Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Micro "Marathon" 2.62

After finishing the First Run 5k just after 12:30 am on the 1st, we headed in the direction of a MAX station to go home (there's an after-party-ish thing after, but just not really our scene). We should have at least checked the schedule before leaving the crowd and heatlamps; it was running on a less frequent schedule for the late night and there wouldn't be a train until 1:18. 

We tried to keep warm huddling in a patio by the stop, and walking back and forth between train stops (only a couple blocks apart in that area of downtown). (Oh my gosh the girls who were dressed up for NYE in short dresses in no tights... I can't even imagine how cold they were!) 1:18 arrived, 1:20, 1:25. Eventually, a bus with "blue line shuttle" pulls up. Apparently the train in our direction was out of service, and with everyone at the Pioneer Square stop, we filled the shuttle bus, skipping the next few stops out of downtown (I didn't even see an update on the website that that line was out of service, so those poor people waiting at stops in the freezing cold in the middle of the night.) 

tl;dr, after the midnight race we didn't make it home until about 2:30. I then got up at 7:30, to make it to my next race - the Micro "Marathon" 2.62 mile run. (After writing this post about people calling non-marathon-distance races types of "marathons", I decided I can only handle it if I put quotes around "marathon".)

This was the inaugural year for this race, a small event for a good cause. It was probably the cheapest race I've ever done ($16.20 without a t-shirt - $26.20 with a t-shirt, because of course), and a very pretty course (an out and back on a paved path along the Willamette River from Lake Oswego to West Linn - the path does coincide with a road for a bit, but it's a relatively wide, bike-lane type shoulder at that point, and a low-traffic road, so it never feels unsafe). 

The race isn't chip timed, which wouldn't be a big deal (it is so cheap, after all), except they didn't actually announce or in any way actually inform you that you therefore have to give the tag from your bib when you cross the finish line. They don't have official results for everyone anyway (just first place in each age group is listed on the website), but I ended not giving them my tag - a bunch of kids finished right before me, and kids got chocolate medals, so that was going on, and I totally missed that there was someone collecting the bib tags until a few minutes later. (I imagine people who have done races for longer than the past 5 or so years are aware enough of that type of timing to not need an announcement, but this is the first race I've ever had with it, and I'm sure plenty of others aren't familiar with it.)

I also don't recall them announcing standard race etiquette - as I complained about in the First Run recap, not everyone knows how to line up for a race or to stay right to be passed (and to stay aware enough of your surroundings to realize when someone's trying to pass you). This race, being on a bike path, was narrow at times, making it that much easier to get stuck behind group of people.

But besides those minor oversights in announcements, it was well-organized with good communication prior to race day. I'm not sure I'd do it again (the novelty of a 2.62 mile distance really only lasted for the one time), but it was worth doing once.

The elevation profile appears a lot flatter than this race felt, although it wasn't super hilly, it was enough to be noticeably uphill overall on the way out. I wasn't trying to "race" it per se (first time distance does mean an automatic PR, after all - plus the race 10 hours prior and 5 hours of sleep), but tried to keep brisk, at least.

Mile 1: 10:54
Mile 2: 10:58
Mile 2.62: 10:41 (6:27 time for 0.6)

Total (unofficial): 28:19 (10:48 pace)

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