After Taylor and I signed up for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at the last minute, we quickly set our next goal. Since Taylor had never run a 10K before, he didn’t have proof of time to submit for corral placement. With the proof of time deadline coming up on Feb 2nd, we considered just being content with being placed in the last corral.
However, then I found the Race for Warmth!
I’m really glad I did. My primary reason may have been to sign up for a 10K right before the deadline, but the race itself was wonderful! Put on by Clark Public Utilities, the race helps support families who struggle to pay heating bills.
Taylor had never run more than 4 miles before, so my role in the race was to pace him to a PR. He’d only been training for less than two weeks and hadn’t had the chance to train up to a 10K distance, so I wanted to make sure we took it fairly easy, avoiding injury but still getting a decent time.
I set up my interval timer for a 30 second run/50 second walking pace for about the first half of the race, then had it increase to 30 second run/30 second run and for the last little bit the pace was 30 second run/20 second walk.
Taylor picked up our packets before the race, which arrived filled with goodies. We even got a nice long-sleeve tech shirt, despite signing up rather late.
Arriving at the start, the race had a number of tents with plenty of water, even bagels with cream cheese and nut butters! It was a pretty good vibe, and they even had an optional group warm-up.
Located just across the river in Vancouver, WA, the course wound followed a trail through historic Fort Vancouver and followed the Columbia riverfront. It was an out-and-back course, which I don’t usually like, except it was so gorgeous it was worth it.
Jason, of course, took off, while Taylor and I fell into our interval pattern. It was cool out, but thankfully not raining. I wore my long-sleeve 2014 Tinker Bell shirt for good luck, but I did push the sleeves up (of course).
Even though I wasn’t going at my usual 10K pace, I was glad for the intervals. Despite running Star Wars Half and 10K in mid-January, I really didn’t have much of a training base at all, and I am still recovering from my injury.
Taylor and I ran well together, our paces matching nicely. However, I can see that if he gets much faster, I’ll be working harder to keep up. As it was, his walking stride is so much faster than mine that I was powerwalking during every slow interval.
The mainly flat course was sufficiently interesting enough to justify the out-and-back and the weather and views just made me happy to be out and running. I was certainly grinning.
As a plus, we also got to see Jason on his way back (before we even got to the halfway point, of course…). He was in about 6th place when he passed us and he yelled that we were on goal pace and to keep it up. We later found out Jason came in 8th overall.
There were two water stops and plenty of volunteers making sure we stayed on course. It was a very well-supported race, although if it gets any bigger, there will be crowding issues.
As we approached the finish line, Jason cheered us on, snapping pictures of us right before we went into a final sprint. Taylor sped his way across first. After looking at his time, he realized that he went faster than he had been going in training. Considering the amount of training, it is a time he can be happy with!
Although my time is nowhere close to my 10K PR, I felt pretty good. At this point, running pain-free is a bigger goal than time, and I’d succeeded on that point, but still felt tired enough to know I had put in a solid effort.
Post-race was also very well-done. Jason won a raffle item, I picked up a free back-scratcher and we enjoyed steaming bowls of hot, delicious bean soup. We also picked up pint glasses but skipped the free beer. Not worth the line!
Overall, I’d definitely consider doing this race again, even if I’m not needing a time.
Ran With: Taylor