Thursday, May 15, 2014

Happy Valley 10k and 5k - Race Report, Results and Photos

Looking for some hill work? Have I got the race for you!

But first, here are the particulars:

Need to see the results? They're right here and/or right here.

Want to see photos of yourself all sweaty and sad-looking? Jake Egbert Photography took care of that for you right here and here.

So, the race.

Well, after the illness and subpar performance at the Corvallis Half, I wanted to get something on the schedule fairly quickly just to keep my training momentum going. And while it was a bit of a drive, Happy Valley is just outside of Portland, the date was about right, so I signed up for this one. Definitely sight unseen. Unfortunately.

As I drove into the Happy Valley area, I noticed immediately that there may be a problem. There's no valley. It should really have been named Happy Hills. I mean, I'm not a stickler for detail, but come on.

Yep, that chart that looks like waves on the open sea? That's the elevation profile. It was actually a 5k loop and the 10k ran it twice, so that's why the halves look very similar.

Anyway, the race started at Happy Valley Elementary and the packet pickup was inside the school. Indoor bathrooms...yes! So after a quick pitstop, about 50 of us 10k runners and around 250 5k runners toed the start line and were off! Well, actually, it was more like, Yes, we started right uphill. No messing around with a flat start, let's just get this thing headed uphill.

As you can see on the map, it was a quick uphill jaunt on King, then a left on 146th. That was a pretty good downhill most of the way, then slightly uphill at the end before we turned onto Ridgecrest. Then some zags and a hill through a neighborhood section and back to Ridgecrest. Then a odd little loop into Happy Valley Park. Downhill going into the park and uphill coming out. Once we took the left back onto Ridgecrest, we got the most brutal uphill of the course, all the way to 132nd. Just had to grind it. Once on to 132nd, it was a pretty good downhill almost all the way back to King. Then another left with some down, then up and we're back to the start and the 2nd lap.

Not sure how, but I kept a very even pace through the first three miles, at 8:10, 8:08 and 8:09. Once we dropped all the 5k runners, I had a bit of a lapse in concentration and dropped to an 8:23, but picked it back up for an 8:07 on mile five. Mile six was sort of slow at 8:23, big hill, then finished it up at about the same pace. Averaged 8:14 overall. Not great, but an improvement over my horrid pace at the Corvallis Half.

Not real happy that my Garmin read 6.44 miles at the end. I realize that kind of course can add a bit to the total mileage, but an extra quarter mile is a LOT of extra running. That's two minutes added to my time. Nope, not happy about that, Happy Valley.

Good cinnamon chip bread from Great Harvest at the finish and some amazaballs bundt cake mini things that were fantastic! I think those were from this place - check them out!

Shirts were pretty cool. They had both tech and cotton, but luckily I grabbed a tech shirt before they ran out.

So there you have it. Not a bad race. Good organization and low-key, but so, so hilly. Probably would not run it again. Now I need to find one or two more of the 10k variety before my next goal half: the Eugene Half Marathon at the end of July.

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