It’s not often you get to run a first time race, so I was excited to be a part of the first ever Double Five Race. Put on by Double Dog Dare U Events, The Double Five was named because participants could run a 5 mile, a 5K, or try the Double Five Challenge and run both distances back to back. I chose the 5 mile, even though the Double Five Challenge sounded pretty cool. But, just coming back from 6 weeks off of running, I was nervous about just getting in 5 miles. To help myself get out of my head, I decided that I wasn’t racing. I was going to test my lungs. And I have to say, this 5 mile course gave my lungs a good test!
My bib number for the day was 1. Yes, I had bib #1. That in itself was pretty cool! Arriving at Lake Oswego’s George Rogers Park for the race, I discovered what a beautiful location this was. Right along the Willamette River with trees in bloom, this was a great spring race venue. The start/finish line was near an amazing looking old iron forge. We lined up to start under grey skies, but the rain held off. We headed along a trail that ran alongside the Willamette River. I reminded myself that I was not racing and reigned in my starting line adrenaline and focused on the amazing scenery.
The first mile stayed along the river and was fairly flat with some gentle rollers. The second mile pulled us away from the river views and became a long slow incline. My lungs started protesting, but I kept thinking how great this section would be on the way back. We passed by the 5K turn-around and soon were meandering through neighborhoods.
The course was clearly marked with large arrows and even some “Wrong Way” signs to help keep us on the right track. On the trickier turns there were volunteers to make sure we knew where to go. But, even without the volunteers, it would have been hard to get lost with all the great signage. The volunteers were positive and cheerful and several of them commented on the fact that I was #1. I have to say, if you ever need some positive reinforcement, wear bib #1. I enjoyed a morning of being told I was #1. 🙂
Even though the course left the river views for a while, the neighborhood views were quite interesting. There was some pretty cool landscaping at one location and another house with a yard filled with giant metal sculptures that almost made me want to stop and look closer. There was always something interesting to look at. Soon we were rewarded with some pleasant downhill.
I thoroughly enjoyed the downhill stretch until we turned a corner only to discover that what goes down, must go up. Holy giant hill, batman! I tried to keep my momentum from the downhill stretch, but as soon as I hit that hill it was like gravity increased and I could barely lift my feet. It was then that my lungs got their greatest test. Once I reached the flat stretch, it took awhile for my lungs to recover and allow me to get back to my previous pace.
The rest of the course was back on the stretch we ran out on, so it was a mix of flat, downhill, and gentle rollers. A great way to wrap up a race. As I made my way towards the finish, I began to be passed by some speedy Double Five Challengers on their way back from running both the 5 mile and the 5K. It was the one and only time I will ever get to follow right behind Joe Dudman to the finish.
There were plenty of post-race snacks available afterwards. A prize raffle and awards kept some of us around after the race, despite the fact that the wind picked up a bit and we were all getting chilly. In the middle of the awards, a downpour suddenly hit and we all huddled under the tents trying to stay dry. Awards were creative – not your typical basic ribbons or medals. Along with the overall and age group awards, several lucky folks walked away with free race entries and running store gift certificates.
Overall, I would declare the first running of the Double Five a success! I will definitely run this race again. Maybe next year I’ll even go for the Double Five Challenge. Regardless of which distance you choose, I highly recommend you add this one to your race calendar for next year. The course is beautiful, the race is well-organized, and you have the opportunity to run a different race distance if you try the Challenge. I predict that the Double Five will soon be a sell-out race. Don’t miss this one next year!