Saturday evening, August 15, was a warm one. It was warm, and the sun shined beautifully, even through the forest fire laden skies over Eugene. About 4:30 p.m., I was off to the Silvan Ridge Twilight 5 event, held at the gorgeous Silvan Ridge Winery in the exceptional wine country near Eugene. The Silvan Ridge Twilight 5 event has been held for many years now, this year was the 5th annual event, and I have always wanted to attend. The race is a benefit for The Jane Higdon Foundation.
Arriving just after 5 p.m., parking was simple, with participants parking in mowed open field just off the winery. The short walk from the parking area to the winery allowed us to take in the impeccable views of the area, and the winery building. Packet pick-up was occurring in a covered area just outside of the winery. Participants collected their race bibs, complimentary, etched Silvan Ridge Twilight 5 wine glass, and an event shirt if purchased during registration. As we had to take our wine glasses back to the car, next year it would be fantastic if the wine glasses were handed out as we cross the finish line.
The race was timed by the great crew at Eclectic Edge Racing. Pre-race announcements and entertainment were keeping everyone entertained, and there was ample opportunity to sit back and relax prior to the race start. I found myself cozied up in a shady spot on a hill, overlooking the winery and hustle-and-bustle of participants collecting their race items.
Race organizers called us to get ready to start about 5 minutes prior to the 6 p.m. start. It was really awesome, as Olympian Mary Decker Slaney led the race on her elliptical bicycle. Such as inspiration! All participants took off at the same time, and we were quickly headed down the hill, out of Silvan Ridge Winery, and onto the peaceful rural country roads.
Excellent course flaggers were keeping participants safe from any vehicles that may be on the road. I was pleasantly surprised, with the heat of the evening, that aid station 1 was just shy of a mile into the race. The course took us along rolling hills, past cows and other farm animals, along a quiet, paved country road. There was some light traffic on the road along with participants, but it didn’t cause any problems.
The turn-around point had some exceptional volunteers, and flagger, as well. The lead up to the turn-around was another hill, and they made the hill easier to ascend. They had such great energy and enthusiasm!
After making the 5k turn-around to head back to the finish line, I decided I would take it a little easier as the heat was enveloping us like a tropical destination. The heat and humidity were thick, and I noticed others in front of me, and those who were working to get to the 5k turnaround, being smart to not over do it. Just a bit after mile 2, participants were again treated to the same aid station we had passed originally. A 5k race with two aid stations is incredible! Thank you, race organizers, for doing that!
Soon, I was greeted by the flagger who was outside of the Silvan Ridge Winery property. WooHoo! It was time to take on the last hill, which was the long, beautiful driveway to the winery, to get to the finish line. I was ready to be finished, as I knew amazing wine was greeting me at the finish line!
Upon crossing the finish line, grapes and water were available for participants. Qdoba was on-site with food available for purchase. All wine, by the glass or the bottle, purchased at Silvan Ridge during the race had a percentage being donated to The Jane Higdon Foundation, which was spectacular.
A post-race concert was occurring just a little later in the evening, and it was delightful to see so many participants along with their friends and family accompanying them. There were over 200 participants in the 5th annual Silvan Ridge Twilight 5, along with overall attendance over 500. Wow! Silvan Ridge Winery did an excellent job making this a race that participants (and spectators) will want to return to year after year. It wasn’t just a 5k race, it was an entire evening of racing, celebrating, listening to music, eating, and drinking delicious wine with family and friends. Most importantly, it was an incredible evening to honor Jane Higdon and The Jane Higdon Foundation. A special thanks to the premier sponsors who made this a record breaking year and a HUGE success; Emergency Veterinary Hospital and Comprehensive Physical Therapy.
A great event, a great cause … I’ll be back! The full list of race results can be found here.