|Runners and walkers gather for the start of the Cove2Clover event|
|The "Snake" mascot on a race bib|
Of my 1900 fellow 5Kers at the Cove2Clover, the vast majority are in better shape than me. But I felt OK about the infamous ascent of "Snake Hill," as I've been training for the Big Climb fundraiser for LLS and will be climbing 1,311 steps in the Columbia Tower this Sunday.
|Current and former Chinook MS students with Principal Demick|
Amazingly, C2C is only in its third year. However, nearly 2,000 participants ran or walked the 5K, 10K, or kids race. The coolest part is the partnership with our Highline schools. Students are able to participate through angel donations of registration costs. And locally based Brooks donated hundreds of running shoes for the kids. I've worn Brooks for more than a decade, and I was proud of them when I saw so many beautiful running shoes on the kids, many whose families qualify for free lunch at school.
There were too many teachers to even remember, and many, many kids. I loved seeing our students from all reaches of the district there. Heidi Hanson, who leads a running club at Des Moines Elementary, claimed the highest student attendance, but PE teacher Heidi Jacobsen-Beal from Beverly Park told me they had several dozen as well. I saw kids from Cascade, Chinook, and White Center Heights, just to name a few.
As the 5K participants lined up at the start line, the 10K runners whizzed by with lots of encouragement from the waiting contestants. Soon, it was time to go, and then we were off! The hill starts right away, so after some ceremonial steps running, most people settled into a steady uphill walk or light job.
As we approached the top of the hill we heard bagpipes. That motivated those around me who were worn down by the mile-long incline. When we reached him, we found a fully decked out bagpipe player standing at a clearing that showed just how far we had come from sea level. It had a sense of accomplishment to it, and the image, which you will see below, reminded me of the end of a leg of the Amazing Race.
|Highline HS students acted out a Celtic battle during C2C|
But the race was not over! It settled into a more normal 5K from there. There was only one more eventful aspect to the race - the "uprising!" This was random - a stack of hay bales across the course that runners had to climb over, or take a small detour as a penalty. I went over the obstacle, and it was fun, including a boisterous group of Highline High School students acting out a Celtic battle.
Shortly after, we turned for home on a relaxed straightaway down 152nd Street, passing homes fronting Lake Burien and crossing into several blocks of popular restaurants. Although I had walked ever since my IT band acted up, I broke into a run for the last part of the race and finished feeling good.
|That's me with my Heathly Highline hat (photo credit: Ashley Fosberg)|
The end of the race brought me into contact with more of our Highline family, again reinforcing just how much events like the Cove2Clover can do to unite our entire district. What a wonderful day.
And I survived Snake Hill!