We frequently try to put together Run Oregon teams with just Run Oregon bloggers, but occasionally we recruit others … when schedules don’t work out or we need someone with blog history. Marya van Metre is someone who has blogged for us from time to time and she’s usually up for a run of any distance, anywhere in Oregon. Plus, she ran the 2016 and 2017 Three Capes Relays with us.
This year, both Marya and our very own Nikki Mueller wanted to run more miles than their one leg at the relay would have provided. The week of the relay, another multi-year teammate had to drop out, so rather than having either Marya or Nikki run her leg, they both decided to run it, and then some. Nikki’s recap of the first three legs (that they ran together) will publish at 8p tonight, but here’s Marya’s recap of just the first leg:
by Marya van Metre
We arrived at the start area about 30 minutes prior to the 9a main start time. Packet pickup was super easy and the porta potty line moved fairly quickly. It was great that we were able to park fairly close this year, as it was hard to stay warm with the cold wind coming in off the water. We lined up behind the start line a few minutes prior to the start time. There was a lot of friendly mingling with all the relay groups, friends running the marathon together, and several cross country teams. In all the hubbub, I didn’t exactly hear the official start signal, but I got the hint when everyone started running!
Leg 1 starts right off the bat with a long and wonderful hill! This hill climbs about 600 ft over the first ~1.75 miles (according to the elevation chart available on the Three Capes website). This leg is rated “very difficult,” which put the “extremely difficult” rating of the third leg in proper perspective. While you’re climbing, just remember, “what goes up, must come down!” The remaining length of the 4.47 mile leg is, for the most part, a nice gradual downhill section which helps you make up some speed after the long uphill section. The best part of this leg is that the final turn brings you to a very speedy downhill section which heads directly to the exchange point, and will let you show off your speed to your teammates prior to passing off to the next runner.
This year, Nikki and I wanted to get our Long Runs in during the relay, and opted to run the first three legs together (about 15 miles). This was definitely a challenging way to start off a long run, but we already knew the end of our run was going to be way more intense! (Spoilers!) I will say having that nice downhill at the end of the leg made it real easy to run right through the exchange and onto Leg 2.
I decided to wear my gloves and rain jacket for the run, since it was so cold and windy at the start, but I warmed up quickly with the climb, and the wind protection provided by the trees along the road also cut down the chill of the wind. This particular leg is primarily closed off from vehicular traffic, and there are just a few sections where you may have to check your foot placement due to road damage, but for the most part, it is pretty nice to run a road relay without any cars driving alongside you.
The Three Capes Relay has continued to grow of the years, but it was not too crowded at the start because organizers had some teams start at 8a. As more runners add this to their schedule, there may be a larger early start. Even with more participants, the small-race feel continues and the organizers have been keeping ahead of things by ordering more potties, providing excellent pre-race communication, and I love the way they get high school teams out to compete together. On a personal level, I highly recommend this event, which you can run solo, as a team of 2, or really any number of participants up to 5.