There was plenty of elbow room lining up at the start, with walkers and 5K’ers giving room to those running the 10k. Liz Dooley, race director and mother of CDH survivor Finley, said a few words about the foundation, who it benefits and how much she appreciated everyone coming out in support.
The course started through the park, then along the Tualatin River. It was pretty shady and lovely and easy enough to get into a groove. Liz had warned us about a hill and suddenly it was in front of me. It was as short as it was steep and it took a good effort to make it to the top. Thankfully the first aid station was a few yards beyond and the water was refreshing and the cheers appreciated! As we ran along Durham Road there was no shade protection and the sun was HOT! We then turned onto SW 92nd as we passed the High School it was downhill back into the park. We weaved around the parking lot, through the butterfly garden, with volunteers cheering along the way and briefly we were in the shade again.
Coming through the park was a boost – music, cheers and a water station as we began our second loop. Signs of many CDH survivors and angels lined the path, decorated with ladybug balloons. Knowing the course this time, I kept asking myself, isn’t the hill close?! Soon enough it was and taking it a bit slower this time, I was glad to finally have it behind me and the water station just ahead. The last mile was sweaty as I raced toward the finish line, determined to keep those behind me there. A butterfly actually lead me through the butterfly garden and as I turned onto the short gravel path that led to the paved finish line, I could hear the announcer and the cheers. Upon crossing the finish line and receiving my adorable medal, I went to the results table and was pleased to have immediate access to my finish time and place.
My intent for this run was to support Liz and Ladybug CDH Foundation while digging in and actually racing. I pushed hard and was beyond grateful that Acceleration Sports Medicine had a tent to provide assistance. After a quick sign in, I was on the table receiving some deep stretches that helped with a recurring hip issue.
The bacon, waffles and fresh fruit hit the spot, especially since the line was so quick and there were plenty of shady spots to sit and eat. Another short line and I was enjoying an ice cold beer, in which there was a choice of two plus cider. The band was in full swing, providing great music as people danced and the kid’s race got going. Fun to see all the little ones run their hearts out and find joy in the OtterPop at the end! Medals were given to the top finishers and I let out a squeal when my name was announced as third place in Female Masters. The massage gift certificate I received as a prize is much appreciated! Many people collected fabulous door prizes also.
Looking around the park at all the people, supporters, runners, families, survivors it was a race that held meaning while providing a wonderful event for the whole family.