Sunday, September 25, 2011


I'm trying to think back some eight months later on this race, so forgive me if the details are fuzzy and I don't remember things quite right.

I don't even remember how we got signed up for this, I think Libbie wanted to do a 5k and thought Corvallis would be fun since I went to school down there. Anyways, I never really thought I would do an actual race. I had run on my own, sure, but races were only for serious people (later found out that wasn't true, especially a 5k).

My training for this run included running to Hall and back from my apartment a couple of times (I believe that is something like 2.5 miles). I had been working out on the elliptical regularly for almost a year (due to my hatred of running) so my cardio was decent, but I hadn't really built up my "running muscles." I was fairly confident I could run the whole thing, it would suck, but I could run. I set a goal of under 30 minutes to complete the 5k.

I had heard of this run before when I was in school and part of Circle K. It is staged by the Kiwanis International, parent organization of Circle K, and I had always had the chance to volunteer. The only problem was the race started at 8am and back in school I was NOT going to get up at 8am even if I had a class then, let alone to volunteer.

Since we had to drive down to Corvallis I believe I woke up that Sunday morning at 5:45am or some other god awful hour. It was all a blur. I remember thinking we were crazy for doing this, but oh well. I had just been in Corvallis the day before for a football game (took my Little Brother, Brandon, from BBBS... they lost of course).

We parked (McNary lot) and then walked to the starting area. We picked up our bibs and shirts and I saw Harold, the Kiwanis member who would come hang out with Circle K. He was busy though and I didn't want to bother him (it was also 18 months since I last saw him and he was nearly blind, so I didn't want him to not recognize me and then have it be awkward).

So we started to walk back to the car to put our shirts away (they should always have an AFTER the race shirt pick up!) and we heard some announcement about starting in a few minutes. Turns out it was for the 10k, but we didn't realize, so we found a nice big bush in a nearby yard and tucked our shirts away. Quite genius actually.

Eventually we realized it was for the 10k, but our shirts were safe so we just hung out near the starting line. Stretched a little, scoped out the competition. Shortly after we lined up and it was our turn to go.

The gun started for my first ever race and I was off. It was crowded at the start (what race isn't?) so I took to weaving in and out and going on the sidewalk and whatnot. By the time we hit campus it had thinned and we were running on the road. I saw Jason, a fellow Circle Ker, and he recognized me and cheered me on. I had lost Libbie at the start so I was all alone.

I kept up a decent pace but when training I certainly wasn't running this fast. I was in "race" mode now and my body wasn't too happy. I was enjoying running through the OSU campus but at the same time, running was enough of a challenge I didn't really take it all in.

Most of the race is a blur, I remember just wanting it to be over but trying to keep my pace up. There was a mom and her son, who was about nine, pacing me. I couldn't let this middle aged mom and her little tiny son beat me, right? If they weren't there as motivation I probably would have dropped off a little.

Finally the finish line was in sight! I had skipped the water station a half mile back and passed mom/son but I could hear them on my tail. I shifted into a full on sprint for the last 300 yards or so, easily beating them and passing a few others along the way. Through the finish line I went, 28:30 something. I had beat my goal! I had finished a race!

Well, that was fun. I got my chip cut off my shoe, grabbed a water, then went to watch for Libbie. She surprised me by showing up at like 33 minutes or something, I believe her goal was under 40. I cheered her on and then we went to snack on some free bread and honey.

That's about it. We headed back shortly after, feeling very accomplished and proud. It seems so quint now looking back, but at the time it certainly was a huge achievement. It was the start of our running "careers" and will always be special because of that.

Official chip time: 28:01, 9:07/mile. 12/17 M2029, 122/370 overall.
5k Course Map