Monday, October 17, 2011

Mighty Oaks Acorn Run 5k Race Review!

We're getting close now - on Sunday the 16th, we had the Mighty Oaks Acorn Run 5k, the 23rd race on the EPIC 2011 schedule. And a fine race it was. The race was a benefit to raise funds for the Mighty Oaks Children's Therapy Center.

So we lined up at Willamette Park in Corvallis on a foggy, cool morning. No wind at all and it didn't look like rain - perfect running weather. We started out north, toward the baseball fields, for just under a mile. I had a lot of kids around me for the first few hundred yards (more on that later), but got by most of them before the turn-around. I still had one boy in front of me, setting a decent pace, at the turn-around.

These out and back courses at Willamette Park are always interesting, because the bike/running trail really isn't wide enough for a lot of passing, and when you've got people, and strollers, going both ways, it gets tricky. A little boy, around four years old maybe, totally took out a kid running beside me with a nice, no-look, swerve across the entire path on his little bike! Good times.

But my pace after the first mile was good, 7:16, and I felt all right. Of course, the first half of this course is as flat as it gets. The second half is a touch hillier, so I knew I would have to save just a bit. We made it back past all the walkers and strollers, and the girl on stilts (no, really), and passed the start/finish line heading the other way. Clear sailing. At about mile two, I got past the only female in front of me, but couldn't quite catch the kid that was just in front of me the entire way so far (one Nick Graham, 14 years old, according to the results). I would reel him in on the flats and downhills, then he would just toast me going up the hills.

I actually could have went by him at the second turnaround, as Nick kept going (to touch the fence, about 20 feet away?), instead of just going around the tree, as we were supposed to do. But who does that? I yelled at him to turn around and get going, then waited for him to get just by me and started the chase again (see the pace chart - that steep down spike into the 12:00 area is me waiting).

So we headed back, and I thought I could maybe get by him, as it's mostly downhill back to the finish line at the park...but I forgot there was one last, steep uphill. My man Nick just left me in the dust, as you can see clearly on the pace chart. Ah well, nice run, Nick.

Check the results on this one. Very, very weird. It was like an invitational for Masters and runners under 18. Note that there isn't a single runner in the top 28 finishers that was between the ages of 17-37! That's just bizarre. And there were some decent times. A 51 year old running an 18:11. A 16 year old running an 18:24. But not a single runner from the prime age groups at the front of the run. Just strange.

Personally, I was happy with my time. At 23:15, it was my fastest 5k of 2011, although if I had looked at my watch just a little before the end, I could have taken off five seconds and had a Master's PR of 23:10. Doh!

Interesting shirt. The colors and butterfly design were in honor of Cassie-Jo Robinson, an 11 year old that passed away earlier this year. Her family was at the start of the run and gave a moving tribute. Read an article about the race and the cause in the Gazette Times. Thanks for a nice shirt, Cassie-Jo.

So we're definitely getting close to the end now. A small, on campus, 5k this Friday afternoon. Then a twofer, yes a twofer, on October 30th, with a 5k and a 15k Trail Run.

Rollin' on!

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