Race!
As an Orca Running ambassador, I get to run one of their awesome races for free. When the 2017 races were announced, I debated which to pick because they are all pretty great. I decided on Birch Bay because of the unique distance and beautiful location. I also thought it would be a great race to kick off the season with.
The race was Saturday, which happened to be April Fool’s Day, so naturally the weather pulled a prank on us. It was mild but rainy, just a light mist really, but after nine miles, I was pretty soaked. Anyway, that’s jumping ahead.
The race started at 8:15 on Saturday and Birch Bay is about an hour and a half north of Seattle…as in, “hi, Canada!” I considered staying in Bellingham the night before, but ultimately decided to drive up in the morning, which worked out pretty well.
I like Orca races because they’re good-sized, organized, well-supported, and attended by people that really just love running and the running community. Parking was close to the start line and getting there about a half hour early, I was able to pick up my packet, hit the port-a-potty, drop my shirt and coat back at my car, and be just in time for the start.
(Oh and the shirt! I love the race shirt! I hate the typical technical tees. I don’t wear them and find them to be a waste of everything. This one is cotton! and cute! and gender-specific! and I will wear it.)
The course was beautiful! A little through the town before getting on Birch Bay Drive, then a little woodsy trail run through Birch Bay State Park and back to the bay. It had it all!
I finished in 1:35:26, a 10:15 pace, so yeah, I wasn’t thrilled and can’t really pinpoint why it didn’t go well (except maybe some tendonitis that flared up after the race), but after being a bit down on myself about it, I decided to at least be happy that I kept moving and didn’t walk and ran nine freaking miles in the rain.
Another great thing about the race…driving home past/stopping at the outlet mall! All in all, it was a great way to spend a Saturday 🙂