Birch Bay Half – my 89th

Ha, what do most couples do on Valentine’s Day? They go for brunch and plan for a romantic dinner. But for me and my husband, we spent Valentine’s Day morning in Birch Bay, Washington where I ran the Birch Bay Half Marathon.

It was an ugly kind of morning. Heavy rain throughout the first half of the race, which tapered off to showers only towards the second half. Cupid was definitely not shooting his arrows at the weather gods that’s for sure!

Having done the full marathon for the last 2 years, I was pretty familiar with the course. It started off flat, but by mile 3 there was a slight hill. Then, the bigger and more dramatic hill came between the 5th and 6th miles. This year, since I was doing the half, I decided to power up the hill. Legs were hurting, but once I got over the big hill, the pace felt easier.

Roads were still open to traffic, but cars were sparse. There were however, a few times where I found the drivers were driving too close to the runners or just driving irresponsibly. For example, at one stop sign a car almost drove right through it without even stopping. Thankfully a sheriff was on patrol and pulled the driver over to lecture him. As runners, we must never assume that people see us or know to share the roads.

For the last 5K of the half, the course merged with the marathon route where the faster marathoners were and they were totally supportive and encouraging – a trait I totally admire about these front runners.

With the route circling back around the bay, it got a little windier. But nothing as bad as in previous years. In a way, I love racing in familiar territory. The route and the familiar faces all made this race day more fun and memorable. Volunteers were very friendly. Especially on a day with such bad weather, I am so grateful for having these wonderful people come out to support us. Thank you.

I also met three Marathon Maniacs on Sunday. One had completed 460+ marathons, another 105+ marathons and a third Maniac who is just truly awesome because he makes running look so easy and has the most contagious, easygoing spirit. All three of them were also so humble despite their successes.

I am glad to be part of the Marathon Maniac family! Without all these veterans to look up to, I would not be as motivated to run as many races.

With each race I run, I realize how lucky I am to be doing what I am doing. I am getting closer and closer to my running goals. Accomplishing the magic triple digit (completing 100 half marathons) is getting closer and closer!

I sum up with a non-running quote, but one that we can all relate:

“It is better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behaviour is better than yours and you will drift in that direction” – Warren Buffet


Birch Bay finisher’s medal


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