That Time I Played Center Field at Safeco


Race: Refuse to Abuse 5K

Time: 30:25

Yes, the time sucks. However, I do have an excuse. For some reason, after racquetball, my foot hurts for a couple of days afterward. I have an appointment to see a podiatrist, but it’s still a couple of weeks out. So, my foot is a little sore. Also, when I played racquetball on Wednesday, I pulled a muscle in my leg. It immediately started acting up again as soon as I started running.

And then there’s the race itself. It basically is a novelty run. You run around Safeco Field. You run up ramps, you run around concourses, you run around the parking garage. At some points the pathway narrows so you have to slow down. There are tight corners. Also, since this is more of a fun run, even though walkers were supposed to be at the back, many walkers were in the first waves, so you end up dodging meandering little kids and groups of large people walking abreast, forging a slowly moving wall that you somehow have to maneuver around.

And then there’s the real reason. Last night, I went out drinking with a friend. I had a beer at a hipster microbrewery named Cloudburst Brewing. I had an insanely good Sazerac at The Upstairs, and then I had a 18 year Highland Park Scotch at The Whiskey Bar. Knowing that I needed food, I had a Scotch Egg at The Whiskey Bar, I grabbed a hotdog from a street vendor, and a Royale with Cheese cupcake from Cupcake Royale.

I then went to bed and got up at 7:00 AM for the run. This was probably was not the smartest choice that I’ve made recently.

Be that as it may, I did make the run. First of all, because I have a well situated name, alphabetically speaking, I had bib number 1. This has happened to me two or three other times. This always makes me a minor celebrity when lining up to run. And yes, I have never even come close to living up to that billing.

The start was so narrow that they only let 50 to 75 runners start at a time, so there was some impatience and boredom once you were in the chute.

All in all, although certainly not a course that will set any PR’s, it was pretty fun. You got to run the hallway behind the fancy luxury boxes. This was the only part of the run where it was actually carpeted. I can only imagine that they had carpet shampooers on hand to immediately clean the carpets of the sweat of the 99%.

You finished the run on the field itself, which was pretty cool. Of course, they wouldn’t let Hoi Polloi actually run onto the grass, so it was very carefully cordoned off. However, you did run the circumference of the field, so you ran along the warning track, the foul section, and along the dugouts. At the end of the run, you could kind of laze around soaking in the ambiance of standing in left and center fields. It was a pretty cool experience to be standing in a place that you’ve often seen just as a spectator.

Most of the rest of the run was pretty pedestrian. As I mentioned, you run through the Safeco parking garage (woo-hee!). I’ve walked the ramps of Safeco many times, so running up and down them brought me no huge excitement. However, the big sell of the race was running onto the field, which they definitely delivered on, so no regrets.

Although my time was slow, relative to the rest of the field it wasn’t so bad. I finished 230th out of 1340. I was in the top third for all men and I was in the top quarter for men my age. This probably speaks more about the overall quality of the runners (emphasis on fun run) then any particular brilliance on my part, but still it’s basically kind of where I want to finish in a race, so I’m happy with the result.



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