I finally convinced myself to head back out into the rain to join Team Congo PDX for a quick pre-race photo – under the cover of a tent. Then I found a covered area with a little room to get in some warm-up exercises. It didn’t seem like the rain had kept people at home. The turn out looked great with people huddled in droves under every dry location that could be found. A number of brave souls headed out into the rain to join in on the organized pre-race warm-up. There was still a feeling of race day in the air. That helped me forget about the rain – a little bit.
I joined the other 10K runners in the start area a few minutes before race time. That’s when I realized I had forgotten my Garmin GPS watch. That threw me off for a bit, but this race wasn’t about time for me, so I let it go. After the singing of the National Anthem, we headed off. I listened to the chatter surrounding me and the vibe was positive overall. That helped get my head in the game so I could just enjoy the run.
The race course for this event has many twists, turns, loops and turn-arounds. Even though I’ve run this race before, I often felt like I had no idea where I was or where I would end up next. (I will admit, that I have no sense of direction, so I’m sure that lends to the element of surprise for me.) The loops and turn-arounds were nice because you got to see other racers coming and going many times. Including the 5K runners as they merged on to the course with us.
The 10K course has many ups and downs, so it is not a fast run – especially not for this slow girl. Although I started out feeling decent, the combination of the constant rain, the hills, and a full day of manual labor the previous day began to sap my energy. By mile 5 I was dragging. I really appreciated the positive volunteers that were standing out in the rain helping keep us on course and safe. I also noticed that other racers seemed to be more positive and supportive than most events. I’m not sure why, but I encountered lots of smiles and positive words from other runners as we crossed paths. Perhaps I really looked like I needed it! Regardless, the spirit of Cause and Event was just what I needed on a tough running day.
When I finally made it to the finish line, I got my medal and some water then meandered through the booths as I cooled down. There was a wide variety of booths from charities to vendors. Hit Machine was in full swing playing and singing with plenty of enthusiasm. There was hot soup and other food available for the racers. Despite the weather, many people were still hanging out enjoying the food, music, and friends.
Even though I had a tough race, I would highly recommend Cause and Event. You get to choose which charity you donate to, the race is well-organized and has good volunteer support, the atmosphere is great, and if you register in time you get your name on the back of your shirt and on your race bib. This is my second time at this event and it stayed true to form in being a first-class race.