One thing I have had to learn as a pacer.
Sometimes you are going to get wet.
This one I got super wet.
I have always wanted to do the Hot Chocolate Races. Cost and travel made it less then cost effective. When Beast Pacing gave me the opportunity to be able be a pacer for the 15K I jumped all over it.
I got to the expo on Friday and it was small, but really well organized. If you did not have your information you could have a volunteer help look it up for you. Then you picked up your goodie bag which had your race jacket, which is a change from the normal hoodies that they had been doing. There had been a few vendor booths and a chance to purchase race gear.
Sunday morning started with finding my pacing crew and picking up my pacing kit. I have to thank Beast and Ram Racing for the nice shirt and the 2XU compression sleeves.
Bag check was very easy and simple to get through. The volunteers had been eager.
The start line corrals had been between Key Arena and the Armory which made it very narrow but still a well organized system. The only down side is I was pushed almost all away back to the corral behind me.
Now the course. This course is TOUGH. I thought Seattle Marathon was tough, that is actually a walk in the park compared to this. You start with a quick run through downtown before you hit the roads behind Pikes Market. This is one sharp down hill and one sharp up hill back to back before you hit the tunnels that take you to Aurora Avenue.
And Aurora itself?
If you live in Seattle you know what this entails. This was a series of up and down hills including a long climb right up after the bridge. I heard some people mention how the elevation map made it look like stairs, it had not been. It was a straight set of hills. I was not ready for how tough that side would be.
The course is well supported even in the pouring down rain. The volunteers went out of their way to encourage the runners and the pacers alike even though it was pouring down rain and windy. (We actually had thunderstorms)
I finished a few seconds back of pace, but still had runners coming up to me thanking me for running and holding my sign which meant a lot. I ran with Marie, who is one of my fellow Skirt Sports Ambassadors and she was truly a difference maker. It was nice to have a pacer with me and we kept each other in line all away through.
I finished and headed for the post race, which consisted of the famous food and chocolate finishers mug. We did not have much of a festival area so I was in and out quickly.
This is a fun race, its well organized and a bit of a challenge. I am actually excited for next year.