I had a great run this Labor Day. For some reason, it just felt really good. I worked hard, my time was better than it has been in quite awhile, and I finished feeling like overall, I just ran well. So, there’s a chance the Greenway Trail Trial is my new favorite 10K. What made this run go so well? Sometimes it just happens, but I’d say there were a few factors that helped it “just happen.”
Factor #1: I got to choose my start time. I’m not a fan of getting up early, so being able to chose a time between 7 and 9 A.M. was kind of nice. I decided to go right in the middle and shoot for an 8:00 start. Traffic was light and I made good time, so I ended up choosing a 7:45 start time instead. The other bonus about choosing my start time is that I didn’t have to wait around long before the race. I checked in, chose my time, used the bathroom, got a short warm-up in and suddenly Race Director (and fellow Run-Oregon blogger) Kelly Barten was calling us to the start line for quick pre-race instructions and then the 7:45 group of about 8 headed out. No wasting time. We just got going. Perfect!
Factor #2: Perfect running temperature. While the morning was cooler than I was used to (low 50s) and I was quite chilly to start, I was shedding my long sleeved shirt before mile 1. The cooler temperature tricked me into starting out a bit faster than I have been running, but I also found that I wasn’t overdoing it. I settled into a comfortably challenging pace and surprised myself by running pretty consistently for the most part. Sweet!
Factor #3: A new running location already mapped out by someone else. While I’ve been on parts of the Fanno Creek Trail, I am totally unfamiliar with how the trails meander. All the twists and turns were a little scary without a large group of racers to follow, but the course was had plenty of signs and cones, and volunteers were stationed at key areas. (I did notice a couple of girls – who must not have been paying attention to signage – head off course at one point, but they were quickly set back on the right route by a volunteer.) The paved trail system ran us through quite the variety of scenery from wooden bridges, wetland areas, forested sections, neighborhoods, creekside, and more. There was always variety despite a couple of out and back loops. There were two road crossings, but they were well-staffed by police and volunteers so it was safe and well-managed. I enjoyed the new sights and never being quite sure where I would end up next. It was like exploring, without the risk of getting lost, so it kept my mind off of the running part of running.
Factor #4: A flat course. While I love the challenge of a good hill, I definitely won’t complain about running on flat trails. Need I say more?
Factor #5: 2 different out and back loops. Since runners were very spread out on the race, due to the staggered starts, the out and back loops allowed you to see other runners multiple times. That made me feel like I was always running with others, even if they were going a different direction. There were many positive words from runners crossing paths along the route, making it an uplifting, small race environment – as I’ve come to expect from ORRC events.
I have nothing but positive words to say about the ORRC Greenway Trail Trial 10K. I will definitely run this one again. If you haven’t had the opportunity to run this 10K, I highly recommend you put this one on your list for 2019.