Beat the Bridge
Seattle, WA

55F / 13C

Total Time = 1h 3m 41s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = /

Beat the Bridge takes place in Seattle near UW. You start out with exactly 20 minutes to get from the UW Hec Ed Pavilion to the Montlake Bridge. This is two miles. At 20 minutes they raise the bridge and if you're on the other side, you have to wait. Fun, huh?

Pre-race routine:

Woke up and listened to the rainfall and then realized that I was listening to the rain fall and then realized that I was listening to the rain fall that I was going to be running in. Woke Roy up so he could listen to the rain fall and then realize that HE too was listening to the rain fall that he was going to be running in. Took a shower and ate my oatmeal with peanut butter and drank my coffee.

Event warmup:

Ran about a mile from the parking lot where we parked to the registration. There were some aerobics people warming us up, but I chose to do the potty aerobics instead. We found Pam and Tracy and the bathroom and did that. When we came out of the bathroom it was raining. Then a few minutes was pouring. Wheee! This is gonna be fun!


Well I did NOT beat the bridge! About 15 minutes before our wave ran, it started raining. Then it started pouring. Then it starting raining AND pouring. Anyhow, that made for some VERY slick streets. I almost made it...and by almost I mean they were counting down to ten and I was sprinting and I COULD have sneaked in after the "1" but I decided to stick to the letter of "rules" so when they hit 1 I stopped. I was right in front with one other person in front of me. The bridge went up, music was playing, it was pouring, I was dancing. I called Roy up to join me (I would have waited on the other side for him anyhow) and he eyeballed me and pretended not to know me because I was dancing in the rain in the middle of Seattle on a drawbridge. He found that odd for some reason. Hmph!

I was running slower intentionally. I saw four people fall hard slipping on the street on manhole covers, plus we ran over two bridges with those metal roads (you could see right through to the was FREAKY). It was a lot of fun, though.

Anyhow...there were three waves. The fastest wave started first and had 30 minutes to make the 2 miles to the bridge, second fastest had 25, and the slow wave (which we chose), had 20. Explain to me how THAT made any sense. We let the blue wave go, then the yellow, we did a "wave" in our wave (the salmon...and we felt like it, swimming upstream). It was SLOW coming off the starting, but I figured I could make it up...but the streets were pretty slick. So I just decided to have fun and enjoy myself and not worry if I didn't beat the bridge.

We hit .1 miles and someone on the side yelled out "One tenth!" so I screamed "Wooo!!!! One tenth!!!! Woo!! That's"

Must have made just about exactly ten min miles, I forgot my Garmin and my watch so I'm not sure exactly, by bridge time. So as I said we waited, and we danced (okay *I* poopers), and then the bridge went back down after five minutes, and we took off again. It rained the ENTIRE time. It was pretty out. It's always so pretty when the rain is falling on the spring leaves, and even though we were in the city there are so many blooming trees, that the air was perfumed with flowers.

I finished with the clock saying 1:03:41 which means -10 for being in the last wave and -5 for sitting at the bridge, I did a 48:41 min 5 mile run, so I'm okay with that. A few slow spots (bridges, corners, some areas where we were literally puddle jumping), very few "fast" spots, but still a lot of fun. As we ran in they showed us on the Jumbotron, so I was able to watch Roy run in and cheer him on as he came in about 5 min after me.

We decided this was our start of our half marathon training, as we plan to do the San Francisco half on July 31. Roy's run felt good too, which makes me happy. I was SO afraid he would fall and hurt himself, since the man manages to fall in the bathroom without any help or slick streets. He was fine, although as we were walking back on a perfectly level sidewalk, he slipped and I grabbed him to keep him from going down. I told him I was going to bubble wrap him and get him a walker, or one of those baby walker things with the blow up rings so he doesn't hurt himself. I'm married to a klutz!

What would you do differently?: Run faster! Drink more!

Post race
Warm down:

Walked back to the parking lot and found Starbucks. Drank coffee. Coffee good. Starbucks good.
What limited your ability to perform faster: The rain and fear of serious slippage.

Event comments:

I will definitely do this again next year, and then the bridge is mine. Oh yes, the bridge is mine. I'm going to start in the last wave, too, because that's where it's a challenge! I will definitely seed myself at the front, though. I will also not dawdle and will leave my darling spouse in my dust if he does dawdle. It's me or the bridge next time. Me or the bridge.

Course support was awesome! All of them had some sort of noisemaker and they almost all yelled and cheered as we ran by. One thing, though, don't yell "You're almost there" unless you are, indeed, almost there. I heard "You're almost there" about five times before I was truly "almost there".

Good times! Hopefully next year there will be a little less liquid sunshine! Next year, the bridge is going DOWN (with me on the OTHER side of it).