Sunday, May 31, 2009

Port Townsend and the Rhody Run

I completed my first 12K in mid-May. The Rhody Run (Rhody is slang here for 'rhododendron' a very popular flower in these parts) was in beautiful Port Townsend, WA. The reason I chose this race for my first 12K was because several people in my running club were planning on attending and promised a beautiful run. So I joined the group, wearing our club jerseys. At first I was a little disappointed in my time; it took me 1hr, 16 minutes. Even though I was a little slower than I had hoped, I was still happy because I didn't walk at all and the day was VERY hot for the Pacific Northwest. Then I found out my stats compared to the rest of the runners. I'm not so disappointed with my time now; I am beyond excited with my race results!

Overall: 535th out of 2137 (top 25%)
Women runners: 189th out of 1229 (top 15%)
Females age 25-29: 26th out of 88 (top 30%)

Robb and I had a long day, both before and after the race. The drive to Port Townsend isn't easy. Especially because a key bridge to get there is currently closed for repairs. So, the drive was extra long to go around parts of the Sound, rather than across it. While this made for a long (3 hour) drive, it also made for a beautiful drive through gorgeous countryside and along the water. We got to Fort Worden (race location) around 10:30, enough time to pick up my registration number and get ready for the 11:00 race start. Fort Worden is a historic fort a few miles from downtown Port Townsend. Fort Worden is where An Officer and a Gentleman was filmed. And while I ran it provided a great distraction for Robb to walk around and take in the scenery. The race started and ended in the Fort, with wide country roads in between. Most races have sanctioned water stations every few miles. The Rhody Run not only had official water stations, but also unofficial ones. Several families who lived along the running route created their own water stations. And about a mile and a half away from the finish, one family even had a champagne station! (I did not partake, it was still too far for me to go!) Additionally, tons of people had put their sprinklers on to spray directly into the street so the racers could run underneath them. (It was a particularly hot and sunny day for a long run.) I finished the race and got a great t-shirt to show off in future runs.
After the race I changed and Robb and I started towards downtown Port Townsend to do the tourist thing. First we stopped at Mt. Townsend Creamery. This Creamery creates some of our favorite cheese that is sold at Metropolitan Market. We got to look at the cheese room and try a few samples (and look super-cute while doing so).

We ate a late lunch at the Public House Grill and both ordered the same thing (something we NEVER do, but had to because this meal sounded so good), a phenomenal cheeseburger with a portabello cap, dipped in mushroom jus. Ohmigod was it good!

Then we walked around downtown and popped into shops and took in the scenery. The town was super cute, with definite Victorian undertones. The houses were beautiful and historic. The rhododendrons were in full bloom. The water was crystal clear. There was even a deer lying down in someone's backyard. This town was charming! I'm hoping in the future we can spend a couple of days exploring it more. Maybe next year we'll go do the race again and this time we'll camp there the entire weekend (instead of a 6 hours of our day going to the round-trip drive time.)

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