Monday, April 30, 2007

Eugene 1/2 Marathon ~ Race Report

I am still floating on a cloud somewhere above Eugene. Going in, I was beginning to doubt myself and think my goal of finishing under 2 hours was too lofty a goal. Now that it is behind me and I know that my dream of qualifying for Boston may be possible, I am more motivated than ever before. Please bear with the long narrative. :)

We departed Central Oregon around 11 a.m. and enjoyed a nice drive to the valley. There wasn't much traffic and we were able to make good time. We stopped for a picnic lunch at Dexter Park (PB & J - homemade, and an apple) and to allow the princess to take a potty break. She described the facilities as "Nasty!" so she opted to 'hold out' a little longer. She continues to impress me with her maturity. :)

We arrived just before 2 p.m. and went directly to the Hilton to pick up our race packets. As we maneuvered through the expo to get our 't-shirts, I saw several volunteers wearing a lime-green, long-sleeved technical shirt with the race logo on the front and a little 'inaugural' patch on the sleeve. The shirts we were given were white and short-sleeved (full marathoners got long sleeves, but also white). I loved this shirt! I wanted one... and proceeded to inquire about purchasing. I was informed they were 'sold out' but if I paid up front, they would mail one to me in the next few weeks. As I started to fill out the order form, DH starts to remind me about our budget (a constant issue of discussion - I'm sure for every couple!) and the fact that I don't need 2 shirts commemorating the race. [I don't need 2? Huh?! Yes, I do.] I didn't get one. Bummer!

At the expo, we learn that DDs race begins at 8:00 a.m., not 9:00 a.m. as was posted on the website. I most certainly will not be able to finish in time to see her run, now. Another bummer! In addition, I learn there were a number of speakers (Olympians, UofO athletes/coaches - Bill Dellinger!) lined up throughout the day that I would love to hear. If only we had more time. If only DH was as interested as I. Triple bummer!

After the brief stop at the expo, we met up with my brother and his family at a local park so that the kiddos could play. We spent about 2 hours with them... chatting, sharing. It was nice to see them. We don't see them enough.

We then checked into our motel... a Courtyard by Marriott (we always try to stay at a Marriott - we're rewards members and I like to earn points whenever possible) in Springfield. I had made reservations online and it was the only Marriott in the area that came up. I thought that odd at the time but didn't look farther... come to discover there was a Residence Inn right near the finish. Had only I known!! We would have preferred the Residence Inn - they have a great full breakfast buffet (free w/ your stay). The Courtyard didn't even offer a continental breakfast. No morning paper. Neither of us slept well - with the kiddos either atop me or beneath me, I couldn't get comfortable, and DH felt the bed was lopsided. When the bill arrived Sunday morning, DH was angry about the rate - $145. "The Mandalay Bay in Vegas was less expensive!" My goof. Quadruple bummer!

Fortunately, things began to improve when we met 'Bar' & 'Kong' at PF Changs for dinner. We had made reservations so we were able to get seated immediately and avoid the 2 hour wait! The kids were elated to see them... they nearly climbed over the table and each of us to reach them. They spent nearly the entire meal in their laps! It is a good thing they like children. :)
Curious about what we ordered? ...chicken and veggie lettuce wraps, orange peel beef, kung pao shrimp, shrimp with candied walnuts, garlic noodles, and mongolian beef. Everything was delicious!

After dinner, we spent a little time finding the start and finish areas for our races. We then returned to the motel and did our best to get to bed early. I think I finally dozed off around 9:30 p.m.

We awoke around 5:30 a.m., dressed and checked out. DH and the kiddos then drove me near the start line and dropped me off. They proceeded to McDonald's for a quick breakfast... I gobbled up a Luna bar.

I found Kong at the start line almost immediately. We chatted and 'danced around' for about 20 minutes before the gun. She had purchased a new skort at the expo and had matched it with the race t-shirt. She looked great in green and yellow. She is a UofO alum and definately showed her school spirit. :) I chose to wear black bike style shorts and a turquoise long-sleeved technical shirt.

I had printed out my goal splits for each mile on a strip of paper and I kept it in the pocket of my shorts. Each time I passed a mile marker, I would glance at the strip to assure myself I was on track. The first couple of miles were a tad slower than my goal but I had anticipated this and knew I could make up the difference if all went well.

The first 5 miles or so were in the residental area that surrounds the university campus. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people who came out to watch us run as they enjoyed their morning coffee. The energy was high and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves as we crossed the footbridge into Alton Baker Park.

There were a number of photographers on the bridge and I attempted to slow up in front of each and give a little smile ... I am anxious to discover whether my attempts were fruitful or in vain.

I felt a slight change in energy as we entered the park and passed the 10K mark. It seemed things were 'serious' now. There was less chit chat amongst the runners. Fewer spectators along the park trail leading into Springfield. As we left the park and entered the residental area, more of the public came out to support us.

After the race, Kong and I discussed the support that Eugene showed for the event. She was disappointed in the number of spectators that came out. I, on the other hand, having run so many trail runs lately, was pleased by the support. On the trail... there is no one but the runners. I shared with her what Kara had stated on her blog. Hopefully, in the years to come, the support will improve.

Despite my efforts pre-race, I was not able to get my family to come out to watch the race. Due to a variety of circumstances (my mom was sick with the flu, my brother & family had another obligation in Portland, my other brother had a bachelor party in Vegas, blah blah blah), my dad was the only one that made it. I originally had asked that he be somewhere by mile 9 (also near his apartment)... but when we learned of how traffic/parking may be difficult, I told him to just go to the finish. He did and I was very happy that he could be there... it means a lot when friends/family come to support you.

For a time (miles 8-12), I was seemingly playing leapfrog with 2 girls in yellow & green tie-dye. They were both wearing headphones and had to nearly scream at one another to converse. At one point, when one was yelling, "How are you feeling?" repeatedly, I thought they were talking to me as I was just a few steps ahead. Nope... she was trying to get the other girl's attention over her music! They really began to get on my nerve when they were complaining about all their aches and pains. I tried to get away from them but to no avail. In the end, they finished about 100m ahead of me. Darn.

When I hit the 12 mile marker, I did my best to push the pace. At the 13 mile marker, I gave it my all. DH said he almost missed me because I was behind a big guy (I was desperately trying to pass him at the end) and he didn't see me. He told me I should go slow across the finish for the photo op... not me... I wanted the best time. :)

After the race, we all went to brunch at Studio One off Agate Street. Nice meal. Great company. I would love to run Eugene again... especially the full marathon as the last 13 miles are all along the river, where Pre trained. Beautiful.

By the Numbers
I finished #387 of 1984 finishers.
The average finishing time was 2:21:43.
Of the 1326 females, I was #135.
In my age group, I was #30 of 212.
The top female finished in 1:12. The top male in 1:06.


  1. > She described the facilities as "Nasty!"


    > If only DH was as interested as I.

    I feel your pain but he is showing that he is incredibly supportive by just making the trip with you. Kudos to him! :-)

    > I think I finally dozed off around
    > 9:30 p.m.

    Nicely done! That's harder than it sounds.

    > I gobbled up a Luna bar.

    Those bars are delicious.

    > I felt a slight change in energy as
    > we entered the park and passed
    > the 10K mark. It seemed things
    > were 'serious' now.

    That's a powerful description. I can actually feel the seriousness as I read this.

    > Of the 1326 females, I was #135.

    FANTASTIC! Great race report!

  2. Nice job, Makita! That's the kind of race report we just love to get :-) I think you absolutely needed that second long sleeve shirt. Bummer! Isn't it great how the races bring out the best in all of us. You did fantastic. Congratulations again!!

  3. Congratulations on your great time! You were way ahead of me. As a master runner I was pleased to make it over the line running and smiling! Somehow I managed to get in the top 20 for my age group! Kewl ~
    Tuesday’s paper will be printing all the runners’ times. I imagine there will be some candid photos too. I heard some guy ran the marathon barefoot! Ouch

  4. Congratulations on a great race! The long sleeve tech shirts were nice. That was a beautiful course from what I could see. I was at mile ten of the marathon course for awhile and getting to it was tricky with the roads blocked off- your dad made a good choice going to the finish.
    30th in your age group- that's great and a great pace.

  5. Congrats on the big run!
    But who on earth is this "DH" character? Sounds like a bit of a bozo to me!

    I say this mostly in jest, as there's no chance he'll read this himself right?

  6. Bummer about the expo, hotel,...
    But Congratulations for a great race with a strong finish! woohoo!

  7. Hey Makita, I was at Eugene too. I just discovered this via Wes's blog. It was a beautiful day for a run. Hopefully you'll get to do the marathon some day. For a pretty small race, I think the fans were great. You had quite the impressive finish stats there.


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