Fifty-six people toed the line at the unusual time of 1:00pm for the inaugural Corvallis 5K on Saturday, April 11th. The rare early-afternoon race was timed to coincide with packet pickup for Sunday’s Corvallis Half Marathon.
When I arrived at the starting area at Reser Stadium around noon it was dry and relatively warm, but dark clouds loomed to the west, the same direction from which gusty winds were blowing some nearby flags. Packet pickup inside The Samaritan Athletic Medical Center was quick and efficient, and a large, clear course map was displayed outside.
As people began to gather near the start around 12:45, the dark clouds made their presence felt with a cold rain, and I decided to wait inside until the last minute. It’s always a toss-up whether to stand around in the elements and get acclimated, or avoid the wind, cold, and rain as long as possible and face a shock when you finally step to the line. This time I opted for the latter.
The countdown began, the horn sounded and we were off, heading out of the Reser Stadium parking lot, and running north along a tree-lined boulevard. The wind and cold rain were noticeable for most of the first mile, but the precipitation mercifully let up for the rest of the race. We were still faced with a headwind as we turned west and began a long out-and-back, but that meant we would benefit from a tailwind on the return trip.
The course was pretty straightforward and nicely designed, on wide streets with plenty of space to pass as runners came and went. On the way out we stayed right on a divided section of road and came back over a covered bridge. The tailwind was a nice contrast from the extra effort I had to make battling the gusts on the way out.
Another nice aspect of the course was a early turn back south, which made the out-and-back shorter and more tolerable than it would have been otherwise. We crossed some train tracks and took a left turn onto a bike path. A few blocks later we turned south again and made our way back into the stadium parking lot and the finish, where bagels, bananas, and other refreshments awaited.
By this time the weather was back to dry and calm. Runners names were announced as they crossed the line, and results were posted promptly. Individual results printouts were available from the Eclectic Edge van.
The first Corvallis 5K was a well-organized and fun race on a fast course. As an added benefit, it was also exactly 10 miles shorter than the Corvallis Half Marathon!
Results can be found HERE.