Sunday, September 11, 2016

Skagit Flats Half Marathon

I ran the Skagit Flats Half Marathon today. Today is also the 15th anniversary of 9/11. These memories are so hard, even now. As I get older, I live in wonder, of those younger, who have only known this age of terrorism and technology. I also have immense respect for those who serve our country, here and abroad. I have several family members in this group. Its nice to have a race that pays tribute to our heroes and national interest.

I may have run the Skagit Half 15 years ago.  I can’t be sure, but it seems like 2001 or 2002 was the first time I ran this one. Probably 2002. Anywa, I’ve done the half a few times, and the whole at least a couple times.  My times are slower these days. My friend Stan, the legend, does the full every year. He’s up to something like 40 in a row now.

The event is put on by my running club, Skagit Runners. This is a great bunch of folks, who year after year give back to the club and community through volunteer service. Some of the proceeds of the race go to a scholarship fund. I volunteer occasionally, at least once or twice per year, but there are stalwarts in this group for whom I have great appreciation. 

The course is indeed flat and fast.  Departing from Burlington-Edison High School, the course wanders out into the farmlands of the Skagit Valley, out in the direction of Samish Island.  Open views across the valley, simple country roads.  For me, home.

The weather was fantastic. I did a poor job with my pre-race meal the night before. I'm improving, though nothing crazy. I dropped 20 minutes off of my Berry Dairy Days time, but there's still lots more time to drop to get anywhere near I used to run, which then too wasn't fast. I figure if I get out there I'm doing good. And well.

The race was the perfect set-up for the first NFL Sunday of the year. I might’ve done the full marathon if I was a little more fit, but I really liked the idea of coming home and watching the second half of the first set of games. The Seahawks pulled out a squeaker at home against the Dolphins. And so fall is officially here.

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