Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Twilight 5k

Side note: I kind of hate when races make their primary distance part of the official name of the race, because then how are you supposed to reference when you did a different distance, without being misleading? "Twilight Half" is how this race is branded - not Twilight Run, or Twilight Race, but Twilight Half, despite also offering a 10k and 5k. But it feels inappropriate to mention my participation in the "Twilight Half", even if I go out of my way to clarify that I did the 5k, because half is still in what I'm saying and I definitely didn't do a half!

I originally registered (knowing I was pregnant, but a while ago) for the 10k. Fortunately, given that the longest I've run in the last six months is about 4 miles (and even that far hasn't been frequent), the confirmation email the week of gave instructions on how to change race distances (in fact, you could even change at packet pickup the day of - a friend switched from the half to the 10k when arriving for the race). I gratefully stepped it down to the distance that I knew I could do without being too uncomfortable and at least still enjoy somewhat.

I arrived about 90 minutes before any of the races started (two hours before mine), as I was worried about traffic and parking (this is an evening race - even on a Saturday there was a bit of slow downs getting from Portland to Vancouver). Parking nearer to the start line did start filling up not too long thereafter, but the overflow parking in the park was still not that far away. I was able to quickly get my bib and shirt - as we got closer to race time there was a bit of a line for pickup but I didn't see it ridiculously long. What was long was the line for the porta potties - they had portable sinks which was nice, but I think overall not quite enough units.

The 5k course went out of the park for about 0.7, then turned onto a bike path, out and back. (The 10k then went a bit further with another turn north, before turning around.) A path obviously tends to be somewhat narrow, but the race was small enough for there to not be too much congestion once we got going. (The race announcer also reminded people before we started to try to line up based on pace, which is great! I'm surprised by how many races don't bother to do this.)

My goal for the race was to finish in under 36 minutes - my pre-pregnancy PR (29:14 but rounding up to 30 minutes) plus a minute for each month pregnant. That's been my goal in the two previous 5ks I did this year, but I missed it each time by a minute or two. I've actually been doing more faster (relatively speaking) than easy running, though, lately, as somehow (either my running form or breathing?) that's enabled me to run with fewer round ligament and side stitch issues. So I had more confidence this time that I'd be able to get close. 

I challenged myself, as I got 5 minutes in, then 10 minutes, to try to not walk until I got to the turnaround point/aid station. And I actually did! I stopped to walk then and grabbed a cup of water, giving myself a minute or two of a break (for a slightly slower second mile). I let myself take another quick walking break after the second mile, then made it the rest of the way running. Official time: 35:45, 11:32 pace. 

Mile 1: 11:28
Mile 2: 12:02
Mile 3: 11:32
Mile 3.1: 8:03

Even the 5k and 10k runners got a medal! (A different one than the half marathon finishers.) Which, honestly, was part of why I registered for this. (If I can't get a PR, I want to at least get something for the cost!) The race shirt is really cute, too (a tank top with a glow in the dark owl image). 

Right near the finish line was water and electrolytes (especially for the half marathoners it might be nice to add in bagels or something else light and easy to eat right away, though). But for the post-race event there were burritos from Laughing Planet (they had meat, vegetarian, and vegan options), cookies, beer, chips and salsa, and lemonade/fruit punch. The way the race start times staggered, even as a middling 5k finisher I was near the first to make it to the food, so I didn't have to wait, though by the time 10k and half marathoners started coming in the line got pretty long.

Overall, very good swag and goodies, and a well-run race. I only wish I'd done it last year (their inaugural event) so I could say I've done it all years! Will definitely be keeping it mind to do again in the future.  


  1. Well done!! Sounds like a great event to part of every year :)

  2. I love night races! I wish we had more of them here.

    Congrats on meeting your goal! :)


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