This weekend I had a birthday on a Saturday which made for the perfect opportunity to run a birthday race and what better way to celebrate than to run! Friday Jash and I headed up to WA after he finished school and I finished work for the day. We had a pretty nice drive up there and arrived just in time to cook a wonderful birthday dinner together with a celebratory glass of bubbly and some cake! The next morning we were up early at 5am, well maybe more like 5:30am after a few snoozes. We packed up the car and drove the quick 10 min to the race start. Jash was volunteering for the event as well which was a great help to them and a good way for us to enjoy the event together. After some quick pictures at the starting line it was time to run and celebrate my birthday!
The morning felt perfect with the overcast clouds and no rain making it impeccable running weather! We headed out as a group on the soft trail with rolling hills. I started at a nice pace but trying to move it a bit faster because I knew I wanted to be able to finish my race and still make it back to OR to watch the Winterhawks in the Memorial Cup. I enjoyed chatting and bantering with fellow runners and the first loop really flew by! Jash was directing traffic on the little loop so I asked him if he wanted to run the third loop with me and gave him an hour to get ready as I headed back out. The second loop was fun and I was still around a lot of people so engaged in many random running conversations and watched the trail! By the third loop I was ready to have some company with Jash and we ran together and talked and enjoyed the beautiful day. Jash gave me all the updates of what he had been doing for the morning at the main, only, aid station and how nice everyone was. He was also a great Cheerer and many people looked forward to finishing a loop and having Jash clap and cheer them on with encouraging positive words. We finished our loop if great time and I headed out for my 4th loop on my own. This one was really nice because I was alone for the whole loop now that we had all spread out so much and it was just what I needed. I put on some tunes and just ran and enjoyed everything about being out there and reflected on how happy I was to be able to run and run my 101st marathon+ distance race on my birthday in the beautiful NW. There really was nothing that I could imagine doing that would make me more happy and I was just thrilled. We also saw a few deer out on the course and that was pretty cool. On the 5th loop I was getting ready to be done for sure. But on this loop I was able to run past a horse, giant horse with a rider on top and felt so tiny as we passed. It was pretty cool. I finished up my last loop to cheers and a wonderful sense of accomplishment and just before any rain started! I chatted with a fellow out there that was 80+ doing the event. I was in awe of him- he was truly living life as well and I was so happy to hear that someone in their 80’s was out there doing what they loved to do and it inspired me to keep it up and be out there again celebrating my 80th 90th 100th and beyond birthday running on the trails with other awesome runners! It was a very happy birthday indeed!