Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Willamette Mission Trail Challenge (4/30/16)

After doing some trail running together this winter, Lindsey and I signed up to run a spring trail race: the Willamette Mission Trail Challenge.

The small race as hosted by Run Wild Adventures and cost just $20 for the 5K and $25 for the 10K - my kinda race!
Lindsey arrived nice and early Saturday for our trek south to Willamette Mission State Park near Brooks. We settled on shoes and hydration and hit the road. 

Chatting away the miles, we missed the exit and had to circle back. But we'd left plenty of time, and we ended up with a nice tour of Keizer.

There were tons of cars parked in the field, but most were for a Boy Scout camporee. It's always funny to see grown men in their Boy Scout uniforms :)

Our before photo... I remember Lindsey saying the sun was really bright. I guess it was!!
The course was a figure eight of sorts with the 5K staying on the lower loop. We ran the first part together, then she turned left to finish the 5K and I headed out alone for the second loop.
The race was flat and muddy! Instead of puddle after puddle like I've seen in other trail races, this was that really thick, goopy mud that sucks off your shoes! I usually love just stomping right through the puddles, but that thick stuff requires a slow down.
When I wasn't on mud, using all my stabilizing muscles to stay on my feet, I was on narrow single track. It was tricky, but I was thankful to be traveling in a mostly straight line. My pace really shows the difference:

Mile 1: 12:36
Mile 2: 11:08
Mile 3: 10:02
Mile 4: 9:27 (single track out of the mud)
Mile 5: 9:50

Mile 6: 10:49
Mile 6.19: 8:15  

Lindsey did awesome! I loved running with her and then seeing her cheering me on at the finish :)

(She said that beer wasn't very good)
We waited for the raffle...
And I won a water bottle! 
But I have a million water bottles, so I gave it to my racing buddy :)

I finished in 1:05:37 - a 10:35 minute-per-mile average. I was 61 out of 92 overall and 7 of 11 in my age/sex group.

The route was beautiful - through the trees and along the river! I would definitely recommend this small, inexpensive, no-frills race.

PS - This is my second Run Wild Adventures race. Part of the no-frills is not having water on the course. Just be prepared :)

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