Sunday, January 8, 2017

Molalla River Trail Race (11/12/16)

Because we had such a great time last year, and because we can't resist a good deal, Brad and I signed up again for the Molalla Running Club's run series. The final race was the Molalla River Trail Race.

The event was scheduled for October - remember the weekend of the big wind storm? Well, since it was on BLM land, the government shut us down. Apparently they didn't want anyone getting conked on the head by a falling tree!

SO... it was rescheduled for Nov. 12, and our nice fall trail race became a winter trail race! 

We didn't read the pre-race e-mail closely and missed the part where it said the last shuttle bus left about 8 a.m. When we arrived shortly after 8 a.m. and saw a bus pulling away. As we were getting out of the car, one of the organizers happened to see us and told us we'd missed the last ride. But he was heading to the trail head and told us to follow.

Fortunately, there was some parking left, and we snagged a spot right by the park potty. After a quick stop, we jogged to the gathering spot:
Dad joined us!
It was a wet morning, but the precip stopped, so I ditched my hat and sleeves at the starting line.
Ready to run!
Brad and I decided to run this at our own paces, so he ditched me as soon as the gun went off.

A couple miles in cam "The Wall" - a very steep, very long hill that most everyone walks. I walked.
And took some blurry photos while walking and breathing very heavily! Beautiful woods:
The rain returned mid-race, and I couldn't see through my water-covered glasses! Should have stuck with the hat :) BIG HILL:
Recent rains left the trail really muddy in parts, and I had to take it a bit slower after cresting the big hill. Still, I beat feet down, down, down, passing a handful of people in the process. I spotted Dad just as the 10K course met the 5K course and decided to run the end with him. It was hard to watch those people I'd passed pass ME in the final stretch, but it was fun to finish with Dad :)

I finished with an 11:21 pace, good enough for third place in my age division.

Brad was waiting for us at the end, and we snagged a photo with Big Foot. I was soaked!
We enjoyed the hot, salty finish-line soup before jumping back in the car and starting the real adventure.

A few weeks before, we traded Brad's Mazda Protege 5 for a Nissan Leaf. The all-electric car has a battery range of about 80 miles. I checked the directions to the race shuttle site and calculated that we had plenty of range to get there and back. But, I wasn't thinking that freeway miles tick away faster than in-town miles. So we arrived at the shuttle site with less range than I anticipated - just about enough to get home.

BUT... we missed the shuttle. By the time we drove the 10 miles (uphill!) to the trail head and the 10 miles back, we did not have enough battery to get home! (And there were no charging stations in the small town of Molalla)

The car's heat system draws battery, and we didn't have any to spare. So we all bundled up and tried to stay warm while I drove down the mountain with the heat off, windows open and air blowing to keep the windshield clear. BRR!

Using his cell phone, Brad found a charging station in Canby and quickly set up an account while I pointed the car in that direction. We all crossed our fingers that the station was available and functional - and that we'd have enough battery to get there.

We rolled in to town with just a few miles left, found the charger open at Walgreens and plugged in. To make up for the detour, Brad and I bought Dad lunch across the street at Burgerville while we waited for enough charge to get home to Tigard.

Several lessons learned with this adventure! :)

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