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Railroad Bridge 10k

the Silver Strider onlinpresents 


 brought to you by

route 16


Route 16 Run and Walk Shoe Store
6745 Kimball Drive, Gig Harbor


                    The Railroad Bridge 10k



By Keith Lerew   



In January I signed up for the Run the Peninsula five race series with the intention of running some great peninsula trails. The five medals are really neat how they magnetize together to form the Olympic Mountain range.

If that wasn’t cool enough the Elwha Bridge Run comes with a hat designed by local artist Makayla DeScala.

The Railroad Bridge Run comes with RTP touch screen running gloves. The NODM gets a shirt.

The Larry Scott Trail gets RTP socks. And, the Jamestown S’Klallum run comes with a fleece blanket.

The series started out per plan with the Elwha Bridge Run, which was well organized and started on the pedestrian bridge that crosses the raging Elwha River which had huge trees floating down it.

This series always had the virtual option as part of their series, but of course I had no intention of running that since it really defeats the idea of running a “race”. Nobody could have guessed the devastation of the COVID insanity that would make it necessary to switch to the, (less than exciting), virtual option, but at least we had an option to help maintain some motivation to keep with a running program.

The first casualty to go virtual was the Railroad Bridge Run, this would be my first 10k since I hurt my foot at the 2019 FSRC 10k 15 months ago. My plan was to treat it like the race and run it on race day, at the scheduled start time.

As the race got closer and the COVID insanity progressed I decided to not take a chance of more people having the same idea and creating a crowd that would be frowned on, so I ran it on Thursday before the race.

Upon arriving at the parking area (which was closed so stupid), I decided the all important outhouse was needed, so off to Home Depot I go. After returning I parked along the road and jogged the ½ mile to the starting line. The start was marked with a sign on the guardrail, that I didn’t see, so I just picked a spot and figured I’d turn around at 3.1 miles. Maybe I’ll see the turn around sign.

How can you possibly run a race effort when you’re by yourself ? I guessed I was about to find out. What is the goal pace when it’s been 15 months since you last did this? It used to be about a 6:40 pace, ok lets keep it under 7:00 and maybe a 6:45 pace. Here goes something for nothing.

On your mark, Get set, GO. Down the trail I head, the stride length and turnover feels pretty good, is it too fast, too slow, breathing pretty hard, can I maintain? There’s a few people out walking but never an issue with social distancing and soon a mile is done in 6:38, mile two is 6:45.

The trail is as flat as any race we do and it reminds me of the Foothills Dash. There are two roads to cross on the way out and the same two on the way back but never an issue with traffic.

Mile 3 is done in 6:54, there must have been a little uphill. Okay, where’s the turn around? As it turned out, I started before the official start line so my 3.1 turnaround came before the sign. This is where the race atmosphere helps to push you beyond your normal limits and the return trip became a mental toughness game.

I pass a guy on a recumbent bike and figured if there’s much downhill he’ll get me back. Mile 4 is done in 6:52 and the effort is increasing with no downhill to help. On the plus the recumbent hasn’t caught me yet. Mile five is a 7:02 pace but typically the last mile in a race will bring the pace back to one of the faster splits, just have to tough it out. This mile was probably the biggest difference between a race and virtual as I wasn’t able to better the pace and ended with a 7:07 mile, finishing in 42:49 and an average pace of 6:53.

As I start back to the car, Mr. recumbent goes by and was kind enough to applaud my effort.

June 6th, (a day early), I will be toeing the start line at 7:30 for the NODM, my second virtual run.

I can’t say I’m excited to attempt a marathon without the race atmosphere and support but I’m looking forward to some family support and overcoming the challenges of the virtual race.

Let’s not make a habit of this.

Besides training for the NODM, what’s not to like about extra time in the shop making projects.





















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