On May 1st, I ran the Eugene Half Marathon (I realize that was two weeks ago; I’ve been busy, give a guy a break). This was my second half marathon and my time improved by 4 minutes from my previous run. I ran with my running buddy, Becca. She and I have trained for the last several months. I guess we were training for it, we would have been out running anyway, this just gave us something to shoot for.
I really enjoyed the Eugene Half. It was more expensive than the Rim Run, but it was definitely worth it. There was an expo the day before the run with free food and vendors hawkin’ their goods. Free samples of health foods and energy bars, all sorts of running equipment, a sale of “once-worn” running shoes, and talks from various names in running. And that is just the day before the race.
What I thought was most amazing is what an event this is. People come out and watch, watch and cheer. The entire course was lined with people holding signs, ringing bells, and just generally encouraging the runners. It was a really great feeling. There were plenty of water stops and even some refueling tables with energy gels, as you can see on the map(pdf).
I was really satisfied with my performance. My time was 2:12:37, and you can see the full results. I initially felt bad about it, but Becca and I split up at mile 11. I was really feeling strong, but when I asked her if she wanted to try to push and kill it the last two miles, she told me to go ahead, that she was sore. She told me that she’d like it if I cheered her in at the finish, and I knew I’d like that too. I took off and just flew the last two miles to the finish. Once through the finishers’ area, I sped back to the last stretch. I got there just in time, ’cause I saw her red head bobbin’ up the road. She finished strong and I got to cheer for her, so I was both a participant and a spectator for one of my best friend’s big moments.
That finish was intense. The race starts just outside of UofO’s Hayward Field, but it finishes right on the track, in front of the grand stands, filled with people. The entrance to the field is crowded with people and there is a band playing. You’re also right there with other finishers, everyone pushing even those last yards.
Again, I ran the half marathon in my Vibram FiveFingers. I definitely think of myself as a barefoot runner. Soon I’ll be upgrading to a new pair.
This was an amazing run. I will definitely do it again, when I get back to Oregon.