"Another Blog on the Fire" Michael Dashiell
Contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Dashiell (that's me) is editor of the Sequim Gazette. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Western Washington University, has worked at the Sequim Gazette for about 10 years and enjoys writing — occasionally. He and his wife Patsene live in Sequim; their two daughters are in college. He will write about anything, but particularly enjoys sports, arts, breaking news and news-of-the-weird. He also enjoys writing about himself in the third person.
“Man it’s hot. It’s like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn’t take this kind of hot.”
— Matthew Broderick in “Biloxi Blues”
Runners are, by nature, funny people. I don’t mean comical. I mean, weird. Especially en masse.
Get a bunch of ‘em together, and they start wearing costumes and painting things on themselves and considering eating things during a road race most people wouldn’t eat otherwise.
And so it was last weekend that I and 48,000 of my closest acquaintances (by proximity) decided to stand around in the cold for an hour, then run in the burgeoning heat of Spokane for about seven-and-a-half miles — including a monster hill — and then sitting around to brag about it.
Bloomsday is one of those things that — if you’re any kind of athletic and live in Washington state — you should do at least once. Even if you’re not a runner.
What you get to experience is the best and worst of humanity. Up until a few years ago, people would literally knock each other over (men, women, children, old folks, Nobel laureates, whatever) to get ahead because all 50,000 or so runners would converge from three streets into one that could uncomfortably handle only 22 runners across.
In other words, a human blender.
The process is a little more humane now, sort of. Now we go in waves — elite and super-fast runners first, semi-fast runners next, runner wanna-bes and over-achievers next, then people-who-want-to-run-but-realize-they-should-walk-but-run-anyway, followed by walkers, crawlers, flower-pickers and tortoises.
It’s fun, they say. Yeah, I suppose so.
Anyway, I “ran” this thing last year in 1 hour, 14 minutes or so. My goal this year was to beat that. And not to die along the course. Only one person needed CPR this year, and looks like he’s gong to pull through.
I hope to as well. My legs are a shambles, but that’s what happens when you don’t train enough and then run as hard as your 35-year-old legs can take you. If you were me.
A special note for this year’s race: my stepdaughters Chelsea and Hallie both completed the race. Chelsea, 23, did a little better than completing it. She ran it in 1:03:56, better than her 2011 time and better than mine. Hallie, 19, walked her first Bloomsday and came in at 1:28:41, a respectable 6,922nd among the 28,636 females. Her 3:53 split up Doomsday Hill was best in our immediate family.
As usual, our host (and my uncle) Frank Oberst had a blast walking the course while my dad, Robert Dashiell, took the day “off” and chose to photograph the day’s events. Cousin Ryan finished in 1:05:29, pretty good for a 38-year-old with a pacemaker (no joke).
And me? I finished in 1 hour, 8 minutes, 26 seconds — not my best Bloomsday time (1:01:32 in 2000), but definitely better than last year.
Now, it’s on to Port Townsend’s Rhody Run, set for May 20. If my legs start working by then.