I’m guessing that for most of us (meaning Run Oregon readers), running and chocolate make for a pretty divine combination, so it was not surprising that Uberthons’ Chocolatathon 5K and 10K race sold out before the day of the event. As an Uberthons Ambassador, I had managed to register with a comp entry about a week ahead of time, and while my plan is to work on my 5K time this year, I ended up registering for the 10K, because the 10K is the best race distance (imho) and the extra calorie burn would justify some more post-race indulgence. It was, after all, the chocolatathon….!
Pre-race packet pick-up for this race was, naturally, at the Moonstruck Chocolate shop in Beaverton. Unfortunately, I was unable to head out there; I can only imagine what goodies there might have been….
Race day was February 11, with the 5K and 10K both starting at 8:45 a.m. Cook Park is about the closest popular race venue to where I live so I was able to set my alarm for a leisurely 7:50 a.m. and still get there with enough time to park, pick up my racing bib, and warm up a bit.
Fellow Ambassador Jerry Mullins had the microphone at the time and was giving tips on healthy eating. I eat fairly healthily at dinner, because my wife is generally the one who controls the home menu. I’m on my own for lunch on weekdays, so, um … well, I skip the cheese and sour cream on my Chipotle bowls; that’s healthy, right?
(There is something anomalous about healthy eating tips at an event called the Chocolatathon, but everyone gets to indulge once in a blue moon.)
According the Garmin data uploaded from my GPS watch, it was 39 degrees, but with calm air and sunshine, it felt warmer. I was tolerably comfortable in shorts and a longsleeve tech shirt. With over 450 racers showing up, wave starts were definitely called for. I was in the second wave, which is generally where I like to be: there are some people to chase after, but not a big logjam in front.
The Cook Park course that Uberthons uses looks like a snake that’s digesting a rat in its midsection. We started at the bottom part of the stomach, heading southeast and then curving northward to trace the head. There was a small short loop at the top of the head, which was also the one short, steep ascent in a wooded part of the path. Then we headed back toward the start, except we traced the top of the stomach by going around the staging area. The last stretch was to form the tail of the snake, which curved around the softball fields and then terminated in a turn-around.
As I returned to the starting line, the overarching thought in my head was, “Why didn’t I sign up for the 5K?!?”
Instead of relaxing with some nice post-race treats, I was resigned to running the Cook Park loop again….
Whether the temperature had risen into the 40s, or I had just gotten warm, I took off my thin gloves somewhere in the second loop. Meanwhile, the stretch from the halfway point of the 10K to just past mile 4 was about as open as any point of the race; there were runners returning from the head of the snake, but only two runners ahead of me, one way in front, and the other still in sight. By about 4 1/4 miles, though, I caught up to 5K runners, and the route got progressively more crowded.
The less said about miles 5 and 6, the better. They absolutely destroyed me on that day. It was just one of those races that should have gone better than it did. Still, I managed to place fourth overall in the 10K, and first among masters runners, but Uberthons doesn’t allow “double-dipping” for awards, so I got the third place overall male finisher medal.
How about the chocolate treats? Well, as you can imagine, there was quite a line for the chocolate chip pancakes and the chocolate cheesecakes, and other delicious treats. One thing that you can say about the folks at Uberthons is that they make you run hard, and then they feed you well, whether it’s soup at the Winter Half & Quarter Marathon, or baked potatoes at the Luckython, or pancakes and sausage/bacon at the Freedomthon.
However, I did not eat any of the chocolate offerings, because while I was in post-race recovery mode, I happened to gaze upon something even better than chocolate. Perhaps you are thinking that I am crazy, that nothing could be better than chocolate, and I certainly can’t deny that to be a reasonable perspective. For me, however, as soon as I saw this, I knew what I was going to be eating:
That, in case you haven’t tried it, is Noosa Yoghurt. Oh my gosh, this stuff is sooooooo delicious! The available flavors were lemon, blueberry, and strawberry rhubarb, but at the Winter race, there was pumpkin(!), and I’ve also had the tart cherry and mango, which I’ve bought from the supermarket.
On my way back to my car, I saw this funny site. I guess the birds did not get the message:
The next Uberthons event is the Luckython; if you missed it, check out my preview of it.