I was unable to make it to any of the multiple pre-race packet pick up dates, due to my distance from Portland. This was not a problem as number pick up was a breeze if you had checked your email and already knew your number. Temperatures were still a bit low, so the trick was to keep moving and stay warm before gun time. Due to the length and slow pace of the run I had not planned on doing much of a warm up, but intended to just stretch a little beforehand and make sure I was hydrated. I had looked over the course map the night before online and felt fairly comfortable with what the route entailed. It was three 10K loops, with an aid station at the start/finish and approximately 2 miles in that could be accessed at the merging of the out and back. The first section followed the road before getting on the trail for the out and back, while the last section entailed following a paved path that meandered around a little before merging back about a quarter-mile from the start.
An official called for those running seven minute pace or faster and a handful of us stepped forward. After a quick explanation of the aid stations, turnarounds, and the course, we were off. As usual, I was running without a watch, but was planning on holding about 6:20 pace to finish a little under two hours. One man quickly pulled away from everyone, and a pair of women started not too far back. I resisted the urge to start fast and didn’t catch the women until we were nearly at the first mile mark. The beginning was mostly flat and it was nice to be in the open under the warm sun. As we got into the trees it definitely cooled off.
For the most part, my run was uneventful. I took advantage of the turnarounds to high-five the leader and a couple of people I knew in the race. I was nice to cheer and get cheered on by those heading the other direction. After the first 10K it was a little warmer and I tossed aside my hat and shirt near the finish. One of the race officials was kind enough to grab and bag it for me to pick up at the end of the run. On my second loop, I saw that people were starting to head back the way they had come, on the road, and I directed them back to the path so they could stay on course. The aid stations were at great locations, as I stopped to walk a couple of times to ensure I drank enough water, and got several gel packets over the course of the event. It helped, but was not quite enough, as fatigue and tight muscles slowed me down with three miles to go and I was passed by five men. I had managed to run the first 20K under 6:20, but didn’t have what it took to hold it.
Post-race food was plentiful, subs, crepes, cookies, and assorted other goodies. It felt great to refuel. The first 100 finishers of the 30K also got some awesome running socks. I happened to win one of the mini pies that was raffled off, and got to pick from several flavors. The ribbons and plaques were set out on a table and shortly after I learned that the awards ceremony was to be occurred the results were set out as well. People went up to check, and began helping themselves to the ribbons and plaques. By the time I realized what was occurring and wandered up, the ones I should have been able to pick up had already been taken.
Nonetheless, the carrot finishers medal is pretty cool, along with the satisfaction of completing the run. That is not an easy course, at any distance really, so crossing the line is an accomplishment in itself. It was cool to see the miles go by, passing each marker, and conserving effort for a strong run. A country run beats a city one any day of the week, seeing nature at a comfortable pace and enjoying the fresh air.
You can find the complete results of all the distances here
1. Rocky Wing 37, of Hillsboro, 1:51:55
2. Filip Schmole 38, of Portland, 1:58:48
3. Aaron Gassner 38, of Durham, 2:01:27
1. Stephanie Henstrom 39, of Portland, 2:04:48
2. Marianne Falk 32, of Portland, 2:04:48
3. Brittney Forster 40*, of Portland, 2:13:38
1. Todd Bryan 52, of Milwaukee, 2:01:52
2. David Graham 44, of Portland, 2:07:07
3. William Barry 43, of Beaverton, 2:11:18
1. Katie Grimes 51, of Sherwood, 2:24:35
2. Karisa Thede 53, of Salem, 2:27:59
3. Mary Smart 44, of Portland, 2:29:48
‘*’- denotes Masters