There were Seahawks, Ducks, and Beavers. There were also Blazers and Washington State Cougars. There were even Iowa Hawkeyes, Kansas City Royals, and Pittsburgh Steelers. The 2015 SuperFan 5k, held on Saturday, January 31, brought fans of all teams out for a nice race in Mary S. Young Park in West Linn. About 140 runners took to the trails, including EVERY male Run Oregon blogger residing within a 150 mile radius of West Linn.
The (almost) 5k was held completely on some of the trails around Mary S. Young Park. As this was my first exploration into this park, everything was brand new to me. I REALLY need to bring my other daughter to this park and hang out when the weather warms up again. It looks like there is a lot more to explore. But for this race, it was just me and my 5-year-old (being pushed by yours truly) decked out in our Royals gear and cheerleading outfit (hopefully you can guess who was wearing what).
The course was set up for two loops around the westerly portion of the part. The trails looked relative narrow, and I quizzed Joe on his knowledge of the course. He confirmed that there were some areas for passing, but that it was a tight squeeze for the most part. I always find it difficult when I am running with a stroller. On one hand, I don’t want to be annoying and move my stroller into the front of the pack. HOWEVER, I also know that my time is going to average between 8-8:30 min/mile, effectively making me have to pass a bunch of people in the process of running. I went with my courteous tried and true option of parking myself at the back of the pack. I figure there isn’t really a reason to nudge myself up and if I can’t pass people, well then so be it – it’s more about sharing a run with my supportive 5-year-old.
To start, we all lined up in front of an inflatable helmet and as the start gun sounded, we all entered the darkness, necessitating a quick duck to exit (it was only 4 feet high), and emerged on the other side like a real Super Bowl team to take to our own “field”. The day was blessed with blue skies and kept the bark and dirt trails from being anything more than just damp. There was no need to puddle jump or maneuver around standing water, which was much appreciated. True to Joe’s word, the trail had areas for passing, but just barely. I was able to maneuver around some people with my daughter happily encouraging me along. I knew the park was essentially sitting on a slope and would require some climbing, but pushing a stroller on bark…uphill…was more challenging than I anticipated. As much as I felt tired, I knew that it was essentially preparing me even better for some upcoming hilly races I have planned later in 2015.
The second half of the loop was a downhill stretch back to the starting area – a very welcome reprieve. After entering the helmet once again, we took off for a second loop. This time, I was more prepared for the first mile of climbs, and while I verbally expressed to my daughter that “I’m tired”, she kept cheerfully encouraging me that we were almost there (all while being cozily tucked in under our Royals blanket in the stroller). And it was true – in fact a little too soon I suppose. A quick check of the 4 Run Oregon bloggers had us ranging from 2.6-2.9 miles. Yet we all sort of agreed that the number of trees lining the trails likely interfered with our digital measurements.
After the race, there were pancakes and sausage provided – which my daughter dominated (an absolute shock to me) and necessitated us going back for seconds. Results were quickly done with the Run Oregon men making a strong showing (1st, 2nd, 7th, and 29th overall). Awards were also given out to the best dressed male and female – making two super fans very happy indeed.
Overall, this event was well-planned and there was a lot of energy from the race director and volunteers. The course may need to be looked at again for accuracy (or perhaps hand-rolled if not done), but overall I came more for a fun race for my daughter donning our allegiances than I was for course perfection. And even after 2.8-ish miles on trails pushing a stroller with a 5-year-old in it, I was more than tired anyways. My daughter already asked me if she could get some Royals gear for next year (uh…OF COURSE!!) and run this again. She also got Cheetos and Doritos in the swag bag, and I got a coupon for a free coffee at a local coffee shop and a free cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes (amazing). All those things, combined with an energetic race experience, has made me a fan of the SuperFan 5k.