Super Jock n Jill Half Marathon Completed!

13 Sep

Unlike the MI Half, I didn’t train for several months prior to the Super Jock N Jill. I trained for about 5 weeks, and did all of the long runs (6.5, 8, 9 and 10 miles) recommended during that time. The lack of training was due to the last minute decision regarding the run itself, not for any other reason. Training wise I did not feel as fit as for the MI Half, although my time was the same (2hrs and 40 mins), which I credit largely to my desire to stop limping as quickly as possible and the encouragement of my running partner.

Limping? Yes, limping. In the week leading up to the Super Jock n Jill Half I: fell down a flight of stairs injuring my back, ran into a display rack cutting and bruising my foot, and suffered some mysterious neck injury that made looking to the right very painful. I was kind of a mess by run day. Regardless, I sucked up the discomfort and rallied.

As far as the course goes, I was not impressed. The scenery was a delight as it started at The Herbfarm in Woodinville and went along the river into Bothell, which is a lush area with great trails. There were two big problems though, the first was the nonsensical way/where the walkers were started, and the second was the course path near/at the UW (Bothell extension) campus. As for the way the “walkers” were handled the problem was multi-pronged, but would have been nonexistent if the walkers had been able to commence the Half in the same location as the runners (who start and hour later). Instead we started half a block away on a different trail, and there was no signage to that effect. After asking several volunteers where we were supposed to go, we were led 1/4 mile away and wished good luck by a nice woman, which would have been lovely except that our timing chips weren’t activated. This was my other issue. Why give me a timing chip if our course doesn’t start at an activation site? By the time we realized that we were “on the course”, not just walking down a trail to the starting point we had gone about half a mile, so we weren’t going to go back, and even if we had we didn’t know if we would be able to activate our timing chips. So that was obnoxious, but instead of getting steamed I just started my Nike-iPod distance gizmo, and we were taken care of.

The other aspect of the Half that I found irritating was the course at/around the UW campus once we got to Bothell. I don’t entirely know how to describe the course. A hyperactive 4 year old’s Etchasketch art? The freeway clovers of elaborate interchanges and off ramps of my childhood cartoons? April Fool’s come early? I don’t know. I know that I ran up and down a street/hill at least twice, but I’m not sure how I got there the second time. I know I ran for a long stretch, came to a cone manned by a lone volunteer, and was instructed to “make a U-Turn”. I know that a woman ran by me with a jog bra and running chonis (sans shorts or pants) in the middle of the campus and I became confused for about 1/2 mile. She seemed so confident about the course — how could this be? I always feel more confident with pants on, but here I was confused and with pants, and there she was  (in the ever growing distance) highly confident but without pants. Very strange. Anyways, there were tight loops, multiple packs running in opposite directions on either side of cones navigating said loops, and sinewy bullets shooting past us on the right and left sides around mile 7 or 8. They were impressive, and perhaps fleeing the scene of a crime based on their levels of commitment to getting gone quickly. :)

So, those are my thoughts and experiences as to the negative, strange and fast from the Super Jock n Jill Half. All in all, I had a great time, and the organizers did a fabulous job of sponsorship and snacks at the end of the course. There were granola and yogurt cups, tons of energy bars, water and fruit all waiting for us on the grassy knoll, and Top Pot Donuts had a little set up in the parking lot (we each grabbed a doughnut to bring back to the men folk waiting back home). In this regard I was more impressed with the SJJ Half than the MI Half, which had no granola and yogurt cups (Bare Naked, where do you get those cool spoons?).

I am contemplating the Leavenworth Half coming up in a couple of weeks — Bavarian Village in October + Half = interesting. 3 days ago I had talked myself out of it, this morning I have almost talked myself back into it….My ability to find a running dirndl may be the deciding factor. ;)


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