Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hagg Lake Hybrid Marathon


Marathon number 87 was a blast out at Hagg Lake!  Just a day after the rain had started in OR we had the race, but lucky for us we did not get really much rain at all out there on the course and it ended up being a perfect day for a marathon.  What I really liked about this inaugural race was the mix of road and trail.  We did 2 counter clockwise loops around Hagg Lake, the first on roads and the second on the secluded trails.  It made for a great second half on the legs that were ready for a softer surface to do the last 14 miles on and the change of scenery was a welcome beautiful distraction.  What a also really liked about this course was the fact that the RD’s really put thought into where and how many aid stations we needed out there and had plenty of Gu for us so there was not bonking!  The course markings were also wonderful so it was very easy to follow and plenty of confidence markers just in case.  I really loved all the cones placed on the ground marking our way with had written “Race in Progress” on them and thought of all the loving time and energy that went into making those for our race day.  It really made it just a treat to be out there and I was in no hurry once I got to the trails.  I loved the fall colors all around us and it made for some breathtaking views.  This year being the first year was pretty small in terms of the field that entered the race and I just started wondering, where did all of the thousands of people that ran Portland last weekend go to?  Although I was happy that we had the roads and the trails rather people free which means that we were not competing to find a place or ever feeling rushed on the trails by lines of people.  Overall it was a wonderful first event and I am looking forward to running this one again next year if I am in the state and not out of the country on sabbatical. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

PDX Gangnam Style!

Last year I ran Portland with my baby bop and it was his first marathon.  We also had just flown back from CA from our beautiful friends Anne and Tim’s wedding, slept in the car, and showed up to the marathon start after about 4 hours of sleep.  Needless to say it was not the best way to do a first marathon for Jash, but he was a trooper and we had so much fun.  This year I was running the event solo as Jash is training up for Marine Core that we will run together at the end of the month.  I had flown back from Germany just 6 days before the race and was pretty sick with something that I had picked up on the plane ride home.  I was also not feeling great from 8 days of eating German/different food from what I am used to so I was a bit thrown off all together, but still excited about the event.  There is something about your hometown marathon that you just have to love.  Going to packet pick up on Friday even though I was running in and out while Jash circled the block was still a little thrill, and also reminded me that I am excited to be running it under Melissa Kistler next year as there were 3 registered Melissa Williams this year. 

This year was the best weather by far that we have ever had for the race.  I started out in just my shorts and tank whereas usually I am layered up or have something on for rain protection.  I knew the race was going to be tough so I just started out easy and tried to enjoy the race.  I did get to the point on the St. George Bridge where I started to wonder if anyone had ever jumped off during the marathon and that is when I realized that I probably need to eat a gu.  Speaking of gu, that is one thing that really bugs me about Portland.  For a huge race like that they do everything so great except that they cheap out on the course support and hand out gummy bears and pretzels.  Both of which are great for an Ultra but really who wants to be eating that on course for a road marathon?

About mile 23 I ran into Toto Vo and we completed the marathon together, which was awesome because we were both not having a great day and were just happy that we were going to be done soon.  It was nice to have some time on the course to catch up with each other and we had a blast finishing Gangnam style!!  Marathon 86 done and done!