Location: Spokane, WA
Distance: 12k / 7.46 miles
Pace: 6:53 / mile
Placing: 538 / 47,841
With 47,000+ starters, Bloomsday has a corral start. The athletes line up in down town Spokane and slowly get ushered to the starting line. With a race this large you may actually start minutes (upwards of 45 minutes) before the first wave. When registering you submit a predicted finishing time. Due to me not having previous race to prove that time, I was moved back to the green starting area. To qualify for the yellow starting area in front of me, I had to prove I could finish the race in under 1:12. Unfortunately I could not do that since I had no recent race times.
Anyway. I started at the beginning of the green group. There were so many people in front of us that as they moved forward and started the event, the wind picked up since they were no longer blocking it for us! We had to jog forward two blocks to actually start the race.
Due to how many people I had to pass in the first mile that split was only an 8:30ish mile. I probably spent half of the race running on sidewalks or off of the road on the gravel or grass to get around runners. The first downhill was VERY nice and I took advantage of it. I honestly did not even really notice the mile uphill after that, it was pretty gradual. At mile 4 my pace was 7:12 per mile. Slower than I had hoped. Not due to my body. If felt GREAT. I was definitely breathing softer than other runners around me, even being able to run with my mouth closed occasionally. It was a good run.
It's reputation preceded itself. As you can see from the elevation map above, it's a short steep hill. They actually time your ascent. I wish you could compare that between runners, but that option is not available apparently.
I decided to attack the hill before it attacked me and made my move then. My average pace only slowed by 1 second per mile from the bottom to the top of the hill. The participants really condensed on the hill, so I had to do a lot of weaving to get around people. I focused on keeping my head up and making short light steps. Kind of like Heartbreak Hill at the Boston Marathon, it's a lot more scary when people talk about it than it truly is.
Mile 5 to 7.5
After the hill I opened it up a bit. At the top of the hill I was averaging a 7:13 and at the finish line I averaged 6:53, so I obviously hit the accelerator a bit ;) I was literally passing people left and right.
The course actually took us outside of Spokane. When I started getting back closer to downtown during the last mile or so I was running all the way on the left side of the road, flying by people. It thinned out enough at this point that I could run without having to go around people fairly well.
I was hoping to finish in under 50 minutes, and was off of that by 1:22. However due to the slower early miles from having difficulties passing people, no hard feelings. This was my first time racing fast and short in a very long time, and I'm happy with it. I felt like due to my training as an ultra marathoner I definitely have lost a lot of my speed.
Right after the finish I ran into a couple cool guys who bought some shoes at the expo the day before. I saw a few people who bought Skoras at the convention wearing our shirts during the race, but these were the only two I noticed who actually wore the shoes for the event :)
The two days prior to the race was one of the largest expos in the country. Skora had a booth and we gave away a couple pairs of shoes as well.
Here are some photos from the expo. This was a convention that has about 100,000 people pass through it each year!
|The booth before the flood|
|Not everyday you get to take a photo with the CEO|
|We were even on TV (see below)|
|Michael talking about the shoes|
|Patrick in the grey shirt, myself kneeling, and David. All working with different runners|
|Super cool Sketchers guy came over to try some shoes on, really liked them :)|
|View of our booth from the New Balance space ;)|