Traveling to Scio on February 3rd, I was excited to make the most of a mild morning. With a dry forecast and little wind, the weather was perfect for a half marathon. Not looking for a full race attempt due to not training strenuously, I was approaching this relatively flat run as a mild tempo long run. In other words, I planned on getting a little sore, but not a full effort race. The Roaring Run at Roaring Rivers was not a new event for me, but I had not done the half there.
Remembering the parking from previous years, I opted to take the shuttle. Parking was at a church just a few minutes from the race start, and a shuttle rolled up just as I shut my car off. I arrived at the race area in plenty of time to get ready. Getting my bib was a breeze, but I was a little thrown off by the need to attach a timing chip to not just one, but both shoes. Bag check was a breeze as it was located adjacent to the start line.
Due to my relaxed plan for the run, my warm up consisted of some casual jogging across the parking lots for about 10 minutes. I felt pretty good, no distinct pains or twinges to worry about. Casually scoping out the field, I picked out a few speedy guys and gals that could make the day quite interesting. After congregating at the start line a receiving directions, it was time to get going.
The initial stage of the course was about a mile out and back. With a gradual rise, it led to a downhill for the next couple miles. Two men went out strong and I settled near the next couple guys as they gradually pulled away from the group. It was a comfortable pace on the gently winding country road, peaceful and quiet. After the turnaround, I felt like I was taking it too easy and ended up right behind the leaders.
We took turns holding the lead, nobody really pushing it as we came up to a few small hills. I naturally pushed up, then relaxed so I could get back with the leaders. At this point we were overtaking the early start half marathon participants, but as there was no traffic, it was simple to run close to the center of the road. After a larger hill, my lead became greater and I made the decision to maintain pace. I was definitely a far cry from personal record pace, but it was faster than the average training run. The next 6 miles up to the 9 mile mark were fairly uneventful, making note of the mile markers and passing more of the early start participants.
There were no more hills as the road curved between fields. With volunteers at every intersection, staying on course was a breeze. A short portion was on a busier highway (busy being that cars passed about every minute or so), and the organizers thoughtfully placed cones along the white line every ten feet or so, which seemed to help the drivers be very courteous and aware. From there it was a meandering course back to the start. I could feel my energy ebb and decided to ease up to avoid a bonk. This led to me being passed in quick succession by two males and a few others as we got closer to the end. It was frustrating to be passed, but the price I had to pay for making the decision to run this as a training run.
At this point, we had reached the turn around for the 10K, as they came up on the far side of the road and circled the cone in the center. After a quick stop for water, I casually finished the run, enjoying the unique covered bridge towards the end and mildly cursing the gradual uphill finish. This was offset by the quick drop into the parking lot at the very end.
With some of the best post race fare offered, they had baked potatoes and chili, along with the usual bagels and fruit. I also helped myself to a plain Hershey’s chocolate bar that hit the spot as I casually orbited the bonfire to help warm up again. It was fun to be so far off the beaten path and run into a couple runner friends from the Portland area to chat with. For a ‘small’ event, they do a really great job of taking care of participants, making it worth the drive. This event honestly lacks for nothing, and I enjoyed the course so much I may return next year as a race and not a training run.
Roaring Run at Roaring Rivers Half Marathon Results
- Eric Laurel 31, 1:19:19
- Alejandro Fallas 32, 1:19:41
- Nathan Smith 44, 1:21:12
- Stephanie Henstrom 42, 1:26:03
- Sarah Horn 35, 1:27:09
- Angie Roane 40, 1:27:51
Find the full results here