After 20 years of running, it is fun to try new races instead of sticking to a set routine. This is the first time I had competed in this event, and it was interesting to see a ‘smaller’ race in Portland after regularly doing the huge ones downtown. It was very nice to be able to get through the pre race routines without waiting in huge lines and fighting for a parking spot. My favorite part was sitting in the square before the race, enjoying the sun and listening to the live band. Even though this was occurring two weeks after running Boston, and the plan was to run fast but not hard, it was soon time to get serious.
It was a warm morning, but not too hot. I elected to show off my Run Oregon Blog singlet and see if I got extra speed points for representing this awesome group. The warm up felt good, my calf was behaving and everything felt right. After stretching and a couple mid effort striders I did realize my speed wasn’t 100% but I did feel decently strong. At this point I noticed a few guys sizing me up and I guessed I would end up somewhere in the top 5. Shortly before start time another competitor stepped to the line with a Bowerman Track Club singlet which for some reason always gets my competitive juices flowing. I’m not sure what it is, but I take seeing the guys in the team or sponsored racing gear as a personal challenge, even though many times they prove to be out of my league.
With a three block mild uphill start, I elected to take it easy and save my calf. It was a good move as it seemed half a dozen guys sped off as if this was a 10K. By the time we had turned right and reached the bottom of the hill a handful of blocks later, I had comfortably passed everyone but the Bowerman guy. I kept it somewhat relaxed but had already realized that I wanted this win. Within a mile I had taken the lead and was not interested in letting up. With no watch and no mile markers that I could see, I just focused on the motorcycle cop I was following, making sure I was not breathing hard and my body was not acting up. I knew I was capable of a 36 minute 10K and was not interested in letting out all the stops while still technically recovering from the marathon.
The course ended up being an out and back, zig zagging north west through Portland. Spectators were few, but there were people at almost every street making sure cars did not get on the course. At the turn around I finally saw how close 2nd was, about a block and a half. I was not feeling great, but planned on just holding pace. It was nice to hear the cheers and claps of the other participants as we passed each other. Due to the near constant wind and the sun, I was starting to get dehydrated. Though I usually don’t take water at shorter races, I made an exception here about a mile from the finish.
After that is was a matter of waiting until the final stretch and another shallow climb, putting up a small kick into the chute. I finished, and sat down. I was worn out, from what I had been through, not necessarily the race. I got in a few seconds under 35 minutes, which is a decent time for me. I had fun, and enjoyed the race. After a slow cool down I listened to more music and borrowed a roller from one of the tents to work on my calf, which was a blessing. It was nice to take home a small trophy and a certificate to enter another Terrapin race which I definitely look forward to using.
You can find the full results here