Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Birthday 49 Challenge 2: 49 Races before I am 50!

49 is the theme of the week. Today I ran out my age in GPS in Seattle!
If you read yesterday’s post, you know I am laying out a number of challenges based on turning 49 today. The first up was my annual fundraiser where we support three amazing charities - The Andrew Reisse Memorial Fund at UMD, Science Camp Scholarships at the California Science Center and the Run Laird Run at a Children International center in India. Here’s the link to donate if you can. All donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar.  https://www.justgive.org/lairdo49. Thank you to everyone who has donated!

The fundraiser will run for 49 days. Today’s challenge will be one for the whole year. Alongside finishing up the next 10 states to hit 50 state marathons, I am going to try to run 49 races of any length during this year. Anything from 5k and up counts. That’s basically a race a week, but happily, I have a number of events planned where I can run multiple races in the same weekend - the annual Star Wars races at Disneyland for example. And the Raleigh North Carolina race next April features a 5k on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. So, while I do not have this fully planned out, I think I can pull it off. Seattle has tons of races, and even some on weekdays.

Happily, today on my birthday, I’ve logged race number 1 of 49! The Northwest Trail Runs group puts on a summer series called Trail to Grill. Basically run a trail race and then they feed you hotdogs and hamburgers. How could I turn down a chance to run on my birthday again (only the 3rd race I have ever done on it) and put in a 2nd 6 miles on the same day?

The race took place in Carkeek Park and featured a very steep double loop of single track trails. The day was warm but the path was well shaded by the dense foliage. The race was well organized and started right on 6:30 PM as scheduled. With nearly 1000 feet of elevation climb, my time at 57 mins was not a fast 10k, but it was enjoyable overall. The steep parts were steep enough to be challenging but not a forced walk. The downhills fast and somewhat rolling which made me feel like Indiana Jones escaping the bad guys. You can get a feel for the steepness from this short movie.

Earlier in the day, I had run a moderately paced 9.8K (200x49 meters) as I spelled out my age via my GPS track (see image at top). So, this was a fun way to double up the running and keep in the theme of twos for this birthday: 2 runs today, 2 marathons in the next 2 weeks (Alaska and Utah), 2 pairs of 49 (my age and state of the union 49 Alaska), 2 six-mile runs on my birthday and all donations get doubled.

At the end of the race, I made my way back to my car which was parked near the park’s beach to find a lovely summer evening sky.

Stay tuned on runlairdrun.com to the 49 Race Challenge list at the top of the right column.

And please donate: https://www.justgive.org/lairdo49