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