The Mockingbird Foundation Seattle Challenge!

7201 East Green Lake Dr N
Seattle, WA 98115


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Event Description

Spring tour! That's a cry that we haven't heard in the Phish world for decades. Spring is a time for renewal, to get out and about, to challenge yourself. In Seattle what this means is to put away our clothes suitable for 43 degree rain and break out the jackets better for 58 degree rain! There may be puddles, but what better excuse to run than to try to find a way to jump over those? And with Phish's return to the Emerald City, this means it's a time to lace up and make a splash.

Friday is the tour opener so you should still be quite capable of waking up early on Saturday and doing a lap of Green Lake. One of Seattle's most popular running paths, it has a feature so rare in this town. It's flat! Moreover, for the 4/15 show, if you just pretend that 1 isn't there, the 2.8 mile loop is almost exactly 4.5k (4.50616 kilometers if you need some more digits). Just like the Kraken's Carson Soucy, you can represent the number 28, just this time with a decimal point mixed in.  Dr. Souce would obviously prescribe a pre-show run for optimal health!

(Note: in addition to the Kraken, The Seattle Sonics and Storm have played under the roof of Climate Pledge but neither of those teams have had a player who wore 28 as their number. It's like they don't care about people organizing charity races!)

Where is the race?

As stated above, the idea is to do a lap around Green Lake. However, all Mockingbird Foundation races come out of a heritage of the informal virtual race that began this series. Run around your Seattle hotel. Run around your hometown where you saw the webcast. Run up and down the hills that I'm denying you with this boringly flat route; if you want to torture yourself, 2.8 miles would be a run from Climate Pledge, up the Queen Anne Counterbalance to the Kerry Park view point, back down to the venue, and then up again once more. That's a challenge worthy of Colonel Forbin.

When is the race?

While it is hoped that you do not tax yourself too much in your run, April 15th is the date of the event. You may do it any time of the day and if you're running Green Lake, you may choose any point of the course to start and end your lap. It's a reasonably wide path so you can run with a few people but be aware that it is a popular route so leave room for others to pass if needed. For the record, race organizer (and author of this handy dandy race information that you are reading right now) David "ZZYZX" Steinberg plans to run around 10 AM, starting at the 0.0 counter on the east side of the lake and will run counter clockwise.

But what if it rains?

This is Seattle. That's reasonably likely. However, it's not likely to be cold and all Pacific Northwest runners can tell you that the rain actually feels really good once you get going. Is this a myth that we use to lie to ourselves to make us run in this mess? Of course not! Who would do such a thing?

Where is the 0.0 counter you mentioned?

It's approximately at 7201 East Green Lake Dr N. Yes, the road has both an East and a North, but not a Northeast. Find Zzyzx before he starts to run and he'll explain to you how the Seattle road grid works in much more detail than you'd ever want to know.


Hey! Last year we got these cool almost frameable certificates if we out-timed The Timer. Is that happening again?

Of course! Beat my time, and you get a reward. Moreover, unlike last year where I carefully plotted my route to maximize downhill and waited for a day with great weather, this time I'm in the mix with the rest of you. Also I have never quite recovered from my bout of Covid in 2020, so it's easier than ever to beat my time. Well unless I spend the next few months looking to find the secret ways of optimizing the Green Lake route! Note: the actual Outtime the Timer challenge time will be done from a practice run leading up to this, but it will be done around Green Lake.


What about the stuffed animal sloths for the slowest person? Are those back too?

Yes! This is a run for people of all abilities. The longer you're out in a rainstorm, the wetter you might get. So you could be earning the sloth. Love it! Cherish it! Just remember that this is an honor system. No taking a nap in the grass in order to make your time look worse!

You keep talking about rain. What if it's sunny? Does it still count?

Apparently there exist people who like the big bright ball of light in the sky. If that makes an appearance on the 15th, you will get a cool view of the Space Needle from the north side of the lake and you can spend your time trying to see if you can see Mt. Rainier from anywhere on the course.


OK, this sounds like fun! What do we get for running this?

I'm glad you asked! Everyone loves swag! For signing up, you get a medal, a race bib, and a running tanktop, perfect for the oncoming summer. Moreover there will be community to follow. The Mockingbird Virtual Run Twitter and Facebook groups will have new and exciting content. For the Virtual Run it was a collection of favorite running songs. This year's content is still to be determined but hopefully it will not be an explanation as to why there's both an East and a North in that address.


So what are the rules anyway?

The only rule is you begin... to run... or walk... or roll. Start your watch or phone and when it says 2.8 miles, you stop. If you go around Green Lake and do a complete lap and your watch/phone doesn't quite say 2.8 miles yet, feel free to stop it. Any other route though, that's cheating. And you know what cheaters get right? Well usually some good stuff if they're not caught but in this case, you get nothing!

Note: Due to construction of a boathouse, there is currently a detour on the Green Lake trail. As a result, it is highly likely you will record 2.8 miles before you get back to the start. Stop your watch/phone/person next to with a very long measuring tape and a stopwatch and just casually saunter the last little bit. You're done!

Can you tell me a fun fact about this course?

About 1.6 miles in (if you start at the 0.0/2.8 spot and run counterclockwise), as you approach the detour spot, you will see a set of bleachers. The Grateful Dead performed to a crowd there on 8/21/69. This was the final show there. As you approach the grandstands, imagine seeing Jerry there.

Is my Registration Fee Tax Deductible?

The Mockingbird Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation, dedicated to improving access to music education for America’s youth. Each year, the Foundation awards grants to dozens of music education programs, and funds those grants through a combination of fundraising, publishing, and the curation of, one of the earliest Internet fan communities. Therefore, the amount of your registration fee in excess of the fair market value of the participation prizes ($15) is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.


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