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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sound to Narrows Runners: Race of the Brave

Today, marks the 2010 Sound to Narrows running race in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park and surrounding neighborhood.

With calm weather conditions and mostly sunny skies this morning, I am sure the race will gain some late entrants eager to challenge the 7 and 1/2 mile race. Of course, one must be able to run the distance. Or be out of their minds. My hubby is on his way to run the race now. I have friends running, too. I wish them the best as they tackle the terrain and plow their way to the finish up the killer hill at the end. I will celebrate with them post-race with hearty food and a well earned beer. I am happy for the runners that love the challenge, but....

I hate this race.

I mean I really, really HATE this race. I've done it periodically over the years and well, it's pretty much worn me down and attempted to kill me.

One year, I twisted my ankle right before the awful Vassault street hill. So, being very young, very stupid, and full of pride, I ran on it all the way in. My ankle was the size of my head when I finished and that turned into a three week recovery. I've blistered my foot so badly in one race that it requires a doctor's appointment. I ran it one year with a cold and got a nasty asthma attack during the race. Once in my twenties, being an avid mountain bike and distance bike rider, decided to run it with very little running practice before. I thought this would be smart and cool to brag about. I don't think I could move comfortably for a week without wincing and cursing in pain. And about that wincing.... Then there's the terrain--I shutter.

The gradual uphill (change that: LONG gradual uphill) at the beginning of the race wears me out (of course, I tend to be a race horse at the start of any race and pay for it the end). The twisting and turning through five mile drive seems endless. And then there's Vassault hill, the last stand. For about a mile and a half. Hell.

Have I scared anyone yet? Probably not. Not the thousands that flock to the race to run or walk. Not to the cheering crowds or neighbors spraying their sprinklers for the runners. This race is an institution (since 1973!). Now I could tell you that I'll NEVER, NEVER do this race again. But I suspect, before I need to hang up my running shoes forever, it will beckon me back for one more turn.

I hope I can exact my revenge.

In the meantime, enjoy runners. You worked hard for this. Soak it in, soak up the sun, and run your buns off.


Lorraine Hart said...

Much respect for anyone who has run a marathon...or a sprint for that matter! I'm soooo not a runner Kim! I'm really glad they have such a gorgeous day for it.

Go Rick!!

Kim Thompson said...

Thanks, Lorraine. I ran for many, many years. My race days are distant, and that's fine. I still run, but well, it's a jog I am afraid!

Rick did AWESOME! He had a beautiful run.

Mizu Sugimura said...

Both the writer and this highly excellent and tightly executed piece are exemplary!!!!

Kim Thompson said...

Mizu, many thanks! Wow!

Stephanie Frieze said...

Thank you, Kim! Mobility is such a gift that we frequently take for granted while we have it. Each step, whether is is run or walked, should feel like a blessing. Even if you can't run a marathon, get out and enjoy the blessings of Mother Nature.

Kim Thompson said...

Absolutely! My mom has suffered from severe knee and foot issues and has had lots of time where she wasn't able to walk. Seeing that struggle and frustration brings it home for me. I do feel blessed for every step.

Getting outside? Oh, the best. Taking in the trees, flowers, animals, sky, sounds, smells--amazing stuff indeed!