Just as the newspaper article had predicted, there were significantly fewer runners participating in this years annual Circle the Bay run in North Bend. As it turned out, this had a significant effect on my performance. The picture below shows the packet pick-up and race-day registration area.... many of the runners, the volunteers, and the loved ones that came out to support us are actually pictured here!
Here is DH and the Asst. Fire Chief - one of my high school classmates! They worked together for several years before we moved to Central Oregon and became good buddies. "Chief" was there to run support for the race - blocking off the busier intersections in town and on hand in case of an emergency. A huge shout out to all those who volunteer their time so we can have a fun, safe race!DH followed me for much of the course playing photographer! He got a lot of really great photos and it was fun to have him along to converse with on occasion - particularly as I ran along East Bay Drive. There were so few participants that I felt, at times, like I was out there all alone! I had no clue how I was doing. Last year, when the final runner for a relay team sprinted past me after she took the baton at mile 13, it became my mission to finish before her. I didn't have that incentive this year. There wasn't anyone within eyesight to chase.
Due to construction on the McCullough Bridge this year, the race directors had to make an impromptu change in the course. After mile 17, they actually forged a trail that took us beneath the bridge to cross to the other side - I presume the state wouldn't allow them to stop traffic there at the intersection.
This next picture shows me starting down the trail. The man behind me has run the Circle the Bay for 16 consecutive years! He passed me just before mile 10 and I kept him within eye sight for the middle miles. I always fade in the middle and true to my nature, I caught him here in the final miles. I'm also fond of trail running whereas he slowed significantly to watch his step.
Here, DH caught me as I proceeded up... it was quite the climb. I just kept laughing about it!
Due to the course change, this also meant that the finish line was moved slightly. Runners no longer had to circle the baseball field... we were able to finish nearly immediately upon entering the park.
My time is visible on the clock but no great finish line photo... just my back side. All along the 30K course, the lyrics to "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry went through my head. It is a very catchy, high tempo song and it kept my legs moving.
For those that like numbers, my mile splits are listed below. The Garmin didn't sync-up until I was just 100 yards or so from the first mile marker, however. It was keeping time though so it should be relatively accurate.
Mile 1 - 8:08
Mile 2 - 8:16
Mile 3 - 8:26
Mile 4 - 8:36
Mile 5 - 8:32
Mile 6 - 8:29
Mile 7 - 9:19 2 significant hills and a water stop
Mile 8 - 8:21
Mile 9 - 8:38
Mile 10 - 9:21 Huh? I don't recall what happened here.
Mile 11 - 8:30
Mile 12 - 8:58 I'm starting to fade...
Mile 13 - 8:59
Mile 14 - 8:57
Mile 15 - 9:18 The hills begin...
Mile 16 - 10:16
Mile 17 - 9:08
Mile 18+ - 16:02 I didn't see the 18 mile marker.
Finish: 2:46:24 (average 8:56 min mile pace)
And for those who like graphs and charts - here's a visual from the Garmin: