The South Coast Half Marathon was put on my race calendar while I was still training for the Eugene Marathon in May. When I discovered this little race was only an hour from my house and only $15 the day of the race, I knew I'd want to do it- if only to test my post marathon fitness over the 13.1 distance.
I learned about the race from Pete Dawson, the Race director for the South Coast Running Club. He is a wonderful man with a lot of racing experience and love for the sport. He is also eager to help anyone interested in road racing or organizing a race :)
The day started with me and all my family frantically trying to get in the family rig and out the door in time to get to Coos Bay, OR for the start. Why do I NEVER give myself enough time for these things?!
Jon, Nathan, Matthew, baby Levi and I all piled in and took off like a gut-shot cat down HWY 38 (the main road) to the race. On the way, I visited with the kids and I read a note my friend Cathy had written for me, just for the race. It was an inspiring letter, full of wisdom and encouragement, reminding me that ALL I do is to be done for the glory of God. It also referenced some scriptures. I cherish it!
After that I was starting to see how close we were cutting it to get to the start on time. ACKH! Stress!! I put on my shuffle and had a private praise concert and tried to calm myself down.
We arrived at the race with maybe a minute to spare! My dad had beat us there and picked up my packet and paid my fee. THANKS DAD!
I had no time to pin on my gel, or for the porta-pots that were in the parking lot.
I ran over to where the racers were lined up and listened as Mr. Dawson was talking about the scholarship benefit the race is for. Then I got a brilliant idea. While the racers were distracted by his speech, I hid behind a blackberry bush and "finished getting ready". I am 98% sure everyone heard me. I did not care and I did not see any other opportunities for the next 13.1 miles.
There were 45 runners/walkers in the half marathon race, and 50 participants in the other distances held that day at Catching Slough rd. (12K, 5k and 1 mile kids race).
Here is where we listened to the RD explain the races purpose as a scholarship fundraiser.
Before the weather changed, it was beautiful
and Nathan ran a blistering 12MM to earn 3rd place among the kiddos!
This is what the kids were doing as they waited for me to finish.
My poor sons and Cathy's poor daughter!
The course was fast and out and back, with a slight uphill/downhill. It was beautiful, with the slough running next to the road most of the way. There were cattle, estuary birds, and lots of green grass and forested mountains in the back ground.
I followed a few younger men, one woman my age and an older man for the first few miles.
After mile 4, I passed the older man and the woman. For some reason, I was looking for the turnaround at the 10K spot. What?! 6.2 X 2 does NOT equal 13.1. I wondered if I could maintain my pace.
There were a few water stations, but I didn't use them. By the second half of the race, it had started to pour. A drenching rain, but not too cold.
Near mile 10 I passed a high school age male. At mile 12, I caught another male from that age group. We talked long enough for me to figure out he was in North Bend High School's cross country program. We kept pace, until the last 100 yards, when I said "Come on, let's go!" and he promptly left me in his dust (mud), lol. Lesson: never get into a sprint with a 17 year old male.
I finished as first overall female in 1:37:09 (their time, 1:37:11 my time). There was an award for everyone with 1-3 overall M/F in each race and 1-3 M/F in each age group.
Possibly the worst finish line photo EVER!!
Click to see the closeup of what I look like gasping for air:)
And here you can clearly see that this was NOT a crowded race. LOL.
There were really great (plentiful) fruit kabobs (watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, banana) and cookies for all the racers. The awards ceremony went pretty quickly after the initial chaos of figuring awards was taken care of.
Nathan and I both got awards - He got to wear his first bib too !
The only drawbacks to this race were no porta-pots on the route (but many behind a bush opportunities) and lack of kid entertainment (though they did find caterpillars!) and shelter in the rain for spectators. But it's a great race for the price!
After the race I was feeling pretty sick, but we went out for lunch at a local restaurant where I managed to eat some fish and chips. Then, since the weather improved, we went to Sunset beach to play with the kids. What a fine example of Oregon coast weather: fog and pouring rain, ending with beautiful sunshine and one of the best afternoons on the beach I have ever had.