When I found out that there was a 200M kids race, my hubby and I decided to have both older boys do that race instead of having the oldest run the 4 miler with me. Truly, I think that was a wise choice for their benefit. Maybe in a year, or two, Nathan (almost 7) will be ready for 4 miles.
I really did nothing special for food or hydration prior to this race, since I didn't know if I would even run it. Coffee with milk and sugar, and part of a cinnamon roll for breakfast.
My dad brought me about a half an hour early for the 9am race, and I registered quickly and easily, then did an easy mile to keep warm.
Finally it was time to line up and we headed near the front. It was a narrow start to a lollipop (with two sticks) route.
The start/finish is essentially in the same location as the Butte to Butte 10k finish, and the USTAF certified course follows a stretch of the bike path that the EWEB half uses. (Eugene has a lot of races that start and finish in the same locations, but may go in different directions on the river path.)
The RD had a few words to say and encouraged anyone faster than 5 MM to go to the front, but no one moved up. Someone dressed as a Turkey did, though. :) During this time I decided to go ahead and aim for the McMillan Calculator prediction 6:20 pace. I would know when I was running if that would be doable or not, and back off if I felt like it was too much for today.
And the gun went off. I tried (without much effort) not to make the first mile a dead sprint. Multiple tight turns and bridge crossings made this race a challenge. I tried to run the tangents, but evidently not very well!
After the first mile, a woman passed me. I knew there were at least 2 ahead of me now. She took the surge and got a good 20 yard lead.
More leaves, more winding bike path, and past the Science Museum, and we were closer to mile three, with the other female still ahead of me by 20 yards. The first woman was too far ahead to see.
|The race took us over the artistic DeFazio bike bridge twice. (Note the spiral on and off ramp.)|
My watch beeped at 4 miles a little before the finish line, and I headed into the shoot strong, in 25:52. Not perfect, but very good for the day, all things considered.
I congratulated the woman just ahead of me, made my way towards my dad, and looked for Emily at the finish line.
A short while later we were all in the Lamb Cottage eating cookies and hot soup or chili. It was a nice spread, perfect for a cold day.
I spotted Jon and the boys, who had just arrived for the 10am kids race. My kids were dressed ridiculously for 40F, since they had packed their own bags and had not packed jackets or long pants. (My fault for not doing a better inspection or leaving the backup clothes out for Jon.)
Luckily there wasn't much time between their arrival and the kids race. It was just long enough for us to visit a bit.
|My kids packed their "racing clothes"- shorts and T shirts for a 200m race. :) , so we borrowed warm clothes from grandma's stash and also put on pajama tops.|
It brought me great joy to see Nathan and Mathew run the 200m race and cross with SUPER HUGE smiles. All of the children seemed to have a great time and there were ribbons for every kid there!
The 4 mile award ceremony went quickly, as there were few people left to receive an award. (Most had left to join their families). The top male and female each won a frozen turkey, and the top 3 each got a pie, a day-glo sweatshirt and glass race medal. Age group winners (top 3) received a glass medal as well.
I was honored to place in the top three with such ladies as Jane Rudkin (23:58), and Colleen Carter-Cox (25:44). Top males were Zachary Holloway (21:57), Shane land (22:02) and Ben Harter (22:26).
A few thoughts:
- Though I prefer to approach each race as a "goal race", it was nice to race without any "real" expectations.
- This is the closest together I have ever ran two races. I was surprised at how resilient I was from the half, but know I am capable of a much better 4 miler. I would like to try this some year during a 5k training period.
- Although there were some factors that slowed the course down, I enjoy the bike path in Eugene. Skinner's Butte park and this section of path is scenic, and parking and play areas make it a great location for a race/start finish.
- This was a GREAT cause for a race: fighting hunger through Food for Lane County. Registration fees were donated, as were other food items racers brought in.
- It was a very special race to have my husband and kids, and my dad, there.