Everything about my start for the Couve Clover Run was in a rush. I signed up just a week before the event (after a good experience at another St. Patrick’s Day-ish race). I was late getting out of the house on race morning. The packet pick-up lines were extra-long with groups and families. And my needed pre-start porta-potty required a line that took about 20 minutes.
Quick Side Note to Why Racing: If seven of your port-a-potties are around a corner from the main start area, a sign or guiding volunteer would be useful. Our line would have been half the length if more folks knew about that bonus pod. Thanks!
I’m back…The plus side of all that rush was that I didn’t have any time to worry about the race, the weather, or if I had the right podcasts in my queue. Instead I was in the mob of folks heading toward the start line before I knew it. And that lovely flow lasted most of the race.
The Couve Clover Run has three distance options (3, 7, or 10 miles), and I had gone for the Lucky 7-miler. All participants started together with the 3-milers splitting off around mile 2 to head back to the finish line while the rest of us kept going. Most of the families were part of that shorter race so the remaining runners and walkers were a much quieter bunch. About half the participants were wearing the race event shirt so all ahead of me I got to read: “May the luck of the Irish run within you all year long!” My late sign up meant I got a prior year race shirt (wise use of resources Why Racing) plus a set of cute and cozy gloves that will be perfect for a future starting line prep.
The 7-mile course included a lot of varied terrain. We started going through a portion of downtown Vancouver before heading past Fort Vancouver. Then it was alongside a park. Then over to the waterfront. And then onto the sidewalks again from a park area to one that was more industrial. The longest portion of the course was around mile 4 when I was watching and waiting for our turnaround spot. The rest of the course had such variety that there was always something different to look for.
After the turnaround (good luck 10-mile runners!), the return trip felt much faster. Back through the industrial to the waterfront to the park sidewalks and this time toward the finish line rather than back to the Fort. Sadly there was a very cruel one-block diversion before the finish line (I guess it would have been 6.7 miles or something without it). The adorable leprechaun on the finisher medal felt like a good reward for all the miles and especially that one darn block.
The weather stayed perfect for the after-party. There was a great park area to spread out and enjoy looking out at the water. The food included soup, sandwiches, beer, and lots of water to rehydrate. The only thing missing was cookies. And that is what I went searching for on the way back home.
Next year (and I’ll be back for next year), I’ll aim to get there a bit earlier to avoid the rush and bring cookies in the car (just in case).