Saturday, April 30, 2011

Race Report x 2! Pet Day and Sophie's 5k's

A first for the EPIC 2011: two races in one hour!

First up was the OSU Pet Day 5k. I was a little worried at the start line of this one. I had to, no, HAD to, start this one on time, right at 9:00, to have even a little shot of not being horribly late to the Sophie's Run 5k, at 9:30. And why was I worried about the start time? Dogs. Lots and lots of dogs. I'm guessing over 50% of the runners in this one had their dogs with them. And that's a lot of dogs. Which meant some chaos at the registration booth and at the start line.

The race director, a vet med student, quietly announced at 8:55 that we'd start in five minutes. Perfect. Except five minutes came and went and there was still a small line at the registration table. Not perfect. Then at about 9:03, a race official announced we'd start in just a second. Then she said we'd start in five minutes. Damn. Then she said "just kidding" and started a 30 second countdown.

Oh no, you din't, girlfriend! Quit playing with my emotions!

So she yelled "Go!" and we were off, across the OSU campus. It was like a prison break - about 50 dogs at my heels barking like mad! Talk about going out too fast.

Almost got run over by an Oregon State Police car at the first turn - not sure why he needed to get across the road right then, but hey, every man for himself! The crowd thinned pretty fast as most of the dogs realized they'd rather stop and sniff something than actually run for three miles. There were a couple dogs in front of me all the way to the finish - impressive.

So except for that cliff in the middle of the OSU campus where I briefly did a sub-5:00 minute mile, the route was pretty basic and flat. Which is what I needed because I had to just keep on a running after I hit the finish line...

The Garmin showed the route was 3.17, not too happy about that, and I continued to run about another quarter of a mile to get past all the OSU Spring Football game RV's and find my father's truck. He was the transport between the two races, which was absolutely necessary since the parking at the next race is next to absent and you usually have to park a LONG ways away.

So I found my delivery driver and hopped in the truck at about 9:28. Hmmm, two minutes to get across town to the Sophie's Run 5k. Not gonna happen.

We actually made good time across Corvallis to get to Willamette Park, and as predicted, people were parked everywhere. Luckily, my driver dropped me off relatively close to the start and I jumped out and started running again. About 30 seconds later I was at the start line by myself. Off to the left, on the bike trail, was a huge mass of walkers clogging the route and slowly making their way down the course. Oh boy.

So I took off after the crowd and quickly was forced into the deep and very wet grass to try to get around walkers. That was some ankle-breaking turf, but I made it around the main clot o' walkers and started weaving around the back of the packers.

It's a pretty thin trail and we just went out and back and out and back, so there wasn't a whole lot of room anywhere on the route. Lots of dipping and weaving, which at least keeps your attention, but also uses a lot of energy.

Actually, kept close to the same pace here as I did at the Pet Day 5k, except for two steep hills in the second half of the course. As you can see on the pace chart, oof!

Hit the finish line, which was again in the mucky grass - they were just trying to snap my ankles here - and checked the watch. Yep, just under one hour for two 5k's, even with the drive in the middle. Nice. Although the Garmin read 3.02 on this one. Could be because I didn't actually "see" the start line for this one because I was late to the start. Maybe the rest of the group started just back from the road - I don't know. Wasn't there.

I believe that's the only "twofer" I have in the EPIC 2011 schedule.

I'm hoping, anyway...

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