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Lake Union 10k

the Silver Strider onlinpresents

Race Reports 

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    7210 Greenlake Dr N, Seattle, WA
   16095 Cleveland St., Redmond, WA


       Record Turnout For Lake Union 10k Run




by Ed Heckard
with photos by Bruce Fisher


8/13/17 – Seattle

Threat of rain and an early 7:30 A.M. start didn’t deter 1472 runners from entering the 9th Annual Lake Union 10K Run. The race, held Sunday morning, August 13th, is billed as Seattle’s most popular 10K Run. It doesn’t disappoint. 

Ilana Balint – Race Director


’Run for Good Racing Company’ organizes the event. The company’s Race Director is Ilana Balint and she was excited about this year’s run. “This is our biggest year yet! I’ve increased our medal count from 1500 to 1800 to be certain to have enough medals for all finishers.”

Registrants surpassed last year’s record turnout by over 200 entries. The run benefits ‘Girls on the Run of Puget Sound’, a non-profit organization that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy & confident. Over 60% of this year’s field were females.

The 10K is one of Tab Wizard’s Grand Prix Races. Ilana is aware of this and had high praise for Silver Striders stating, “We love you guys! Silver Striders are a great outfit and a welcome addition to our run”.


High energy emcee, Mathew Love, makes the race special

About ½ hour prior to the starting time, the race announcer began giving participants a countdown of minutes until the starting gun. Besides updating the time, he kept runners abreast of other happenings. He even announced when it was time for Silver Striders to assemble at the podium so Bruce could take the obligatory group photo.

Once we were assembled, he thanked us for participating & commented, “What a good-looking group you are”. Rock and Roll pre-race music was a welcome addition to the festivities. The tunes made time pass quickly and runners appreciated listening to the tunes as they began loosening up prior to their 6.2 mile ‘fun run’.

One could not help but notice four 10’x20’ covered areas reserved for a post-race breakfast. Had to be a highlight of this race. The breakfast is put on by the run’s major sponsor, Portage Bay Café and Catering. French toast and toppings bar awaited runners at the conclusion of their run! 










The race starts and finishes in Lake Union Park, located at the South end of the lake. Four pacers (40-45-50-60 minutes) were a welcome addition to the run. We ran clockwise around the lake along the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop Trail. Cheshiahud was a late 1800s Duwamish chief and the Trail was named in his honor. The course is not a ‘trail or path’ such as around Green Lake. It starts on Westlake Ave. N. and after about 1.5 miles runners cross over the Fremont Bridge. At about 2.5 miles the course passes Gas Works Park while you’re running on the Burke Gilman Trail. At 3.5 miles runners turn back for the finish along paved streets on the East side of Lake Union.

The course is promoted as ‘picturesque’. However for striders, ‘picturesque’ is pretty far down the list of reasons to compete on a 10K course. Near the top of a strider’s list for a course is SMOOTH! When the starter’s gun goes off our primary focus is where our next couple strides are going to be planted. Hopefully that is on terra firma. We have a keen eye out for any piece of a course (potholes, curbs, uneven pavement, manhole covers, etc.) that could result in misstep. A single twist, pull or tumble could possibly spell an end to our association with this highly motivated, invigorating group.

At two and four miles there was aid, water, hydration drink and porta potties. For the first 4 miles the course is relatively flat however you do have a hill to overcome soon after that point. It’s not long, maybe 400 yards at most, but it gets your attention. It’s a little later, about 5 miles out, when you round a sharp corner that a steep incline is staring you in the face. Once again, it is not long, maybe 250 yards. However, when you were just beginning to have sweet dreams of French toast, the surprise of this unexpected challenge slaps you in the face, reminding you there’s still work to be done. Many a runner took to walking a portion of this imposing upward obstacle.

In looking back at this course one thing stood out. Here we were running in one of America’s biggest cities, along usually busy and varied thoroughfares, yet this run was as seamless as they come. There was never any doubt as to the direction you were supposed to go. The course was well marked and turns were not only marked but manned with volunteers giving expert guidance. More importantly there wasn’t a safety issue involving traffic at numerous stop lights, and intersections while road running. While some streets were closed to traffic during the race, those streets that were open were professionally controlled by a multitude of police officers. The 10K Course was promoted as ‘fully supported’ and indeed it was!

Lisa Henry wears her finishers medal and enjoys a healthy breakfast

A Portage Bay Café Lake Union 10K medal awaited all runners at the finish line as did a gourmet French toast breakfast. Day of race registrants received their charcoal technical fabric race shirt (male and female styles) at the completion of the run. 1st Place runners in 5 year increments up to 75+ received a Lake Union 10K coffee mug and a small framed plaque that said “Congrats On Your Age Category Win!”

Oh Johnny! There’s French Toast in there somewhere!

Silver Strider Ray Arrington was a participant. Ray was in good spirits before the run and was looking forward to a good race. After the run Ray was smiling, however he was soaking wet. This was rather perplexing as it hadn’t rained with the exception of a slight mist for a short while. This prompted a question for Ray. “What happened…did you take a detour through Seattle’s iconic Elephant Super Car Wash?”

“No” Ray explained, “I usually perspire during these runs, bet I lost a couple pounds this morning.” Ah, Silver Striders, guess you do have to love ‘em.

Weather is notoriously fickle in the Northwest. Dawn on race day started with a sky full of ominous clouds & rain threatened right up to 15 minutes before the run’s start. Runners, 1472 strong, proceeded to catch mother nature in good spirits as weather conditions turned out to be wonderful for an early morning run in Seattle.

This year’s Lake Union 10K was well organized with attention to detail evident in all phases of the festivities.

While some runs are experiencing diminished participation, look for Lake Union 10K continuing to attract record numbers year after year.


               Results in photos by Bruce Fisher

First Silver Strider, Benjamin Cohen, powers his way to a 39:45 finish.

First Female Silver Strider is youthful Sheila Natho in 44:54




























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