Throwback: Shipyard Old Port 5K, 14 July 2013

What: 5K

Where: Portland, Maine (course map)

Who: Me and Colin, with moral support from Drew

Benefited: Habitat for Humanity and ITN Portland

Time: 49:18

Photos: (click to open larger versions)
Photos not tagged with Shipyard logos courtesy of Drew; others courtesy of Shipyard Old Port

Being beaten by the Stairs of Doom... and the race hadn't even started yet!

Being beaten by the Stairs of Doom… and the race hadn’t even started yet!

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea...

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea…

Cheesin'

Cheesin’

SO red

SO red

Colin got caught posing for Drew by the official cameras

The official cameras caught Colin posing for Drew

Wiped. Out.

Wiped. Out.

Did I say wiped out?

Did I say wiped out?

But the post-run festivities were glorious

But the post-run festivities were glorious

Recap: Colin and I had signed up for this race before I injured my back, so I was extremely happy that I had recovered in time to run it. The Old Port allowed me to check another state off my list, and also gave Drew and me a chance to visit one of our favorite cities while also showing first-timer Colin around. We made a weekend of it and enjoyed wandering around a bit and sampling new-to-us restaurants and brewpubs the day before the race.

One cool thing about the race was the video the organizers made, which showed a runner’s-eye view of the course. The bad thing about the video was the sense of impending doom that descended upon us as we watched the cameraman ascend an intimidatingly steep set of stone steps in the woods at the beginning of the course. We dubbed these the Stairs of Doom, and even sought them out beforehand to see if they were as bad as they looked on the video. (They were.)

We set off bright and early the next morning (gun time was 8 am) and were able to cheer on the half-marathoners as they started their race at 7.30. Then our time came, and we set off with excitement. Less than two minutes later, we were at the back of a bottleneck at the Stairs of Doom… the race organizers hadn’t planned for the fact that only 1 person could safely fit on a step at a time, and after the elite runners had blazed their way up, the rest of us were left to wait our slow, slow turn. What made it worse was that some of the slowest runners and walkers decided to try to go around the rest of us and take their time going up the stairs, and then proceeded to stroll casually at the top as the rest of us tried to start running again. It was a mess, and it added at least 5 minutes on to our times.

Once past the bottleneck, we were faced with STEEP hills that, while allowing for lovely views of the ocean, didn’t seem worth the pretty sights as we dragged ourselves up them. It was also unbearably hot, again, and my spiffy new mini water bottle that velcros onto your hand didn’t have nearly enough water to keep me from feeling like fainting.

These particular 3.1 miles felt ENDLESS, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see the finish line. We limped across (well, we somehow managed to sprint, actually, but it felt like limping), and after spending too much time looking for water and icy cold towels, we enjoyed treats from the vendor trucks (like Greek frozen yogurt and free sunglasses) and then made our way to the free beer.

Better than the free beer, however, was our visit that afternoon to the Maine Diner, an old favorite of my family’s and the third stop on our post-run diner tour. It was glorious.

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