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Race Recap: 39th Annual Pear Blossom Run

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Everyone’s A Winner” is the famous slogan for Medford’s, Pear Blossom Run.  Year after year, the race directors, sponsors, volunteers, and participants do an outstanding job of making sure each and every athlete believes that about themselves.  This year was no different.  The 39th anniversary of the Pear Blossom on April 11, 2015 did not disappoint.

As always, packet pickup was easy and efficient.  Sponsors such as Norris Shoes, Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, and Atlas Race Obstacle Racing Series were there to offer information, products, and discounts.  The packets included many coupons and informative flyers from more sponsors and of course, fresh pears were a’plenty for the taking! A few new treats were offered this year… a redesigned logo for the ever popular race shirt and finishers medals for all the 5k and 10 mile participants! (Will Run for Bling, right?)  

Race day started out overcast and a bit chilly, which was perfect for running, and I for one was very happy the rain held off until the end of the race!  I arrived just in time to see many of the 1329 athletes finishing their 5k after the 7am start.  Fifteen year old Lars Weston from Ashland Oregon, won the 5k for the men in an impressive 17:59  and winning the women’s race was 37-year-old Sera Mathewes from Gold Hill Oregon in 18:30!

Full results for the 5k can be found here.

Next up…the first of the two Mayors Cup Fun Runs kicked off with the participants running 1 mile out and back.  At 8:30am the 2mile Fun Run began and all athletes received ribbons.  It is so great to see all the school aged children and many of their parents and grandparents getting out and running/walking together!

Proud Mayor's Cup Finishers

Proud Mayor’s Cup Finishers

I always love races that have wheelchair athletes.  I am forever in awe of these amazing people and love to cheer them on!  At 8:10 with a Medford City Police escort, they were off on their 10 mile race!  (I would see them again at about mile 4 when they wizzed past me!)

Now it was our turn!  All 967 athletes excited to run 10 miles! I don’t know why I always get butterflies, (or nerves, or the willies… whatever you want to call it) but I do.  I’m always a little jumpy at the start and it takes about a mile to get settled into my pace… but I love the beginning of races.  I watch people’s strides, look at their shoes, read their shirts.  It’s people watching at its best!

Start of 10 mile

Aaannnddd they’re OFF!!! Start of 10 mile

I know the course well.  I run it all the time with my running group.  We go out West Main Street which is pretty flat until we turn right on Hanley.   About this time, the leader of the pack comes sailing by… I cheer and yell ‘Good Job’ to him and others with him, so impressed with these front runners.

It’s beautiful rural country… horses, cows, pear orchards in bloom… really very beautiful. You almost miss the fact that you are running up a gradual incline… almost.  Then you get to Hanley hill.  Not horrible as hills go, but a hill non the less.  Yet, you know that just over the other side, after a nice decline, you get grab a drink at the third aid station and turn around to cheers and shouts from friendly spectators.  Then it’s back to the barn, so to speak… Up Hanley hill, turn right at West Main Street and smooth sailing to the finish!  That’s right… that gradual incline all the way out… is a blessedly wonderful decline all the way back!

About 800m from the finish line you start seeing lines of people and hearing them cheer for all the finishers.  It doesn’t matter that some may not know you, many do… that’s a small town race for you.  Everyone is excited for you!  For the fact that you accomplished something important to you… that you stuck it out, even when it got challenging… you didn’t give up.

Whether you were…

  • Trevor Palmer, 31 from Medford, that won the men’s race at 52:02 or
  • Marci Gage, 27 from Gold Hill, celebrating the women’s victory at 57:04…
  • or  80 year old Russ Kennedy, that was the final athlete to cross the finish line from Jacksonville,

…that is what the running community is all about.  Cheering each other on to be better today than we were the day before.  Recognizing the work it takes to be amazing, respecting the athlete in all of us…

 Afterall…

“EVERYONE’S A WINNER”

(Total results of 10 miler )

 

Some of the great people I get to run with!!!

Some of the great people I get to run with!!!

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