This year, the morning started out with a thick fog, but quickly the fog vanished and the skies turned blue without a hint of clouds. Although it was very cold at the start line, the race organizers provided heaters and even a fire pit for participants to huddle around and stay warm.
Parking was ample, with excellent volunteers assisting with getting all participants parked in an orderly fashion. After parking, I proceeded the short distance to the race start/packet pick-up area. I love races that provide this option, and sincerely appreciate them doing so. I picked up my packet, the line was short and moved very quickly, and then I was off to the bag check prior to the start of the race. The bag check was also staffed by super friendly volunteers. I checked my bag so I didn’t have to run back to my car, and could instead get in the porta-pottie line. Believe it or not – this was well organized and managed, too, with plenty of facilities and even a real hand washing station!
Once it was time to start gathering at the start-line for the 9 a.m. start, volunteers cheerfully went along with pacing signs to help participants get situated into the right starting order based on their overall pace per mile. Runners were let out of the starting gate in groups of about 15-20 to ease congestion on the narrow gravel and paved trail that covered the first half mile of the course. Aid stations (and restrooms on the course) were scattered about every 2 miles, which was a SUPER awesome treat. Every single aid station had the BEST volunteers I have ever had the joy of encountering. At two of the aid stations, volunteers were handing out Clif Bars to participants, which was a nice alternative to the traditional "Gu" packets found at some races.
While winding through the beautiful neighborhoods of Lebanon and rural country roads, I have to also admit that this course was beautiful and pleasing to the eye; there were not any portions of the course that I found to be aesthetically difficult to swallow. Instead, the course appeared to be expertly thought out to take racers through the heart of the community, and really did an excellent job showcasing the city of Lebanon.
At the final turn, with the finish line in sight, the "Grim Reaper" was welcoming everyone home. His voice and costume were spot on for this position.
After running through the finishing chute, my timing chip was clipped off my laces and I was handed a refreshing bottle of Dutch Bros. water. Then, the beautiful medal was draped around my neck. The medal last year was acrylic and had a magnet attached to the back; the medal this year was a real medal, with a pumpkin spinner and glitter - lovely!
Food options were immense to re-fuel racers. McDonald's offered coffee and chocolate milk, Cabot had cheese trays lines up everywhere with delicious morsels to taste, Great Harvest Bread was offering gigantic slices of their savory breads with all sorts of spreads. There was fruit, bagels, chips, and so many more options to choose from. The spread was superior. Massage therapists and a small assortment of other vendors were present, too.
Thank you for the excellent medal this year, and for offering two tech shirt options, the women's purple short-sleeve cut, and the uni-sex black long sleeve choice! I loved the race this year. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. job Runaway Pumpkin race team - you really did stellar work! Results are posted here!
-Jessica, Run Oregon Blogger