The name of this race sounded so cute when I first heard it, and it seemed like I was going to race at SeaWorld or somewhere similar!
However, there is a history behind the Geoduck Gallop, which is hosted by the Evergreen State College (whose team mascot is the Speedy the Geoduck). The original race was established in 1984 as a pledge run/walk charity event, but only lasted for 2 years. Years after, in 2006, the race changed to include a half marathon and a 10KM run/walk. According to the school website, “the race was set up as a qualifying course for Evergreen Track & Field team members wishing to run the standard for the NAIA National Championships Marathon and opened to the public.”
The start of the half marathon was at the Constantino Recreation Centre on the Evergreen State College campus in Olympia, Washington. The school campus was quite beautiful, and true to its name, there were plenty of evergreens surrounding the area.
We ran 2 loops – basically around the campus, along some bike paths, and along the roads. Lucky for us, the weather turned out to be very pleasant. All the heavy rain from the previous day stopped right before the race. It seemed like there was a solid number of race participants, but I couldn’t really tell how many runners there were for the half marathon vs. the 10K race, as the two races were combined at the start.
For most of the course we were all running in packs, which was helpful since it took away the possibility of losing track of the road markers and race directions. I felt extremely relaxed. But with less than half a kilometer left, I lost track of the runners in front of me and became unsure of where the finish was. So I waited for the runner behind me to catch up and asked him where to turn for the finish line. Although it wasn’t significant in this instance, it could mean precious seconds in other races.
At the finish line, there wasn’t a big mat to cross that automatically recorded our times because this race didn’t use timing chips. It followed the old fashioned way of tearing the bottom of our bibs for record. When I first started running years ago, that was how races were like. Runners’ times were all hand-recorded. Sometimes, I prefer the old fashioned way.
I truly enjoyed this race because the whole route was so fresh and green. It felt more like a trail race than road race. Plus, I did well for my own personal achievements. I came 2nd place in my age group. See picture below for the race ribbon! In addition, for finishing, each race participant received a Geoduck finisher’s medal and race shirt.
Although the drive was a bit far from Vancouver, B.C., my experience made it totally worth it. I am so glad to have discovered this race. It was a real gem! Certain races just leave you with such a good feeling, and this was definitely one of them. I know I would love to run this race again.
Thank you to the organizers for putting on such a phenomenal race, and thanks to my driver/husband 🙂 for getting me there and back safely each time.
Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you are young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself. – John Bingham