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Race Recap: 52nd Annual Zena Road Runs

Wow! This was my third consecutive year in a row running the Zena Road Runs, but my first time running the 15K distance. As always, this was a great event put on by the great people at Gallagher’s Fitness and the Willamette Valley Road Runners. This is also the oldest race in Oregon with a long history and many of the traditions are still alive!

The quarter raffle is one of those traditions that is still going strong! The original cost of the race was $0.25 (thanks inflation) so now, all runners who bring a quarter are entered into the quarter raffle! With the three distances to choose from (3 mile, 6 mile, and 15K) this still proves to be a popular event with runners of all skill levels having a distance that they’re comfortable with running.

Noble Mountain Tree Farm again, provided us with use of their heated shelter before and after the race (thanks again!) which is where packet pickup and after party refreshments and food were served after the race. As I have previously done the 6 mile runs the past couple of years, and now that I am doing my marathon training for the Eugene Marathon, I figured I’d use this as a training run and signed up for the 15K instead. I failed to realize that this run has a helluva lot more hills and elevation gain that I am clearly not used or in shape for. I nursed my legs for a solid two days after the run and they still hurt. The 15K is a loop that takes you through around 1000 ft of elevation gain (I’m not an ultra trail runner guys) which I was not expecting and it definitely set me back a bit. The Portland Running Company was also here so I had some serious competition that I tried to keep up with but also probably bit me in the ass due to my current fitness level and lack of training on hills.

I ended up rounding out the run at around an hour and 18 minutes, but my goal was an hour and 15 so it was slightly slower than I had wanted but at mile 8 I gassed out and had to walk for a tenth of a mile which wrecked my time. All that this has proven is that I need to work on my hill repeats more than I have and will continue to do. This is one of my favorite runs in Oregon and I can’t wait to do it again and try and progress even further! If you ran it or want to, let us know your thoughts!

Race results and photos can be found here.

About Erik Taylor (26 Articles)
I joined the Run Oregon team back in 2019. I love running and feel it’s a great way to stay fit, meet new people, and support your local community!

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