Small hometown runs are the best, and the 2nd annual Diabuddies Dash, held just down the road from my house in Keizer on April 28th, did a great job at putting on a nice course and great organization for a small event. I had to back out last minute in 2017 due to an illness, but was heppy to be in attendance this year. The race raises money so that youth from around the world can come to the Chris Dudley Basketball Camp at no cost.
The race starts and finishes at Keizer Rapids Park – a growing park that features an area for dogs, boat launch area, a huge children’s playground, and paved (and even some gravel and dirt) trails. They have recenly cleared out a ton of trees that are on the property, leading me to believe that they are going to add in some sort of athletic complex or fields with all the additional space. I have always found the Keizer Rapids is an underutilized location for races, and though the Diabuddies Dash only briefly ran in the park, there are great opportuinities in the future to add some trails to the mix!
After we left the park, we hit Chemawa Road and headed east towards “downtown” Keizer before turning off this main road and heading to the quiet suburban streets. It was kinda surreal running on these roads. We moved to a different location in Keizer almost 3 years ago, but our first house was near the park, and I have literally ran these same roads probably close to a hundred times in my life.
The 10k field was small (11 finishers I believe), and I managed to start and finish in the lead – my first ever race win! It was definitely a different experience running from the front and trying to maintain a lead while still being tired. I am going to guess that knowing the course like the back of my hand helped me continue in the front, as I knew what laid ahead and how much energy I had to keep stored until the finish.
Overall this was a great race. The course was well-marked (though I knew where to go regardless), the volunteers were helpful, the timing by Eclectic Edge was great (per usual), and the low-key experience with some venders before and after the race were a nice touch. I am hoping this can get people out more in future years, as it’s a great race for a great cause in a great location. Maybe I’ll see you there!