Kevin’s Cup XXIII Recap and Results

Even in cross country, there are courses that are ‘flat and fast’. Designed to eke out top speed and PR attempts, they use this label to attract participants that have a goal in mind. Then there are races like this. Races where you speed (at whatever pace entails speeding for you) among bark dust trails, and find yourself hitting the brakes to make a 300 degree turn while dropping 8 feet. Then doing your best mountain goat technique through boulders on a beach. Immediately after, slogging across some soft sand. Climbing stairs. Some more switchbacks, this time uphill. Then realizing the process must be completed again for a second lap. The watch becomes irrelevant and the fun truly begins. Oh, and we can’t forget the nerd theme.

Some nerds before the race. -Photo courtesy of Susan Schmidt

It was definitely a chilly but beautiful morning in West Linn as participants arrived at Mary S. Young park. A quick check in was accompanied by receiving a cool event glass and pocket protector that many added to their nerd ensemble. It was usually about that time when they learned that the bathrooms were locked for unknown reasons. It was definitely a benefit to be a man and duck into the woods for a few moments. I had misplaced my gloves over the summer and didn’t have any warm up pants, so elected to sit in the car for about 15 minutes before doing a long warm up.

When I judged it was time I hopped on the course and traversed it backwards to get a feel for what it entailed. Keeping the speed down was a little bit of a struggle on the curvy trail through the woods. It was then I discovered the switchbacks and bridges and they were fun, if a little tricky. I made a mental note to really watch the footing on the island section, which was littered with large boulders. It would not do to get so caught up in the fun of bounding through it at too high of a speed and risk a potentially nasty injury. There were also two little creeks to the side of it that could be crossed by jumping.

After returning to the start area and getting a decent stretch in, it was time to get ready to race. There was a quick course description, a singing of Happy Birthday to the RD, and we were off. There were a handful of people in front of me as we started climbing the road to get on the trail, but by the time we were 400m in, I had gotten in front. I used the long downhills to relax and get a faster pace with gravity, and made sure to pay attention through the switchbacks. I had no issues finding the way, as the prolific use of cones made the course clear. Some of the uphills were fairly steep, and required quite a bit of effort to conquer. The stairs I took two or three at a time, as we only climbed them. It was fun to weigh out effort level on the uphills and downhills for the best overall speed and not overdo it. Some races, I finish feeling fresh and get frustrated as I feel I could have run much harder. This one, I crossed the line and immediately started heaving, a sure sign I had reached some sort of limit. My time of over 37 minutes had me a bit befuddled, until we were told the course was a lot closer to 5.9 miles.

I joined some of the other leaders for a cool down lap and cheered on the participants we saw. Thankfully, the post race celebration and awards were at a pizza place just down the road. Heating, pizza, and beer made for some happy runners. It was fun to meet a handful of new people and watch the random, yet potentially useful prizes (like a huge can of hominy) get raffled off. Great course, happy crowd, low-key event, these are all hallmarks of a race worth returning to.

You can find the full results here

Male Overall Winners

1. Brian Bernier 31, 37:38

2. Thomas Ferrel 35, 38:37

3. Erik Soreng 37, 38:57

Female Overall Winners

1. Shannon Rahlves 39, 41:06

2. Morgan Denny 33, 45:23

3. Erin Moran 41*, 45:55

Male Masters

1. Noah Megowan 41, 40:45

2. Vinay Prasad 40, 44:06

3. Brian Westby 44, 44:57

Female Masters

1. Joy Fabos 42, 50:35

2. Shanda Button 42, 51:28

3. Wendy Boyer 44, 51:30

‘*’- denotes Master


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