This morning, I participated in the Oregon Trail Runs "Hell of the Northwest" 10K (there was also a half marathon). Many ask me why I enjoy racing (not just running, but racing) so much. Today proved why. I met two brand new trail runners who were nervous and not quite sure what to expect. I met a couple from Salem who wanted to chat about Subarus - they saw me drive in - and we had our own mini Subaru drivers fan club. An incredible ultra-runner who is highly respected, Sage Canaday, was there. Such a humble, genuine person. Several ladies asked me what kind of trail running vest I wore - so I got to talk about my love of the Ultimate Direction Jenny Jurek vest. Some brave runners were dressed in costumes ... much braver runners than I. I got to high five with a bunch of kids at the aid stations - great energy! I stuck around to wait for the first timers to finish and get the "low-down" ... they LOVED it and are hooked on trail running - always important to bring more people to the sport who love it as much as we do. There were unique porta-potties that I hope are instituted at most, if not all, racing events. And, of course, Mike and Andi (race directors of Oregon Trail Runs) were gracious hosts to all of us! Being a member of the running community is a humble, rewarding experience.
Registration is open for, in my opinion, the best destination race weekend in the Pacific Northwest. This is as close to heaven as it gets for runners and their families.
One of the many superb aspects of the Sunriver Marathon for a Cause weekend is that everyone has an opportunity to participate. If you aren't into running, or have a family member who isn't a runner, look into the speed golfing event at Caldera Springs Links in Sunriver. Want to qualify for Boston? You can put in your best effort at the Sunriver Marathon, on Sunday, August 31, to do just that. This course is flat, flat, flat and very fast. Totally obsessed with running and want to complete two races in one weekend? You can do that at the Sunriver Marathon weekend, too, but participating in the Challenge Races. On Saturday, August 30, you have the choice of participating in the 5k, 10k, or half marathon. Then, on Sunday, August 31, you can participate in the half marathon or marathon events. The kids can also participate in their very own event, the Kids Dash.
If you have not visited Sunriver, it is an amazing place to go for a family vacation. You can choose to stay at the Sunriver Lodge, which is divine, or you may choose to reserve a house or condo throughout the community. There are paved multi-use paths that traverse all of Sunriver. Plenty of relaxing activities are available, such as the ultra-peaceful spa at the Sunriver Lodge. Sharc, a huge aquatics center is available to have a splashing good time at. Your opportunities to have an amazing weekend are endless.
This is one race I will add to my yearly race calendar. I'll be participating in the Challenge Race for 2014, the half + half. I've even talked my brother and sister-in-law from Flagstaff, Arizona to join in the weekend activities with me. So exciting! Make sure to get registered for one of more of the weekend's events! It is going to be amazing! I'll see you at the races!
-Jessica, Run Oregon Blogger
The forecast was for rain, rain, and … even more rain for Saturday, December 21. Needless to say, I wasn’t as excited as usual about rain, as I would be at the starting line for the Eugene Holiday Half & Hustle. At packet pick-up on Friday evening, I was doubting my sanity a little bit. Having previously committed to the half marathon, I downgraded to the 5k instead. I wasn’t in the mood for running in the rain, as I usually am.
Saturday morning came around, and it was fabulous out! Blue skies and high clouds were present at the start line. I even had to wear my sunglasses!
The Eugene Holiday Half & Hustle started in the parking lot of Eugene’s local Applebee’s. Racers had the option to pick-up their packets on Friday night at Opehlia’s Place, the charity selected for this event, or they could pick-up race morning inside Applebee’s. This was really clever, as the restaurant was closed to patrons at this time, so racers could sit at the tables and stay warm, as well as use the bathrooms inside.
At 9:45 a.m., the kids lined up at the start line to participate in their own race, which looped around the parking lot. At 10 a.m. sharp, the half marathoners started the race, many of which were dressed quite festively. There were a lot of great costumes that could have easily won the costume contest – glad I wasn’t a judge for it! Staggered three minutes behind the half marathon start were the 10k racers, and another three minutes later the 5k race started. This is the race I was participating in. I was exceptionally pleased (huge kudos Pink Buffalo Racing) that the race, and subsequent distances, started on time.
The course was really neat, as the half marathoners, 10k’ers and 5k racers were all traveling on the same path (Fern Ridge Bike Path). The course had plenty of excellent volunteers, and at any road crossings two volunteers were present directing traffic. Candy canes were posted for mile markers, which was a festive touch.
At the 5k turn around point, we were treated to our first aid station. It’s always nice having an aid station located near the beginning of a race, as I usually participate in half marathons, and find the first aid station to be too far into the race. The first aid station for the Eugene Holiday Half & Hustle was located at approximately the 1.5 mile mark. Volunteers at the aid station were friendly, with plenty of water and Gu gels available to all racers.
As I looped around the turn around, and begun the race back to the finish line, I was finally getting warmed up and into the groove of racing, so I picked up the pace a little. My goal was to break the 30 minute mark for a 5k, as the 5k distance has typically been my worst for time/pace. Zipping back, I thanked the volunteers again for being there to support up, and direct traffic to make the race safe for all of us. Volunteering at a race, especially manning anything to do with traffic, is a “thankless” task. Thank you volunteers, we appreciate you!
Cruising into the finish line, I knew I had reached my goal of sub-30 minutes (27:43 final time). I was thrilled! After crossing, racers were treated to an incredible post-race celebration inside Nacho’s restaurant (which ironically, recently closed for business). Again, it was great to get out of the elements and be inside, even though it was sunny out! Inside, there was water, bagels, meat & cheese to make sandwiches, fruits, chips, dips, and mini sandwich rolls. Excellent job with the post-race refreshments, Pink Buffalo Racing! Very impressive. Also, finishers could get a print out of their preliminary results. I love these! Thank you for doing that, Eclectic Edge Racing! I tape it to the back of my bib so I have my race stats.
This is an excellent race, and one I was put on my calendar for 2014. It’s easy to park, get to, pick-up packets, and leave after the race. The age group finisher medals were lovely, as were the half marathon finisher medals! Excellent hooded shirts, too. Great, great, great job Pink Buffalo Racing!
Click here for all race distance results!
-Jessica, Run Oregon Blogger
Looking for something really, really fun to do on New Year's Eve and/or New Year's Day? I have a brilliant suggestion for you: get registered for the First Run 5k or 10k in Eugene, taking place on Tuesday, December 31 and Wednesday, January 1. You may choose to participate in one of the events, or double up and participate in both!
Sitting home at night on New Year's Eve, watching the ball drop on television in New York City is fun. However, I always get a little jealous when I see the folks running in the New York City New Year's Eve run after the ball drops. They always show it on network television, and I always feel like I am totally missing out. Here's something for all of us to consider; watch the ball drop on network TV, then jump in the car and head down to participate in the First Run 5k or 10k at 11:59 p.m. on New Year's Eve! I'm thinking this is a fabulous idea, myself.
Here's the schedule and how it will all play out. On Tuesday, December 31, a 5k or 10k race will take place, leaving Valley River Inn in Eugene at 11:59 p.m. Packet pick-up, and same day race registration for this event will occur between 10:30 p.m. and 11:40 p.m. at the Columbia Room, located at the Valley River Inn. The race will start at 11:59 p.m. You will be given a super-awesome glow stick to race with, not only for the coolness factor, but for the safety of participants.
The second race will occur on Wednesday, January 1, with the choice of a 5k or 10k. Packet pick-up and same day race registration will occur between 8:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. at the Columbia Room at Valley River Inn. Start time for the race will be 10:00 a.m.
If you choose to participate in both events, the New Year's Eve and New Year's Day races, you will be eligible for extra awards (yes!) based on the cumulative time of both of your finish times. There are multiple combinations of choices you can run your event double: Run both 5ks, run both 10ks, or run one 5k and one 10k. This event will be chip timed for accurate recording and prize distribution.
Both events will follow the bike path of Alton Baker Park, which is really enjoyable to run/walk on, and is safe from vehicular traffic. The night course will be well lit for safety - but please wear that awesome glow stick bracelet, too. The night race will start and finish at Valley River Inn, whereas the Wednesday race will start and finish at El Torito, which is very, very close to the Valley River Inn. Courses will be flat and fast, so lace up those running shoes and get ready to ring in the New Year in style and festive fun! See you at the races!
Day of Race: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 and Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Time: 11:59 p.m. start for Tuesday's race and 10 a.m. start for Wednesday's race.
Distance: 5k or 10k (run/walk)
Cost: $20 for one event, or $35 for both. Add $5 for race day registration. Ages 17 and under or 60 and over deduct $5. Tech shirts available for $10 as supplies last.
Register: Click here to register
-Jessica, Run Oregon Blogger
Last Sunday, November 24th, was the 7th annual EWEB Run to Stay Warm race. Having previously raced this event a number of years ago, my expectations for a smooth, seamless event were quite high.
I registered for the 10k event, and had a number of friends running in the half marathon distance. Races could also choose from a 5k event, or bring along the kids for them to participate in a 400 meter dash. There was a race distance for everyone.
Loving races that have same-day packet pick-up available, I was quickly struck at the longer than normal pick-up lines. To pick-up your packet, you had to visit one table to obtain your bib number, then proceed to another table to collect your race chip. This added an undesireable amount of confusion, for both novice and seasoned runners alike. If you selected the option to pay an additional $15 to add an event tech-shirt, you visited a third table. The tech-shirt did look pretty good this year, being a bright, festive red color for the holidays.
Half marathon racers were scheduled to start at 9 a.m., with 5k and 10k participants leaving the start line at 9:15 a.m. The half marathons started about 10 minutes behind the anticipated start time, and 5k and 10k racers started closer to 9:30 a.m. For both race distances, the first half mile to mile was spent jostling position amongst walkers and slower runners towing the front positions. In the future, having pace markers so folks knew where to line up would be very helpful to ease this congestion during the first portion of all race distances.
Running at Alton Baker park is a treat, even if you live in Eugene and have the opportunity to run the trails anytime. Having this race held exclusively on the paths makes the race safe for all ages to participate.
After finding other runners racing my pace, I was able to set into my running groove. At the 5k split off, there was a huge crowd of folks cheering racers on. This was excellent - thank you supporters for coming out in the freezing cold to cheer everyone on! The 10k and half marathon participants split off and continued down the paths. For the 10k, there were three aid stations, two serving only water, and one with an electrolyte drink. The last two aid stations were located about a quarter mile apart from each other, so a lot of us skipped the third aid station.
Being on the home stretch to the finish line, I started catching up to the racers who brought their dogs along with them. There were a number of racers with dogs this year. If you like to run events with your furry friend, keep this one on your radar for future years.
Crossing the finish line, there was a backlog of racers trying to get their race chip clipped off, their bib torn off to record placing, and half marathoners obtaining their finisher medal. In future years, this congestion should be addressed to not only make it safer for finishers, but to make it less confusing for everyone. One racer tripped after crossing the finish line, and there was a lot of confusion as to where the First Aid tent was.
Post race food included water, Gatorade, bagels, bananas and oranges. If you received an age group or overall race award, the awards ceremony was occurring off-site at The Bridge Bar and Grill, located about 3/4 of a mile from where the finish line was.
Knowing that all proceeds of this race go to EWEB's Customer Care Program, which2013 EWEB Run to Stay Warm Bryan Mumme
helps more than 4,500 households each year save energy and manage their utility bills makes me feel good about participating. It would be excellent if, in the future, the race could start on time, packet pick-up was as simple as stopping at one place to get your bib, chip and t-shirt, and having pace signs with an organized finish line, the race would be a gem.
Half marathon, 10k and 5k race results are located here.
-Jessica, Run Oregon Blogger
Author, Jessica Mumme
Running for fun