Diving into Lake Washington on New Year’s day is something I can honestly say never crossed my mind until Dec 30, 2009 during lunch while reading the paper. It seemed like a great way to start a new running year – so I signed up.
I wore my KSOs which gave me a HUGE advantage over shod runners. More on that. I also saw five other people (all guys) wearing FiveFingers and one barefoot runner Marathon Maniac who turned out to be Barefoot Jon. I chatted him for a while after the race and discovered he’s been running barefoot for quite some time. I hope to meet him again in the future.
There was a big storm last night and early this morning which left the park trail covered in large areas of mud and wide wet puddles in the middle and on the sides of the course. Deep wet cold puddles. The morning’s temp was nice and warm at 48 with the water 42.
A beer garden was there which opened at 10am – gun time was scheduled for 10:30. I figured I’d get some liquid courage and celebrate the New Year with a beer before the race. Unlike most others, I did not drink last night. Only three other ladies were enjoying beer before the race. I chatted with them, we finished our beer and then headed off to the 10mm time slot start area.
Yes, my feet were cold before. I had already walked through mud and water on the way to the race grounds. The whole time smiling, mind. Once the race started – I smiled even more.
Every time the race crowd would part ways to go over/around/avoid the mud and puddles at all costs – I would run straight through them. BLISS! I felt like such a kid! I saw Barefoot Jon running in the muddy grass. He was wearing his Marathon Maniac singlet. I always cheer on Maniacs as they are so inspiring. I noticed he was BF so I shouted out to him (as he was on the side & I was in the middle of the trail) “Barefoot Maniac! Do you run your marathons barefoot?!” He heartily replied: “YES! Try it sometime!”
There was also a table where people were removing their shoes before they went into the water at the end. I ran right in and was able to sprint up & out to the finish line.
My Garmin GPS was spot-on for mileage at every mile marker. I hit the ‘lap’ button right as I went into the water – again when I got out and then again at the ‘finish’ line. I have a new 5K pr even including the extra distance from the dive spot!
After I ate a banana and some chili (but had not changed yet) I saw BF Jon at the drop-bag table. He’s been running BF for 20 years. Awesome.
I can’t begin to say how proud I am of the below place times for me. I’ll be there next year for sure.
Division place: 31 out of 132
gender place: 111 out of 472
overall place: 366 out of 934
Dive time: 28:45 (3.10 miles)
chip time: 29:39 (3.17 miles)
gun time: 32:28