The Kirkland Shamrock Run will be a race I do not soon forget. My official start to the race season of 2018, this race did not disappoint.  As you may recall, I am on a mission to reach my long term goal of a 5k in under 30 minutes. My previous time was 30:50, at a turkey trot and it took everything out of me to get to this time. I’ve spent an entire off season working on strength, form, and my mental game. All to get me to the point where I can make this goal a reality and turn 2018 into my strongest race season yet.

I showed up on race day knowing that I would not reach my 30 minute time cap. Thank you allergies and the beauty of Spring. But my one goal was to have fun and make the most of the day. If I gave the race my all, I would come out a winner.  Race day graced us with unexpected sunshine and I could not have been happier. Joined by a few friends, we set off to warm up for the race and get into the starting line up.

Separated with just the right amount of distance, I joined the back of the running group, knowing that these would be my fellow people for the rest of the race. The race began and the energy was electric. It was almost as if the entire city of Kirkland joined us for this big day. Running out of the marina parking lot, I knew what was waiting for me just around the corner: the dreaded 1 mile hill up to the Kirkland Corridor. Yes, you read that right. A 5k that started with a 1 mile hill climb. But as they say, what goes up, must come down.

I powered after the hill, knowing that hill repeats and stairs have been a big part of my off season training. I could feel my strength as I continued to climb. Yes, I did take a few moments of walking, but played the mental game of “Walk to this light poll and then get back to running”. You know that game… we all play this game. Once we got to the corridor, I knew the worst part would be over. Yet somehow I forgot about the rolling hills for the next two miles that would lead me to the finish line.

I think the fact that I had beautiful views of downtown Kirkland, Seattle in the distance, and Lake Washington made up for the fact that this was a challenging course. But regardless of the challenges, it was an amazing race.

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I crossed the finish line in 30:55 and felt amazing! Not only did I just complete a challenging 5k course, I felt strong. The energy coming into the finish line just as strong as the energy finishing the race. And I knew, without a doubt, that reaching this 5k goal would be mine within a few months. The friends that joined me on the course also had an amazing time and had a few PR’s as well. Overall, the Kirkland Shamrock Run was a great day for all of us.

From the seamless setup and transitions, to the support on the course, a great after party at a local pub, and awesome FREE race photos, there are so many things to love about this race. I am excited about my next 5k and reaching my goal of a sub 30 minute time, but I am also excited to return to the Kirkland Shamrock Run next year.

Until next time
-Be Fearless, Go Boldly

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