The drive actually wasn’t too bad, a straight shot down I5 and then some country roads that would have the guys from ‘American Pickers’ jealous. In a way, the area around Scio makes you feel like you’re going back in time, quiet and quaint. I got there with plenty of time and packet pickup was a breeze. Organized to raise money for the Lebanon High School Cross Country team, I think many of the volunteers were kids who run and know how events work. All of the young volunteers, from the kids telling me where to park, to the ones passing out medals at the finish line, were enthusiastic and knowledgeable. They were on top of it, and wouldn’t have left their GU at home, like this girl.
A smaller race, there isn’t anywhere to buy last minute items you might have forgotten and there was only Gatorade along the course. I got lucky and ran into a familiar face, rambled about my morning and ended up with some HammerGel. One of the many reasons I love smaller events, you might actually see people you know.
Gun timed, there was an early start for the Half Marathon walkers and the regular start began promptly at 9:30AM. Nothing fancy, just a starting line with chalk across the road, and a Bronco loving announcer, my kind of run. From the Roaring Rapids Park, we headed out for a short mile loop before passing the park, again, on our way out. The sun was shining and it really was tank top weather in February. In the background, you could see gentle hills with some snow dusting across some of the mounds. Quiet and so amazingly peaceful, the drive was worth it.
Quiet, except at the mile markers and one band along the course. Every mile marker had music playing and runners were trying to come up with the common theme among the songs. Every run you’re looking forward to mile markers, but this run added to that excitement. At each mile, there were three bib numbers; if your bib number was on the sign, you won a prize at the finish line. It was like running and playing the lottery at the same time, and as close to playing the lottery as I get. Super fun.
The course itself was mostly flat, a few gradual climbs, nothing super steep. It was an off day for me, and I felt like I was running in slow motion, but if ever there’s a ‘good’ run for that, this one is it. I really got to take in everything around me. The picturesque mountains in the background, fields all over the place, cows, chickens and barns, it was a fun change of scenery for this suburb running mom. I think I saw two cars and one bus the entire run. The streets weren’t closed; it’s just that rural out there.
Plenty of water stations along the course and a port-a-potty just after mile 10. Left on the trailer, you had to hop up to use it, which you don’t see often, but it made me chuckle and at least you had an option. A 12 mile loop, you didn’t see the same thing twice and it was well marked and easy to follow. We even got to run through a covered bridge in the last mile.
Definitely worth a trip to Scio, it’s a well organized event, friendly people and a beautiful course. A great event for students; it’s more than affordable and great timing for the upcoming track season. I’ll give it another run and hopefully get my teenager to join me next time around.
For complete race results click here.