Race Recap: Luckython 2017

(photo courtesy of Uberthons)

The Luckython is the longest-running Uberthons race. I ran the very first one back in 2012, when the first place age group finishers won bags of green candy. Since then, I’ve managed to show up nearly every year. I like the atmosphere and St. Patrick’s Day theme, and of course the usual Uberthons swag.

I signed up for the 5K with the comp entry that I received for being an Uberthons Ambassador this year and looked forward to a great event.

On my race day, I was able to find parking quite easily. There’s usually enough parking at Uberthons events, but on this day, it looked like I was one of the first ones there, which is so not me. I wondered what was going on. It was actually a beautiful day. Not one of those ridiculous days with a deep blue sky and blistering sun, but rather a gentle and mild day, right on the border between cool and warm, and bright but not blinding. As I approached the course, I noticed the absence of Uberthons signage, or a start/finish canopy, or other runners. This is what it looked like:

Well, I thought, Uberthons or not, I might as well get started. It felt a little weird not to get the “fast people in front, good looking people in back” direction from Darwin Rasmussen, but in this case I was fast/not good looking and good looking/not fast at the same time.

There were some other people on the course, but they weren’t running the Luckython. Still, I felt like I had a bit of company providing that race atmosphere. I mean, I can always run by myself; one of the great things about racing is being around lots of (but not too many) like-minded people.

It was such a glorious day – maybe I should have signed up for the 10K to enjoy it longer, especially after the endless winter. But I reached the end of the 5K, and finished first/last.

Hey, any water available? And where’s the finisher’s medal…? And instant results (other than on my GPS watch)?

It’s enough to make you think that Uberthons has completely fallen apart as a race organizer … but obviously that’s not at all what happened. Nosiree, for the second time in three years, I had a family conflict arise at exactly the same time as the Luckython – because one of my sons made it to the regionals of the Oregon Battle of the Books. (Woo hoo!) So I missed the Luckython to go watch my son and his teammates battle for reading glory. But just as Darl Bundren in William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying was able to narrate events the he didn’t witness personally, simply through imagination/sensitivity/possible psychic abilities(?), I’m still able to write a recap of the Luckython. Okay, I don’t have actually have anything like Darl’s abilities, but I do have access to Uberthons’ Facebook page for pictures, friends who were there at the Luckython, and my general knowledge and memories of events at The Reserve.

It was a cool morning, and that means starting eagerly because you get to stop standing around in the cold:

(photo courtesy of Uberthons)

Judging by the rain I encountered on the drive out to OBOB regionals, I imagined that it was a pretty wet race. It sure looked that way:

(photo courtesy of Uberthons)

So totally not like my virtual 5K, which had near-perfect weather, heh heh. Rain or not, it looked like people were having a great time. My friend and fellow Uberthons Ambassador Eileen Kuffner offered this report of her race (5K):

The skies opened up about 15 minutes before the 8am kicked off. The fast and the good looking huddled at the start on the 8am 5k ready to be faster than good looking in the pouring rain! I was in the first wave and started strong. About 1 mile in the first and only female runner passed me. The course in the first half was wet and there was puddles but you could run around them. Then right before the 2 mile mark was a puddle that could not be avoided! Feet soaked I ran on and basically embraced all of the puddles after than. Hit the 3 mile mark and saw the happy volunteer cheering me in! 5k done. 2nd overall female in the 8 am 5k. The number 3 female runner thanked me for a good race! I ended up also being the 2nd female master for the 8am and the 9am combined totals! Dashed to the results tent and enjoyed talking to and handing out lots of age group pins!

(Ah, soaked feet! I remember one race at The Reserve the day after a big rainstorm, so there were puddles throughout the course; and as I caught up to a runner, I couldn’t help but plop my foot right in the middle of one, splashing both of us. I managed to yelp a sheepish apology.)

(photo courtesy of Uberthons)

It wasn’t only a 5K race. A second loop made it a 10K, and a third loop made it a 15K. Uberthons typically gets lots of race volunteers to help mark the course, and sometimes they are extra-enthusiastic about their duties.

Here’s another view of the 5K from another friend and Uberthons Ambassador, Julie Mullins:

Luckython 2017 was another wet one! Seems like rain is something that goes with Luckython every year! Even wet…this is one of my favorite races every year. I signed up to run the 10k but wasn’t feeling too great that morning and switched to the 5k. The course a paved path on a golf course. I like that its off road. I did run through some puddles out there, but I don’t mind getting wet when I run. Luckython is fun because lots of people dress up in their greens! Uberthons does a great job with awards and feedings the runners/walkers a hot potato bar. There was a large covering we could gather to stay dry before and after that race. Uberthons offered a 5k, 10k and 15k. Also a kids mile and a short kidathon for the little ones that came with their parents. The kids didn’t seem to mind the rain at all! This is a race I will be putting on my 2018 calendar!

(photo courtesy of Uberthons)

Yet something else I missed out on because I wasn’t there: people running in St. Paddy’s Day-themed costumes. I am far from a costumed runner, but even I try to put on a green tech shirt for the Luckython. But you get people who are really into the theme at this race.

So it was a wet race. It is a weird irony that the day before the Luckython, the afternoon of, and the day after were among the nicest weather days Portland has had in 2017 – only the race time itself was rainy. But in going through the pictures on the Uberthons Facebook page, I saw lots of happy people, so the weather didn’t dampen the fun. I wish I’d been there. (Well, I wish the OBOB regional hadn’t conflicted with the Luckython.)

(photo courtesy of Uberthons)

And yes, if I’d been there, I would’ve had my share of baked potatoes, because I love potatoes. (If I were going to be stranded on an island and could have only five kinds of foods to sustain me, along with a stocked kitchen, potatoes would definitely be one of my choices.)

On a final note, unlike the past two events, there was no Noosa yoghurt at the post-race festivities. Boo! (Except not for me, since I wasn’t there to miss out!)

For full results of the Luckython, click here for the main 5K/10K/15K, and here for the early 8 am 5K.

For lots of pictures, click here.

If you actually clicked through the 5K results, you might have noticed that my time of 21:26 showed up. I think that was a special case for me because I had registered for the event with the Ambassador comp and then let race director Darwin Rasmussen know about the OBOB conflict when it arose and promised to run it virtually. As it turns out, Uberthons has been launching a virtual series to match its signature races (Luckython, Freedomthon, Halloweenathon, Turkeython, plus the seasonal Half Marathons). Registration gets you a bib, a medal, and a timing watch – the next best thing to chip timing!

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