Doing a Backstroke for a Doughnut


Race: Top Pot Doughnut Dash

Time: 26:36

This is the second race since I’ve re-started running races this year. I did the St Patrick’s Day Dash last month. At that race, it was overcast and pretty much the second that the race started, the downpour started and I ended up soaked.

Today was the Top Pot Doughnut Dash. It is also a 5K race. The course circles Green Lake. As I’m driving to Green Lake, it starts to rain slightly. By the time that I’m parked, it’s raining steadily. I wait as long as I can, but parking at Green Lake sucks, so I was probably parked a half mile from the starting point. Finally, with no sign of letting up, I get out of my car and jog to the starting line. I tried to get to the start line about fifteen minutes early so that I can get a reasonable starting place.

I really didn’t need to worry much about finding a good place to start. By the time that I got to the starting line, it was positively pouring. A couple of minutes after that it picked up even more and was raining heavily sideways. Runners were desperately seeking refuge under trees in a futile attempt to escape. No one was in the runner’s shoot.

It really is quite amazing how wet you can get when you have to stand in a driving storm for fifteen minutes waiting for the race to start. Rivers of water were running off of my face. Both my outer and inner shirts were not just soaked but hung heavily on me, providing me no warmth but adding significant weight.

This was one of those occasions where I ask myself exactly what the fuck am I doing? I came so close several times to just walking away to the warmth of my car. I just kept telling myself that once the run started that I would almost immediately feel better.

To the organizers’ credit, they understood that we were miserable and started us off exactly on time.

I did warm up, even though I had to shake my fingers occasionally just to make sure that they wouldn’t stiffen up on me. I tie my car keys to my shorts drawstring and after the race had great difficulty getting it untied again as my fingers just were not responsive.

There were puddles everywhere that you just had to power through. Luckily, unlike some of my fellow runners, I did avoid the major ones. There were several many inches deep that runners would have to forge through. A lot of the run was on the road, so I stayed near the middle because of the natural slope of the road. That worked well, but you had to worry about oncoming cars in the opposite lane spraying you as they passed.

However, all that aside, it is a fast course. It’s a very flat run. The congestion was nothing at all like the St Patrick’s Day Dash, where I often found myself trapped behind a group of slower runners all running abreast. For this run, there were far fewer runners. It’s probably a smaller run anyway, but the deluge probably also helped dampen participation.

My time (8:34 pace) was pretty good (for me), especially compared to the nine something pace that I ran at St Patricks. My goal (as modest as it is) is to finish in the top half of my age group. I was excited to finish in the top 15 percent. Perhaps the course was easy enough that the more serious runners did not bother showing up, but I’ll take it regardless.


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