What has quickly become my favorite race of the year is coming up on Saturday, September 26th. The 4th Annual Nick Symmonds Springfield 800 is a unique chance to test your pure speed on an arrow-straight and pancake-flat 800 meter road course.
Hosted by the namesake Olympic 800 meter star and Springfield native Nick Symmonds, the race features separate heats for Youth, Open, Masters, and Elite, male and female, so when you’re not racing you can watch the other runners duke it out. And since the course is along several blocks in a quiet residential neighborhood, it’s very spectator friendly.
As I get older, I’m finding my stamina can’t keep pace with my speed, so I really appreciate the opportunity to run “middle distance” races on the roads. Street miles are rare enough, so it’s especially nice to get a chance to run an “off-track” 800.
It’s a little scary to be able to see the finish from the start, and it makes a metric half mile seem like a long way, but once the gun goes off and the blocks whiz by in a blur, it feels great, and it’s over before you know it! Even if you have never run an 800 before, don’t be intimidated. Come out and give it a try. You’ll probably be hooked! And even if you don’t want to run, there’s a heat for walkers too, so there goes another excuse not to join the fun 😉
Here are 8 reasons to run the Nick Symmonds Springfield 800:
1. You don’t need to worry about whether the aid stations have your special sports drink – there are no aid stations!
2. You can’t get lost on the course:
3. You might get your picture taken with an Olympian:
4. You don’t need to ride in a cramped school bus to the start.
5. It’s over long before you hit the “wall”.
6. There are four fewer turns than a normal 800 meter race.
7. You don’t need to obsess over your mile splits.
8. You can get Billy Joel’s “Half A Mile Away” lodged in your brain. (You’re welcome!)
And one more reason: All proceeds benefit CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates For Children).
What: The 4th Annual Nick Symmonds Springfield 800
When: Saturday, September 26th
Where: City Hall Fountain Plaza at 225 Fifth Street, Springfield, Oregon
What time: 10:00am – Walkers / 10:15am – Youth / 10:25am – Masters Men & Women / 10:35am – Open Men & Women / 10:45am – Elite Women / 10:55am – Elite Men
Registration: $12 – Adults (Add $10 for a tech shirt). $10 – Youth 17 & under (Add $8 for a tech shirt). Day of race registration will be available from 8:30a to 9:45a. You can register online HERE.