Clothes horsesMay 17, 2010
Most of my race-related pressure is self-imposed, but that was not the case at yesterday’s Beat the Bridge 8K. Liz wants to shop for clothes at Nordstrom, so my job was to win one of the Nordstrom gift cards awarded to the top five finishers — never mind that last year’s 4th-place 24:53 was a big surprise, and that I was even less prepared for this year’s race.
A quick survey of the guys in singlets at the start revealed three who would almost certainly beat me: Eric Garner, Mark Mandi, and my Seattle Running Club teammate Dan McLean. The best I could hope for was 4th. After about half a mile, I settled into 6th place, which seemed fine — surely one of the five leaders would falter at some point, right? Then two guys in Skyline uniforms passed me in the second mile, pushing me back to 8th, which didn’t seem nearly as favorable. I didn’t feel too great while running over the University Bridge or along NE Pacific Street but finally caught a second wind along Montlake Boulevard. I passed one guy shortly after turning onto Montlake, then three others near the hairpin turn just south of U. Village. I accelerated strongly out of the turn in 4th, and that’s where I finished (behind Garner, McLean, and Mandi). My time was a tepid 25:13, but I was pleased with myself anyway. Me big strong man! Me provide clothing for family!
After some friendly banter with new and old acquaintances, it was time for the Diaper Derby race on the Husky Stadium turf. Novice racer that he is, Phil was drawn into a false start by an overzealous girl several lanes to his left, then overcompensated a few moments later by starting very cautiously — a fatal mistake in a race that lasts only 30 yards. Liz and I were happy that he finished, though. Among all of the kids’ dashes accompanying our adult races, this is the first one he has completed. He actually tried to back out of this one, too, but we told him that he couldn’t keep the shirt he got for signing up unless he actually did the race.
Ah, clothing — such a powerful motivator!