Thursday, February 23, 2017

Salem Run'ucopia (11/24/16)

I know we're past Valentine's Day and heading toward spring, but today we're remembering Thanksgiving 2016!

Tradition (est. 2010) dictates a family race to kick off our Thanksgiving. This year, we chose Run'ucopia in Salem. The price was good, and it seemed like a fun, family-friendly race with several distance options.

If you remember, Thanksgiving was "a little bit wet" this year. But we're hardcore, so we dressed for rain, jumped in the borrowed minivan (thanks, Pa!) and drove to Salem early to snag a close parking spot.

Then we stood in the rain while some guy took forever to find our bibs, all while turning down offers of help from other volunteers. Strike one.

Because we parked super close, and the weather was miserable, we all hung out in the car until it was time to run.
Eventually, we forced ourselves outside to listen to the instructions. Brad and I joined some other runners huddled under a tree to ward off some of the rain.

The big group split into three, each heading to the starting line that corresponded with their race distance. But there were no actual starting lines and instructions were unclear, with different organizers saying different things. Everyone was confused and just hoping they were in the right place. Strike two.

Then, something held up the start. I don't know if the timers weren't ready or the course wasn't ready or what. But we stood wet and getting blasted by cold wind for way too long. I don't remember exactly, but I bet it was 15+ minutes. I was not the only one getting really grumpy about a delayed start in such bad weather. Strike three.

The 10K course was a double loop across the Willamette River and through Wallace Marine Park (triple loop for the 15K). Double loops aren't my favorite, but it was fine - mostly flat and straight forward. Crossing the river four times was kinda fun.

The race had a lot of faults, but I did appreciate the $.99 digital downloads from the photographer!
In the home stretch, running straight into the very strong wind:
Eryn on the bridge:
The other major problem I had with this race was there was no water on the course! There was a table with jugs near the turnaround, but no one was actually manning it = no water. I need a sip if I'm running 6 miles. Strike four.

I ran the end with Eryn (mostly because I was freezing just waiting :) )
Because of the weather, I didn't take many pics. Again, glad for the cheap downloads!

Also because of the weather, I ran pretty hard (because I wanted to be done sooner, and because I run better when it's cool), finishing in 54:44 - an 8:49 average. That's good enough for 1st place in my division and 8th place for all women! (Brad took first in his division, too!)

Side note: My tiny arch-nemesis was there! I was in the back stretch of my second loop when I passed a kid dressed in all neon. OH MY GOSH! It's that tiny runner who smoked me two years ago at the Hot Buttered Run. I passed him and felt pretty good about myself... until I saw the results. The 8-year-old actually beat me by 11 seconds. WOW.

Organizers acknowledged problems with the race, issuing on their Web site an apology and promises for a better 2017. Still, I think we'll skip this one in the future. There are a lot of other Thanksgiving options out there :)

After racing hard in the elements, it was so nice to sit down to a yummy Thanksgiving dinner with family at Eryn's house!

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