Race Review: The Second Annual Top Pot Doughnut Dash 5K

Top Pot 5K LogoThe lion of March, which ushered in the coldest April on record in the Seattle metro area, finally yielded to the lamb on Sunday. The sun shone brightly as runners began lining up for the 2nd annual Top Pot Doughnut Dash 5K to benefit Childhaven.

Nearly 1,900 runners and walkers completed this year’s race. And among the finishers was none other than Top Pot co-founder himself, Mark Klebeck, proving that doughnuts and running are not mutually exclusive with his impressive 23:12 finish.

The race came to a fast finish as runner Eric Garner led the men in, posting a time of 15:37. Sayaka Yoshinaga became the first female finisher a few minutes later, coming in at 18-flat.

The full results of the race are available here.

About The Course

The 3.1-mile course winds its way through the streets and trails that encircle Seattle’s Greenlake Park. On a beautiful day like Sunday, it’s not hard to see how Greenlake has become one of the most popular spots in the region for runners (and other outdoor enthusiasts). It was hard to keep my eyes on the course, and off the clear, still lake and the flowering cherry blossoms surrounding it.

You can get a better look at the course on the Garmin data below, just bear in mind that the margin of error on the GPS data means that the course map is somewhat incomplete. The start and finish should be at the same point. To complete the map, simply trace the remaining few yards down Greenlake Drive, then merge back into the starting chute before arriving at the finish.
Gaining only eleven feet over the race, the course is relatively flat and fast. If you’re looking to set a PR, this would be a good race for it. If you don’t believe me, just frame my finish time in the context of this being only my second run following a six month break taken to recover from plantar fasciitis.

A good crowd builds up along Greenlake Drive. But spectators are few and far between along the rest of the course.

Also worth noting is that the park is not closed to regular users during the event, which can lead to a few wrong-way near misses.

Post-Race Events

Many of the walkers were still coming in as the awards ceremony commenced following the race.

The ceremony was followed by the 1K Kids Dash, and a live performance by Chris Ballew in his alter ego as Caspar Babypants.

While substantially different from the Seattle native’s usual role as the leader of alt rock group The Presidents of the United States of America, it was a fantastic way to pass the time while munching on the free finisher’s doughnut.

Comments? Questions? Thoughts to share?

For only being the 2nd annual, this race was astonishingly well organized (due, I’m sure, in no small part to Pro-Motion’s experience with these sorts of events). The only dicey piece, which is a problem with most fun runs, was the lack of any organized pace groups in the starting corral.

Without so much as a pace sign, runners needed to make the uncomfortable decision between being potentially behind slower runners, or in front of faster ones. The first couple hundred yards, before turning onto Greenlake Drive, ended up a game of leap-the-walker. In the absence of pace groups on subsequent annuals, serious runners hoping to PR should opt to take a forward position, regardless of pace.

If you happen to be in the Seattle area during a subsequent run, I would highly recommend taking the opportunity to join in on the fun.

Okay, readers. This is my first foray into race reviews. What did you like? What did you hate? Where would you like to see more detail? Help me improve by leaving your feedback (on the review or the race) in the comments!


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