January is the typical month for me pick a half marathon to kick start my training for the new year. I had never run Cascade before. It’s been highly recommended to me by several running friends, so for 2020, it was my first half!
2020 was Cascade’s 21st year. It’s hosted by Willamette Valley Road Runners and offers not only a half, but a 10k and 2 miler. Race day morning (January 19th) I drove to Turner with my husband who also was joining me for the half. It was an easy 40 minute drive for us. As we arrived at Cascade High School it was very clear wear to go. We easily found parking and went into the gym, the starting line just outside was right there visible as well. The gym was inviting with people visiting and picking up packets. I was able to pick up my bib & a friends bib with ease. I connected with some fellow Run Oregon Bloggers and also with numerous running friends. I stood there thinking, “why have I never run this one before?”
The track was right out back off the parking lot so I took a few minutes to get warmed up and then went back inside to use the restroom. The lines weren’t bad at all as a volunteer told us there was anther restroom available just down the hall.
I made my was out to the starting line seeing even more runners I know making it a whole lot of fun. My start was 9:00am but there had been an early start (8:00am) for those expecting to take longer than 2.5 hours. The 10k started at 9:15 along with the 2 miler. Participation was limited to the first 1,000 registered runners.
We took off down a flat road with scenic farmland and country surroundings. It was very calm and truly fantastic. I love running on country roads with low traffic so I was happy. I ran a few miles with some friends and soon our pace caused us to split. The course continued out for 6.55 miles and then we did a simple turn-a-round and ran back the same way. Out-n-backs are fun as you get to see all the top runners, your friends and everyone in-between. This has got to be the flattest half marathon I’ve ever run. If you’re looking for a PR course, this would be a good course.
During the final miles of the half, I found myself along with a younger girl and what appeared to be her Mother or possibly a coach. When I come across situations like this I try to figure out what’s going on with the “student/teen.” The girl seemed to be starting to struggle slightly and the Mom or coach was doing her best to encourage her. I do know from experience that this can be taxing on a relationship and sometimes it doesn’t hurt to step in just a little. As the Mom/coach ran slightly ahead I started to run with the girl, asked her name, age, anything to get her mind off the running for the time being. I did some breathing exercised with her to help her get calmed back down. After about ten minutes we were coming up on the finish line. The girl was able to pick up her pace and finish strong, passing up her Mom at the end! It was fun for all three of us! Moments like these give me much joy as a runner and they don’t happen every race!
After we crossed the finish line we were handed a medal and could go right to the results tent to get our official times. We were welcome to stretch and relax in the gym along with other runners, family and friends. I went back out to the track for a short cool down and then made my way to the cafeteria for hot soup, bread, and baked cookies. The awards were being presented along with some random prizes that were being given away.
All proceeds from this race went to benefit Cascade High School’s track and field program and provide scholarships to graduation seniors from the mid-valley.
Although we really lucked out with ideal weather this year, I would run this one again, even in “winter” weather! I’ve been told Cascade has never had such great weather before. Just for the record, it was 46 degrees and zero rain!
- WVRR Cascade Half Marathon can be found on Facebook here.
- Race day photos by GCC Photography can be found here. Thank you Gordon!
- Race results by Eclectic Edge Racing can be found here.