Mud Grand Prix Runs Celebrates Winter Solstice on Sunday

I’m a Native Oregonian and can’t believe I’m just now hearing about an Oregon tradition called The Mud Grand Prix. Started in 1978 by Steve Cackley, they originally included 7 runs in the series. They ran on the solstices and equinoxes, as well as the hottest, coldest and wettest days of the year.  The hottest, coldest and wettest days would vary based on weather records from the previous year.  The Mud Grand Prix tradition continues, but they meet quarterly for the Vernal Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumnal Equinox and Winter Solstice.

The Winter Solstice falls on Sunday, December 21st and runners will meet to celebrate at Chapman Elementary. The run begins at 9 a.m. from Wallace Park at Chapman Elementary and makes its way to Lower Macleay Park. It runs portions of the Wildwood and Leif Erickson Trails and is not an official ‘race’ distance, with it being a 6.76 mile run.

I love the history of this series. Apparently one of the first winners and long-time course record holder was Gordon Haller. A bit of a celebrity in the triathlon world, Gordon Haller was the winner of the first Ironman in 1978. He might not be there on Sunday, but the tradition will continue.  The Mud Grand Prix Series meets quarterly, it isn’t anything fancy just a good excuse to get out and run. If you can’t make the Winter Solstice, continue to check the website for 2015 events. I’m excited to hear about this race series, better late than never.

Music to our Ears: Run Oregon reviews of Sony Walkman and Jaybird Bluebuds X headphones

Run Oregon sometimes receives products to review. We recently received a few pairs of headphones to keep ourselves company on our longest runs this winter. Here are our impressions of:

Sony Walkman Sports MP3
Jaybird Bluebuds X Bluetooth

Teresa: Sony Walkman Sports MP3 (MSRP: $89.99)

Everybody in the 80’s either had or wanted a Sony Walkman. They were clunky, heavy and sounded like you were playing your cassette tape through a tin can, but at the time they were RAD. Sony has a new Walkman out. This one is a little smaller, a little lighter, sounds way better and best of all you can even swim in it. For a tri girl like me, that is a HUGE deal. One of the things I hate most about getting my laps in is how boring it is. With the new Sony Walkman, I can bring a whole new energy to what is normally a boring workout. Continue reading

Race recap: 2014 Holiday Half Marathon

Holiday AWESOMENESS at the 2014 Holiday Half

Last weekend, I ran Foot Traffic’s Holiday Half Marathon for the second time. There’s nothing quite like running a half marathon without reeeeeally training to smack me with a BIG SLICE OF HUMBLE PIE right in the face, and a not-so-subtle reminder that I need to get back to training regularly!

For me, Sunday’s Holiday Half Marathon was definitely a reality check. Lately–like many/most people this time of year–I’ve barely worked out, I’ve eaten too many holiday sweets, and I haven’t gotten enough sleep. As a result, it’s a pretty common thing to see fitness levels decrease over the winter. But it’s still kind of a bummer when you’re actually confronted with it! That’s why doing a holiday race, especially a half marathon, can be a great way to stay motivated all winter long.  At least I get a little training in before the race instead of giving up entirely until the spring, and after a less than stellar winter race performance, you’re motivated to get back in the saddle and log those miles! (At least that seems to be the case for me, anyway). And the fun holiday race atmosphere softens the blow (like I needed another excuse to dress up in costume). Continue reading

Race preview: 2015 Fight For Air Climb, January 25th, U.S. Bancorp Tower, Portland

Stair climbs are a unique and distinct sub-set of running events. With a built-in course and a set distance, sky-scraper stairwells provide an interesting and convenient setting for challenging races. I’ve never run one of these events, but I do know that stairs tire out certain of my leg muscles a lot more quickly than “conventional” hills.

My cats love sprinting up the stairs in my house, and I used to bound up the stairs two-at-a-time in my youth, but these days running up steps leaves my legs begging for mercy. There’s a point during the Red Lizards’ “Tour de Goose” run from Goose Hollow to Fairview where we run up the stairs in the Rose Garden (the one with the actual flowers, not what is now known as the Moda Center), and as hard a climb as the rest of the course is, those steps are where I really feel it. There’s something about the physics of climbing stairs that’s a lot more taxing on the leg muscles than mere hills.

Despite all those dire comments, I’m still planning to tackle my first official stair climb on Sunday, January 25th, at the Fight For Air Climb at the U.S. Bancorp Tower (“Big Pink”) in downtown Portland, a fundraiser for The American Lung Association.

Continue reading

Race Preview: 2015 Vancouver Lake Half Marathon

Joe D. at the 2008 Vancouver Lake Half

Registration is open for the Vancouver Lake Half Marathon, which will take place on Sunday, January 25th. The race is capped at 400 participants and is predicted to sell out. The course is a flat out and back and out again on Reiger Road starting at a picnic shelter on Vancouver Lake. Aid stations with water and porta-potties will be placed every three miles. Parking at the park is limited, so please car-pool!

For more information check out the Clark Country Running Club website, follow CCRC on Facebook, and join the Facebook EventContinue reading