With its’ wildly variable weather, spring in Oregon can keep you on your toes. This morning proved no different as dark grey skies threatened a heavy rain that never came. Instead we were treated with a few light sprinkles intermittently. Benefiting the local McMinnville Montessori school, the race is located at Discovery Meadows Park, which is literally half a mile from my house. Centered within a large residential area on the west side of town, it allows the route to be relatively free of cars and scenic.
Due to the vicinity to my house, my girls and I were able to walk over, and upon arriving were promptly identified by the RD. I had already registered, and quickly registered my daughters through the screen based registration system provided by Huber Timing. They wanted to do the one mile, which started at the same time as the 5K. Seeing as this was 6 days after Boston, my plan was to start the first two blocks with my daughters along the shared part of the course and then send them on their way to finish where they would be supervised by family. Then I would accelerate to a comfortable pace and see how I felt without going into full race effort.
After warming up with them and doing a little more myself followed by some dynamic stretching, it was time to go. The beginning goes straight across the park and was a little crowded because I had guided the girls to the middle of the start area where we would nor hold anyone up. We are still working on the concept of pacing but they did a great job of jogging and later told me they had run the whole way. After leaving the park and heading south, I gave them a couple quick instructions and ensured they were up for the challenge, we separated.
I relaxed a little and opened up my stride, quickly passing people. This course is quick, with no real hills and only a few turns. Within three quarters of a mile I had taken the lead. We make a couple turns to get on a paved trail that makes up a good portion of the course. I physically felt fine, but definitely did not have my normal speed or stride. As I passed the volunteers at ever y turn they clapped and cheered. I also enjoyed the other bonus of doing a race repeatedly, not having to worry about the course, but relaxing and listening to input from my body instead.
Getting back into the park, I summoned a little kick for fun. I knew I felt slow was happy to have gotten out there, expecting to hit around 18 minutes. I was close, finishing in 17:40 and was proud to learn my daughters successfully ran the mile in well under 10 minutes. As I cooled down, I ran back on the course to pace my friend in who was going to win the 10 K. He had a bicyclist to follow and we upped the speed together for the last time to give him a time he was content with. A while later there was a kids run, and my daughters decided to enter that too, getting a cool wooden medal for their efforts.
All in all, this was a good day. The course was well marked and the park location means the kids got to play while the adults went through their race routines. This event does a good job of marking the course and there was plenty of food after. Attendance can be hit or miss, usually dependent on the weather, but I for one, will definitely be back next year.
You can find the full results here.