So it took more than two weeks before I "recovered" from the Jingle Bell Run enough to write about it. No, it's not the run I had to recover from, but my reaction to running in a 5K clogged with 15,000 participants (note I did not say runners), most of which chose to believe they should participate in the 8-9:40 minute category.
There was a faster category, which started 10 minutes earlier (so as not to be bogged down by us slowpokes), and also a walking category, which started 10 minutes later. Since there was a walking category, I don't quite understand why there were so many participants walking in the "run (jog)" portion of the race. Read the directions, people! If you don't intend to even try running, sign up for the walk, okay?
This year I did manage to successfully use my watch to measure my time from the actual starting line to the finish line. That way I could at least eliminate the time lost in the shuffle to the start line. Even so, the first half mile (or more) was really slow (due to the walkers and just the mass volume). Even though I ran really hard (once I was able to), my start to finish time was 29 minutes. My official time was about 30 minutes, which means that it "only" took one minute to get across the start line.
Even so, I was among the faster of the slow runners. The greatest mobs began coming in five to ten minutes after me, causing a bottleneck in the finish gates. I was happy to be on the sidelines watching (and congratulating myself for being faster).
I was happy to leave the mobs after the race, although I felt like I should somehow take advantage of being in downtown Seattle during the Christmas season. But instead, we made a short visit to University Village (partaking of samples at Williams Sonoma while doing a bit of shopping), and then headed to breakfast at Sunflour Bakery--the usual reward after a race!
(I'm the one in red near the center.)