Sunday, July 4

Firecracker 5000

Remind me to never, ever, again eat a huge salad right before running.

I often run at night, but have never before raced at night.
I am a seasoned race veteran, but the starting time (11:55pm) threw me off my game, and my plan for this race was all wrong. Thankfully, the Firecracker 5000 turned out to be a helluva lot of fun anyway.

I spent race day hiking in Olympic National Park (rest before a race? what rest?), and rushed home for a quick dinner, shower, and change of clothes. (Yes. I shower before races. No need to impose my sweat on others before the race.)

Eating salad was a bad idea, as my stomach did flip-flops through most of the 3.1 miles. But my standard pre-race oatmeal and cup of coffee seemed wrong at 8pm. (Note to self: Next time, eat the oats.)

Fortunately the enthusiasm of the running crowd was amazing and made stomach trauma a minor nuisance rather than a major catastrophe. My one regret is, had I run this race before and realized that everyone (and I mean everyone) was in patriotic costume, I would have done more than just wear red, white, and blue.

The creative, risque, and downright hilarious outfits were a huge part of the fun of this run. The finish line donuts from Top Pot were a sweet touch, too.

I took my donut to go, caught the bus home, grabbed a last-call beer at a pub across the street, and considered it a race well run.