The first 2 miles of the race (and subsequently, the last 2) were some of the most challenging terrain to run on. This is not due to elevation, but actually due to the terrain itself. The first minute or so was slogging through the grass soccer fields which was a wet quagmire afer all the rain. This was followed by a stretch of loose gravel, which made each step feel like you were sinking and taking a half-step backwards. We then curled on to a straight stretch of rocky trail. There were a few “worn” tracks, but the larger rocks, combined with puddles and a little bit of mud, made things tougher than it should have been.
The halfway point of the race brought the end of the elevation gain, but unfortunately brought back the rain. And not just a little rain. It was a whole pelting, instantaneously soaking, road-flooding downpour. We were running North on Howell Prairie Road and the rain was coming down sideways (literally) from the West. Big drops slammed into the left side of my face and soaked me to the core, even with a rain jacket on.
While no race should EVER be held responsible for weather, especially in Oregon, the push back to June should prove nice. Additionally, the difficult rail line and bridge has been totally resurfaced, which should make it a smooth run from start to finish.
The half will be a loop beginning with the aforementioned railroad trail. Expect a few miles of rolling hills that pass a myriad of farms and fields on quiet country roads before returning to the finish line. There is one solid hill and a total 300 foot elevation between miles 2.5 and 6.5. We hope that there is more supervision or notification along this section, as the curves and small shoulders, combined with rain, were a little unnerving at times. Check out the half race course here, as well as the 10k and 5k, which run the same course, just (obviously) shorter.
Local brewery Salem Ale Works (SAW) will be back to support the race as well with a FREE beer.
Capital FC Half Marathon (10k & 5k) (Salem)
When: 9a on June 7, 2015
Where: Capital Fútbol Club (East of Salem)
Regsiter: Online here; $40 ($55 after 5/15); $30 for 10k and 5k