Just a few weeks ago, winter met its match at the 3rd and final PRC Winter 5k Series race of 2019-2020. Sure, there was some rain, but it didn’t stop the 250+ participants.
After Angela Niger sang the anthem, participants set out on the same 5k course used for the other series races. But this time, they were running without their watches turned on – or safely stored in their pockets. This was the Prediction Race, where last year I earned a 3rd-place overall finish, and the winners were determined not by who was fastest, but who could best predict their pace.
Whereas in previous years, the 5k Series was run in frosty or icy conditions, this year’s races were mainly wet. We weren’t even a half-mile into the February 15th race when we started laughing about how sloshy our shoes were. That’s the thing about this race series: some run, some walk; some go all-out (it’s a great course for a fast time) and others run it just to keep in shape over the winter months. But everyone has shares a common spirit of defying the weather. I think that’s part of why the post-race raffle is so fun. Even though we all claimed very different finish times, we all ran the same route, and the atmosphere inside the store after the race is friendly and welcoming.
Post-race, people picked up their breakfast burrito from Baja Fresh and found a space inside the store to wait for awards and raffles. I caught up with some other runners that I knew from various other club and run groups, enjoyed my breakfast, and helped my friends listen for their raffle numbers. This year, the top three closest predictions were by Nicole Baker, Kelli Kapp, and John Ingram, who all ran exactly the pace they predicted.
My friends and I were running that race for a very special reason – to honor our friend’s husband, Tony Castaneda, who passed away earlier that week. Along with our friend and her daughters, we all wore special bibs made by another friend, showing pictures of our friend’s husband. We were way off on our predictions, but for us, the run was an active way to remember Tony. He was registered for the race, and in a way, was running right alongside us.
Whether you’ll be a returning participant or have never signed up for a race, keep your eyes out for announcements regarding the 2020-2021 PRC Winter 5k Series. Registration usually opens in the fall and you know Run Oregon will be there again next year!