|Still feeling good, hence the smile.|
For those of you who haven’t yet joined us for a Hot Summer Night, you wouldn’t believe what you’re missing: The heat. The sweat. The hurt. The shortness of breath. The cookies and otter pops at the finish line. The music. The dancing. And the raffle prizes. Ohhhhhh the raffle prizes.
Every August, the Trifusion Triathlon team puts on a 5k race series like no other. For a measly $5, you get a legitimate 5k-race opportunity, chip-timed finish time by Milliseconds, unguarded access to those humongous Costco cookies, and pretty decent odds of walking away with a raffle prize worth more than your $5 entry fee. These aren’t just the typical water bottles, bags, and oversized T-shirts kind of swag. Here’s a list of some of last night’s prizes:
- $10 gift cards to iTunes
- $25 gift cards to Starbucks
- Free 60 minute massages to Elements Therapeutic Massage
- Two tickets to the Spokane Symphony
- Countless boxes of Powerbar products
- $25 gift cards to Runners Soul
- $10 gift cards to Froyo
- Contributions from B&B Physical Therapy
- Free pizza from Papa Murphy’s Pizza
- Boxes of GU gels and water bottles
- Comp entries to future races and events
There had to have been at least 50 prizes given away, and last night was only the first night in a series of three 5k events to be held the next two Wednesday nights in August. If the cookies from Costco aren’t enough to satisfy your hunger after the event, Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar has plenty of food just a short walk from the start/finish line.
|Aubree and Mike Winnet.|
|Jodi Davis-Suter and Jayne Anderson.|
|Some of the fastest ladies out there!|
I had the opportunity to race last night with some pretty nice guys, my dad and Bryan Rowe. We set out to run 7 minute miles, and thanks to the two of them, I crossed the finish line at a sub-7 minute pace. Every time I race these things, I think about how fun this is. That feeling is probably the strongest the hour preceding the actual run and the 15 minutes after my gut-wrenching finish. The only problem with these events is they attract some of the best competition Spokane has to offer. The participants are dotted with the dark blue Swift and red and white SDP jersies. Last night’s top finishers, Josh Hadway for the men and Danielle Slaughter for the women, cruised through the finish chute with smiles on their faces (captured by the great photography by James Richman, an incredible athlete himself.)
|Spokane Distance Project Runners (aka FAST!)|
With competition like this, it’s hard for me to go out and enjoy myself with an easy run. Rene Guerrero strategically positions himself about ¾-mile into the course to take pictures of us still flying high as a kite. For me, mile 2 rolls around, and I feel like I’d rather just hunker down at the aid station and call it a night. In fact, I remember telling Adam Little at the corner of Hastings and Mill, “This hurts.” Thankfully, he simply smiled and motioned me onward like he didn’t hear what I said.
|James Richman captures the "hurt"|
at the very end.
This course wouldn’t be a legitimate course if it didn’t include a hill, and what a hill you have. It comes just after mile 2, when your legs burn and your lungs already feel as though they will burst. By this point, both Bryan and my dad had inched out ahead of me. It took all my “girl power,” if you will, to keep up with them. My dad clearly had no sympathy, as he burst up that dang hill, passing people left and right as though they stood still. He does that to me on the bike, too. We made it up and over, running down the final hill to the last tenth of a mile homestretch. Bryan and I sprinted a 5:39minute/mile pace through the chute, and I proceeded to gasp for air as I crossed the finish line. I couldn’t have asked for two better guys to push me to the finish. My time of 21:25 hardly comes close to my best time of 20:03 at last year’s final Hot Summer race. Yet when I consider the hill repeats I did early that morning on the bike, followed by the crazy swim set I swam with Jessi Thompson and Tiffany Byrd, I think I’ll take that time and run with it…until next Wednesday night.
|With a smile like that, you know these races are worth coming out for!|
Thanks to our sponsors, volunteers, and photographers (James Richman and Rene Guerrero):