Some adventures in road and trail running.
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Reason to Run: Big Sur Marathon 2009

This morning I ran the Big Sur Marathon. And when I say morning I use that term very loosely!!
The Big Sur marathon has a start time of 6:45am. Not too bad you say. Well then throw in that you have to bus out to the start and you have to be on the bus no later than 4:15 am!! This is as crazy as my ultra running friends start times for 100 milers!! So I get out to this beautiful spot in the Big Sur park at around 5:15 in the morning. The sun is not even up yet. So nothing to do but pull up a piece of road and sleep for 30-40 minutes. I would have slept longer but my shivering in the pre-dawn cold woke me up ;-)

Now enough whining about the start. The Big Sur marathon is well organized, efficient and flows very nicely as an event. I have a new respect and perspective on this since hosting our first Reason to Run events back in April. They co-host about a million events: walks, 21 miler, marathon, 10 miler, marathon relays, 5k and more. All told 10,000 athletes take part in the weekend. It is big. This event had the best water and food support I have seen at a road marathon. Lots of lots of opportunity for both water and fuel. Gels at many locations. I also liked the Bring Your Own Bottle (BYOB) support for refills of handhelds.

I hope my pictures give you a small glimpse at why the race is so popular. The course is just that beautiful. And challenging. This was the toughest road marathon I have tackled. It actually was much closer in style to the trail ultras I run: miles of up and down that constantly challenge you mentally and physically. No mile upon mile of flat running here!

The profile:

And there was a little issue with wind giving us an extra bang for the buck today. At the aptly named Hurricane Point, when I picked up a leg at the end of a stride, the wind would blow it over to smash into the other leg!!

I had never planned to race this weekend but rather run hard and have a good time. I ran with a camera for the first time and really tried to push but not punish the body. It was hard to hold back in the first 10 miles. Similar to the Boston marathon and as you can see in the profile, the first couple of miles are a good downhill. Watch those quads! After that natural fatigue set in and we were fine ;-)

Overall, I had a great time, got in some amazing training and posted a 3:35 finishing time. The legs and body feel good, I think I fueled and hydrated well. My nemesis, my gut, did try to hijack the run a few times but running at the sub-race pace kept it under control.

I would go back but I don't know if I would ever try to really pound this one...boy that would hurt! I also tried doing a cheap hotel to keep the trip cost down and it worked out great. $40 with WiFi at the Good Nite Inn in Salinas. I booked using Travelocity.

Now it is time to head out for a recovery run with my best friend Trisha and then to bed to attempt to catch up on some much needed sleep!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Reason to Run Honduras

Our Spring Burst 5k and 10k was held on April 11th, 2009. One of our goals is to have all of our runs be beneficial to as many people as possible: the runners, the racers, even the organizers, as well as to those who are reached by the designated charity.

For our spring events, we were proud to provide financial support towards the establishment of an automotive technical school for the young men of the Micah Project in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

While we were running here in Tigard, Oregon, the young men and staff from the Micah House were staging their own event in Honduras: Reason to Run Honduras!! Too COOL: our first event goes international!!

Great job goes out to John, Wilmer, Marvin, Rebecca, Erick, Charly, Michael and Cristofer for pounding out a 10k. We just know you guys sweated more than us thanks to the Honduran heat!

Going forward, we are hard at work on our upcoming events...currently scheduled for August 15th and September 19th. We are excited to help provide you many more Reasons to Run!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ING Bay to Breakers 12k Race Discount

The ING Bay to Breakers 12k is being savvy and I think using their advertising dollars wisely. They have approached numerous running blogs to promote the event AND provide a discount to the blog readers.

I am heading to near the bay area this weekend for the Big Sur Marathon so I will not be going down again to San Francisco for the Bay to Breakers. But if you are planning to go or are looking for a cool destination race, read on to get your discount.

Special Offer for the 98th Annual ING Bay to Breakers 12k : May 17th, 2009

You can get an additional 5% off the early registration price for this year’s race. Don’t miss this opportunity to join (and support!) one of the most original and zany road races in the county.
  • Visit for details about the race
  • Register online by midnight on April 30th, 2009 to receive the early registration price with an additional 5% discount
  • Enter this coupon code 5RUNCODE09 (case sensitive) and click ‘redeem’ before completing your registration
  • This offer is limited to the first 100 registrants, so make sure to register as soon as possible!
Please direct any questions to info (at) ingbaytobreakers (dot) com

The Fine Print:
- This is an online offer only
- Discount is valid only for the registration fee. It is not applied to optional purchases such as the MUNI pass or packet mailing fee

A discounted race entry fee is a great Reason to Run ;-)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Five Dollar Runs

This weekend I participated in two very different runs that both cost five dollars to enter. What an amazing deal for the money!

On Saturday, it was the ice breaker track meet for the Tigard Youth Track club where I am an assistant coach for the long distance runners. The meet was out in Sherwood and the weather was great for the event!
Cole and Leah both race great events.Leah set a PR doing both the 400 and the 100 meters and placing 3 and 2nd in her heats. Cole did the 400 and posted a good solid time better than the start of last season but not quite a PR.
I had not planned to run but as the day rolled out it just made sense for me to slap down the five dollars and race the 3000 meters Masters event. Turned out to be a really nice hard 11 minutes of running. Felt surprisingly good and strong with how little speed work I have done this spring. Only 3 seconds off my PR for this event. Wahoo!

Sunday started early heading out to explore Ruckle Creek trail with Micheal and Ronda. I do not think I have been on this particular trail before and it is a great workout! Another five dollars to park at the bottom but totally worth every cent.

We had lush green forests, wild flowers peeking out in the sun and herds of deer skirting around us as we marched up the hill. I had to turn around to have time to make church so I did not hit the real snow and the Benson Plateau. It was great fun trying to run fast down while staying vertical and soaking up the strain in the quads.

Get out to the Gorge...great workout and amazing scenery!!
These are some of my reasons to run :-)

Monday, April 13, 2009

2009 Spring Burst 5k and 10k

April 11, 2009 was the first running of the Reason to Run Spring Burst 5k and 10k.

We had ~150 people come out to Cook Park to tackle the trails for the 5k and 10k events.

We were blessed with warm weather and no rain and I believe the sun even made an appearance or two.

These races are urban trail runs: more challenging than a traditional 5k or 10k out on the road and a great way to mix it up and try something new and different.

After an inspirational prayer to set the tone for the runs, we counted down and the runners were off promptly at 8:30 am. They followed the road within Cook Park (SW 92nd) towards the boat launch on the Tualatin River. Then it was off the road to enjoy a section of bark mulch trail. After this warm-up, the runners picked up the pace on the paved bike path towards the Ki-a-Kuts pedestrian bridge and over the Tualatin River.
Over the bridge and down on the paved trail into Tualatin Community Park, a U-turn and the next bark mulch trail section coming back to the bridge. This is the section of the course that has an explosion of trilliums!. Then back over the bridge and into Durham City Park for more paved bike path. After a "lollipop" out and back the runners returned to Cook Park and the finish line within the Butterfly Garden.
BUT was only the finish line for the 5k runners. We happily directed the 10k runners out for 3.1 more miles of fun on the out and back trail along the Tualatin River towards 108th Ave. This is the challenging section of the course were you have to dig deep and push to maintain your pace. One more section of trail once back into the main section of Cook Park and then the 10k finish!

The winning times were impressive with both winners getting under the 6 min/mile pace.
The 10k results can be found here.
The 5k results can be found here.
The race day pictures from Evan Pilchik Photography are here.

Some of the other blog reports on the event can be found here, here and here.

We have also conducted a survey with all the participants and we really appreciate all the positive feedback about the course and the event in general. As well, thanks for the suggestions for how to make the event even better next year!

We would like to thank all the participants who trusted us with their Saturday run. We were also very excited at how many first time racers we had finish. Once you start running on the you ever fully go back to be a road runner?? ;-)
Our sponsors, Clif Bar, Haggen, Road Runner Sports, Al's Garden Center, The Great Urban Race, Sledge Athletic Solutions, Gigi Fit, lululemon athletica, and Banana Blossom Press were amazing Reason to Runand really helped us to put on a first class event.

We look forward to doing this event again next year and hope you will join us.
We are deep into the planning of other events for this year including a trail run in September. We will keep you posted!