An increase in daylight and mild weather coaxes even the most reticent runner out of their winter hibernation to join the throngs of people who take to the pedestrian paths along Green Lake and the Burke Gilman. Further motivating folks looking to jumpstart their spring running, Spencer Walsh, Club Northwest athlete, coach, and the feature of this article, offers year-round Tuesday evening workouts open to the community, at Seattle’s Roosevelt High School track.
Running Seattle’s red line hurts; it empties the lungs of oxygen, recruits those sleepy, hill-charging muscles, and negates the commonly held belief that gentrification within the boundaries of the red line honors the pre-existing communities. This route and the activity of running it are a lasting reminder of Seattle’s racist history. If you are looking for a way to honor Black History Month and experience Seattle’s history, I invite you to get uncomfortable and run the red line.
Nothing brings out squad love quite like cross country, and this is also true for Club Northwest. While Club athletes compete regularly in individual road races and USATF track and field events, runners donning the hallmark electric orange singlets swarm en masse to the golf courses and the infamous hills and slippery turns of Lower Woodland to compete in the fall XC season.
As autumn approached, fall marathon training cycles began for those runners targeting one of the season’s many prestigious road races. Over the years, Club Northwest has noticed an increase in participation among its athletes in road marathons, including those that take place in fall. In response, Club’s Vice President of Teams, Waqar Shaikh, and Team Manager, Mark Bloudek, launched a pilot program to assist fall marathon participants with race registration and travel expenses.
Communities and our participation therein come to form the crux of our identities, often defining and redefining our concept of self. And, so, from a very young age, we embark on a search for the intangible: that sense of belonging. For some, finding a community of like-minded individuals comes easily. For others, finding their tribe involves years of trial-and-error, heartbreak, intense highs, traumatic lows, and a labyrinth of self-discovery. My search falls squarely into the latter.
For Olympian and national champion high jumper Inika Mcpherson, taking pride in every aspect of her identity, including her identity as a queer woman of color, is a daily practice of self-love and celebration of life.
In preparation for this month’s On the Blog, I had the honor of interviewing Inika just before she headed to Des Moines, Iowa to compete in the 2018 USATF Outdoor Championship. Inika’s unbridled fierceness and vigor for life empower others to shine brightly.
As the weather heats up, a mid or post run dip in a cold body of water makes for a refreshing break or finale. But if you have run in Seattle with any regularity, you’ve likely lapped Green Lake countless times and may feel a bit squeamish about what lies beneath. Sure, there’s Seward Park and Madison Beach, but, like Green Lake, these summer favorites are often packed and along the beaten path. This month’s On the Blog features lesser-known and creative alternatives to Seattle’s more popular swimming holes.
A Prelude to Some Grit…
When I put together the Women’s Month Article Questionnaire, I didn’t anticipate close to 40 responses from female-identified athletes all over the world. From elite marathoners to a Team USA triple jumper to local XC athletes, the women who contributed truly represent the top tier of competitive distance runners and track and field athletes. The voices featured below range in age from 22 to 51, and draw from a diverse socioeconomic, cultural, linguistic, and racial demographic. Without hesitation, these courageous athletes responded to the following four questions, thus providing the fodder for this month’s Club Northwest blog post.