Saturday, March 13th was an exciting morning as I got up to get ready for my first live half marathon in over a year! Cottage Grove Half! I’ve run both the half and the 10k in years past and love the course that flows on Row River Trailhead. It’s not only beautiful, but also a paved, safe trail for easy running.
This year was different due to current restrictions but I was well aware of them before arriving. In years past we were bused out to Dorena School to start on the trail behind the school and run into town. With restrictions, this wasn’t possible, so the race was a simple out and back starting in town at Trail Head Park. Another change was the racers didn’t get to start together. It was a “self start,” meaning we had an hour to start the race. It was a chipped timed and well staffed in the start/finish area. Any questions I had, were answered.
I was worried the self start would be super lame but I was totally wrong. With the race being an out and back, there were runners all alone the way. I started about 30 minutes into the hour time slot and made a game out of trying to catch up with other runners the whole time. There was water out on course about every three miles. The weather ended up being perfect that day. After I came through the finish line I was able to go get my time right away. There were podium pint glasses and custom pint glasses given out to some of the top runners. All runners and walkers for the half received a Cottage Grove Half tech shirt.
As we ran along the paved trail through town, there was a couple road crossing fully staffed. There were no issues crossing safely. As we got out of town, we went over a couple beautiful bridges and did a quick dip under the road. It was like a mini tunnel. My favorite two parts of the course was the larger bridge and the middle of the race. The middle of the race was ran more in a woodsy area of the trail. It was such gorgeous country. It was a slight incline during this part of the race, but I kept reminding myself…I get to run back! After the turn around I flew! It was a very small incline/descend, but enough to feel.
I found out some inside information from race director Mike before I left that day. Next year there is so much more in store! It’s not just going to be a one day event in 2022, it will be a whole weekend of fun events. The Half and 10k will take place on Sunday, June 5th! I’ve heard there’s a full marathon on the schedule too with a zero net elevation…what!? Saturday the 4th will be a big cycling even as part of there Gran Fondo event. There will be four different routes to pick from – 30 miles of mixed surfaces, 71 and 117 miles off all road, and a 130 mile adventure route. Registration for 2022 will open on June 6th, 2021…mark those calendars!
- Cottage Grove Half Marathon and 10k Results can be found HERE!
- Cottage Grove Half Marathon and 10k can be found on Facebook HERE!