Summers End 5k

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   The Summer’s End 5k

by Molly Childs
Sept – 2020


                        THE SUMMER’S END THAT ALMOST WASN’T

Too hot, too smoky, and too much resistance band meant no training for weeks before race day. I saw no point in doing a slow painful 5k with no Grand Prix points or Grand Prix friends. How fun is that?

I don’t train in temperatures higher than the mid-70s; I can’t tolerate the heat anymore. Average recorded temperature for the first ten days of September was 80 degrees.

Then came the heavy smoke making my eyes sting and lungs ache. September 16th headlines read “This is the worst air the Tacoma-Seattle area has ever seen, and noticeable improvement is days away. An Air Quality Alert remains in effect through Thursday”.

Idle days became weeks, my blood pressure rose, junk food became my panache, computer games kept me up to the wee hours, and my morning seldom began before noon. I don’t do well without my “outside” time.

Foolishly I took out my frustration during an online workout session by using a resistance band that was much too “resistant” for my arthritic knees. Heeding the advice of professional trainers has never been my strong point. Only after hearing the “pop” and feeling the pain did I think “maybe he knows his stuff”.


Saturday the 19th the skies were clear and the temperature mild. More important I could make it upstairs to my bedroom without grimacing or muttering to myself. I decided to walk the three blocks to my community garden plot to see if any tomatoes were ripe.

It felt so good to be outside, able to breathe, and walk almost pain free. I decided to walk a little more. I turned on my Garmin and set out wearing my favorite sweatshirt, jeans, five year old Saucony’s, and no water.



In my low traffic neighborhood I walk in the street. Sidewalks hurt my knees.

I walked five more blocks through Lincoln Park. Not quite as nice as Wright Park or have as many facilities. But a nice place to read a book, walk your dog, and sit under trees that must be over hundred years old.

I was feeling good and decided to see just how far I could go.


A few more blocks and I passed Lincoln High School which opened in September 1914. Designed by architects Frederick Heath and George Gove, inspired by Eton, it was built primarily in Collegiate Gothic style. Carved in Wilkerson sandstone above the doorways were inspirational words such as courage, reverence, grace, and “Labor Omnia Vincit” (Labor conquers all things). Which could be a distance runner’s mantra.


In the 1920s, the high school stadium was used for Tacoma City League baseball. Elvis Presley performed at the Lincoln Bowl in 1957. Alumni include Frank Stojack, football player, pro wrestler, politician, and County Sheriff, Victoria Woodlands, mayor of Tacoma, and our own distinguished alumni Jerry Dietrich and Larry Larsen.

I kept walking through this unique multi-cultural neighborhood that I love. Passing small modest Craftsman homes, two story houses built in the 1890s, manicured lawns, yards with old apple or pear trees, barking dogs, and Free Food Tacoma tables loaded with goodies.

Sooner than I expected my Garmin beeped 3.1! Hot, tired, and filled with smug self-satisfaction I headed home.

Sometimes summer can end on a positive note




Jerry’s notes:  We have five more 2020 Grand Prix Series finishers. They are Dave Sherman, Sandy Newman, Diane Martin, Charlea Sherman and Sue Wirsch.  That brings our finishers total for the year to 27 and it’s only September. Silver Striders are awesome! Congratulations!



Grand Prix Players Only




Jerry Dietrich
Jerry 41:44











Arne Hales
Arne 47:11
Steve Ramsdell
Steve 54:49











Nick Bailey
Nick 31:50
Ray Arrington
Ray 40:11











Kent Sizer
Kent 20:45
Dave Sherman
Dave 21:51
Steve H 26:07



















Karl Johnson
Karl 30:40
Bret Langlois
Bret 52:17









Men 55-59

Allen Walker
Allen 32:08













Molly Childs
Molly 54:25
Edythe Hulet
Edythe 55:50



Judy Fisher
Judy 28:39
Isabelle 31:50
Isabelle Noiret
Gretchen Ramsdell
Gretchen 54:48
Sandy Newman
Sandy 57:53
Betty Dietrich
Betty 65:22


























Karen Lichtenstein
Karen 30:08
Nanci Larsen
Nanci 30:59
Diane Martin
Diane 40:40



















Charlea Sherman
Charlea 29:35
Marsha Murray
Marsha 42:55
Patty H 45:18



















Tiare Bailey
Tiare 29:57
Susan Hall
Susan 30:59
Audrey Kirkwood
Audrey 34:45









Cherie Langlois
Cherie 53:17











Sue Wirsch
Sue 59:56