Walk, Forrest, WALK!!

10 05 2013

One of the greatest movies ever made, if you ask me, and possibly one of the most quoted: Forrest Gump. If you haven’t seen this movie, you either lead the most boring life on the planet or you’ve lived in a hermit cabin in the middle of the woods for the last 20 years. But I’m pretty sure even Sasquatch has seen it.

Anyway, I love how Forrest runs everywhere, just because he can (well, once he busts out of those gnarly leg braces). I try to channel him when I force my self out for a run even though I really don’t want to. And this last weekend, I did my best to make Forrest proud: I completed my first race.

While I appreciate the applause (thankyouthankyou), don’t clap just yet. This isn’t the race I started training for about 5 weeks ago, the looming half marathon. That one’s in November. This was a 12k (7.5 miles) up in Spokane, WA, – Bloomsday is the name of it – and I didn’t run it. Don’t judge me.

J’s momma has wanted to come visit since we moved, and it worked out that she could come visit and we could all make it up to Spokane for the Bloomsday race together. Then J’s sister confirmed she would be joining us as well, and our race became one big party! They used to live in Spokane when J was a youngster, and everyone was excited to visit. I was happy just to be along for the ride.

We drove up Saturday (the four of us and Simba, the happiest dog in the world) and squeezed in visiting time with old friends. It was pretty cool to get a peek at J’s younger days. We stayed with one of his old high school buddies where I got to watch J act 17 with his pals and Simba make besties with a two-year-old. Both were hilarious.

So Sunday morning we were set to meet downtown for the race. The guys were running – J raced his 5th-grade self – while us females were walking. So the boys wanted to jog there (about 2 miles) as their warm up.  I ran to the race, then had a 7.5 mile cool-down. That’s how I roll! I had to run just about as fast as I could to keep up with the boys, so it was a needed cool-down…

Through a mis-communication during registration, I got us girls stuck in the very last wave to go. This was kind of unfortunate since about 50,000 people participated. The boys finished almost before we even started! When we finally heard the gun, it was still several minutes before we actually stepped across the starting line. There were just so.many.people!

starting line, 2013 Bloomsday, Spokane WA

We didn’t even mean to dress like twinkies…me on the left, J’s sister on the right. LET’S DO THIS!

The first mile or so of the race is maddeningly slow, and I soon realized the reason….being in the slowest heat meant we were back with the very largest, oldest, and youngest participants. The plus-side of this: we felt like ROCKSTARS once we had room to start passing people! We were SO FAST!!

But there was that first mile or so to get through first. I was amazed at the tradition of Unlayering – it’s cool in the morning, so people wear sweatshirts and other warm layers, then as they get going, they toss them into the trees along the side of the race. Then volunteers collect it all and donate it to the local GoodWill. (Some people appeared to be “shopping” before items were collected…interesting tactic…)

shirt donation, Bloomsday 2013 Spokane WA

Too warm? Donate your layers! Or shop, whichever…

Finally, we were cruising along, four of us pumping at a great speed-walk pace. People really have fun with this huge event – both participants and bystanders. We passed some awesome costumes: gorillas, bananas, a clown-Elvis, lots of tutus, and a wide variety of homemade team shirts. My favorite said “Run like Luke Bryan is at the finish line”, even though these gals were walking…still creative!

banana costumes, Bloomsday 2013, Spokane WA

I knew I forgot something – my banana suit!

People on the sidelines were selling goodies, cheering on the racers with posters, and dancing to the live bands.  Volunteers along the way handed out water and the amount of cups littering the road was astounding! As was the sheer size of the crowd – for a girl used to spending her days with a computer, Ponderosa trees and a snoring mutt, the crowd was immense!

We had a great time, while making ourselves quite sore. Speed-walking for 7.5 miles used muscles I apparently don’t use often, and my hips were super achey. J’s sister and I jogged a bit towards the end just to move different muscles. We powered up the infamous Doomsday Hill like champs, though, and got to pass a whole bunch more people who stopped to take pictures of the weird vulture costume at the top.

crowd on Doomsday Hill, Bloomsday 2013, Spokane WA

This shows the impending Doomsday Hill as well as the crowd – see how the mass of people can be seen all the way up the hill as it winds up to the right?!

vulture on Doonsday Hill, Bloomsday 2013, Spokane WA

Creep-tastic. And why are all you people stopping? I thought this was a race?!

The race took us a total of 2 hours, 6 minutes, and 24 seconds. The Bloomsday website has all sorts of fun stats we got to look up the next day.  For instance, I came in 27,975th place! Keep in mind, that’s out of about 47,000 people who finished. My time up Doomsday was 6:18 (not sure if that’s good or bad…), and I placed 2nd (! now you can cheer!) among the 4 people who finished from Trout Lake!! (J was first place!)

finish and t-shirts, Bloomsday 2013, Spokane WA

Hot, sweaty, and happy as clams. My favorite, though: the sweet photo-bomb by J’s sister! High-five!

I got an aewsome tshirt when we finally crossed the finish line that I got to show off at lunch with our other buddies that ran. I also got almost 3 hours of bonding with the girls and finally get to say I’ve completed a race. Now I’m super pumped for my half marathon and even got up at 5:30 in the morning to go running with my bestie in Bend on Tuesday.

Pretty sure this makes me at least a little bit awesome.


Bloomsday results 2013, Spokane WA

My results…and proof I didn’t make the whole thing up!




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