2017 Race Beneath the Sun

Last summer, my husband was out of town (hellooooo Vegas) for his birthday. His trip happened to land on the same weekend as the Greater Bellingham Running Club’s Race Beneath the Sun. Instead of letting the Race Director know that I wouldn’t be able to attend, I asked them if a baby stroller could handle the course. They quickly replied that yes, people had previously raced with off-road/trail strollers, but there was one steep, single track hill that might be difficult. We ended up finishing the 5 mile trail race in 47:45 (9:33 min/mi pace) and I was surprised to place 2nd Female 19-29. You can read last year’s recap while racing with the stroller, HERE!

Photo by Joy Love

Our daughter is much taller and heavier now, so the idea of pushing her up that steep C. Moore Loop already had me exhausted. I opted out of taking the stroller and wanted to try the race out ‘for myself’. I convinced my stepson to run the race with me, knowing that he would totally beat my time without any training or even doing one practice run. In May, he beat me in the Haggen to Haggen 5k with a finish time of 20:23 (my time was 22:00)! On race day, I was able to eat breakfast, get ready, and head out the door without Eisley waking up. We didn’t have to leave too early since the event isn’t very large and our bib pick-up wouldn’t take long. We arrived at Fairhaven Park and got a parking spot easily. I noticed there were two, maybe three, moms that were going to race with their strollers. Major props to you ladies! We watched the children’s fun run and cheered as they came through the finish line chute. It was adorable seeing them go! 


Everyone lined up on the grass before the start. The weather was perfect, not too hot or cold. We listened to final instructions from the Race Director and were off at 10:00am! I had forgotten the course in the beginning of the race from last year (I probably had to stop and pick up Eisley’s toys), so, I was happily surprised to find out it was slightly downhill! I wasn’t sure if I was starting out too quickly since going down was a different type of effort, but I also wasn’t too concerned about my pace. I had already run 30.25 miles earlier in the week and it was also the end of Week 5 Ultra (?) Training. I wanted to run the race, have fun, and enjoy our local running community. A little after mile marker 2, my darn right shoelace came untied and was flinging around with each step. I had been feeling strong and didn’t want to interrupt my ‘flow’, but I also didn’t want to trip and get gravel in my teeth. At mile 2.5 I stopped and had to retie it. I was annoyed because I ALWAYS double knot my laces and seem to have a history of shoes becoming untied during races, even had a shoe come completely off while stuck in the mud, just before my sock squished into the mud as well. 😋

 
Mile 1: 7:22
Mile 2: 8:10
Mile 3: 8:10
Mile 4: 8:24
Mile 5: 7:16
 
As we headed down the switchbacks of the Interurban Trail, it only meant we were almost to the turnaround point and heading back up to the C. Moore Loop. I was making my way up the trail wondering, “How the heck did I push Eisley on this last year?” It was more difficult than I expected but luckily it’s only ¼ mile. There was an older man that passed by me on the way downhill and I decided that I needed to keep up with him. I followed behind, close to his pace, for about half a mile. He began to slow down and I knew that it was time to speed things up. The final mile ended up being my fastest with a 7:16 pace. I finished with an official time of 38:35 and placed 3rd in Female 19-29. My stepson took 1st place in his age group and had a time of 33:03! We chowed down on some sliced watermelon, trail mix, cheese sticks, and muffins before the awards ceremony started. It was great to see everyone who placed in their age groups and hear their times. The race had an overall feeling of positivity and community, with plenty of laughter and camaraderie. I’m looking forward to running again next year! 

Award announcements in Fairhaven Park


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