Haggen to Haggen 5k

Have you ever doubted your potential? I have. I do it more than I probably should. Sometimes there are thoughts that creep into my mind and eventually they appear to be truths. In reality, these thoughts are “stuck points” that leave me convincing myself, “I can’t run that far” or “I’ll never be that fast”. But then something strange happens…you pass that unpassable distance or run faster than you ever believed you could. You break through your wall! My personal ‘wall’ is my speed (or lack of).

Beautiful Bellingham!
Last Saturday was the 24th annual Haggen toHaggen Fun Run or Walk, hosted by the Greater Bellingham Running Club. The race starts at the Sehome Village Haggen store, winds North through the streets of downtown Bellingham, and then finishes at the Meridian Haggen location. Early bird registration for GBRC members was free (as usual), only $7 for runners, and $5 for walkers. Normal registration fees went up to $10 for both runners and walkers after April 18th, with NO day of race registration. A neatly designed long sleeve tech shirt was also available for $15.

Since there wasn’t an early packet pickup option the day before the race, they started packet pickup at 6:30am the morning of the event. The information online also said to allow 15 minutes to walk from registration to the actual starting line, so the math in my head said to leave our house by 6:55am. I convinced my 17 year old stepson to sign up and race with me, knowing he hadn’t been running and would probably beat me still, due to being a teenage boy (spoiler alert…he totally beat me by 2 minutes!). We had banana, peanut butter, spinach, yogurt, and protein powder smoothies for breakfast. Since it was early in the morning, Eisley was still asleep and stayed home with my husband. 

Waiting for the race to start

We drove to Haggen, parked, waited in line to grab our bibs, and it was still only 7:25am. After staying warm in the truck since it was chilly outside, we walked to the starting line to make sure we could be near the front of the pack. There were HUGE signs marking 5 minute pace, 6 minute pace, and 7 minute pace so people would hopefully line up in order. There was definitely no order when families with young children and strollers were standing between the 6 and 7 minute pace signs.

The announcer counted down and we were off at 8:00am. The initial kick was slow and crowded. It took a while to find some space and break out. I also wanted to keep my stepson in sight to make sure I could keep up with him, at least for a while! (Before the race, he asked me, “So how many miles is this?” 😁) We ran through Sehome neighborhoods then raced along Holly St which was a nice slight downhill. After we passed Mt Baker Theater, I realized there hadn’t been a 1 mile marker yet, or I missed it. I knew we had to have ran a mile so far…so I checked my watch and it was 1.88 miles!

Nuun Active...yummy!
Holy moly, halfway there! I slowed my pace a little to make sure I could crank it out near the last half mile. We were on Broadway and turned left for our final stretch. My legs went into turbo mode and were as close to a full sprint as they could turn. The official final chip time was exactly 22:00, much faster than my goal! I managed to cut 2:08 off of my previous 5k PR which felt amazing. My stepson finished in 20:23 which blew my mind! The finish line party was a giant lot full of tents handing out goodies. We were given a reusable Haggen shopping bag then went along the tables, picking out treats like an adult Halloween! It was awesome to see so many local businesses represented with quality products. Of course, I was excited to visit the Nuun tent to replenish my body after that quick race! They came up from Seattle to support this event. We waited to watch the awards ceremony then were surprised to see how long the line was waiting for the shuttles! Luckily there were multiple shuttles running, but we still waited about 30 minutes. We joked about just running back to the start which would've been faster, but we both had bags full of stuff to carry. (Next year, I'll plan ahead with a pack to put things in!) I ended up being 7th in my age group and 72nd/676 overall.What a fun and fast race, bringing the local community together! The proceeds from this event help fund four $1000 scholarships a year as well as shoe vouchers to low income high school runners. How cool is that? Thank you GBRC and Haggen!


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