2015 Worst Day of the Year 5k

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2015 Worst Day of the Year 5k

Postby BC » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:50 pm

Worst Day of the Year 5k
January 31, 2015
Portland

The weekend of the race was absolutely gorgeous, so a group of friends decided to do a hike in the gorge. I don’t know the exact distance of the hike, but I do know that it had something like 2000ft of climbing. Not huge, but also not insignificant. The hike was near Beacon Rock, and had absolutely amazing views over the entire Gorge and most of the local mountains. It was so nice that we found a spot that was out of the wind and had some nice mossy ground cover, and I had to take my shirt off because it was so warm. In January! Since the race was not an A race, I figured what the hell!

I had looked at some photos of the race before hand, and I already knew that it was not going to be a fast day. It looked like a decent part of the course was on gravel so clearly not a PB course. The race was at Edgefield which is part of a cool chain of brewpubs where they buy up really cool old buildings and convert them into bars, restaurants, theatres, and hotels. Edgefield is called the Estate and includes all of the above, plus a golf course. And the race was around the golf course.

I picked up some of my classmates who were also racing and we headed out to the Estate. It is a pretty low key event, and they encouraged people to wear costumes. In fact, there was free beer at the finish line for anyone with a costume. Sadly, I didn’t have time to get anything together for myself. Next time! While most people were milling around and trying to get excited about the race, I headed out to warm up on the course. It turns out that it was a 2.5km loop that we did twice. And it was all gravel. And really hilly. As soon as I hit the first hill in my warm up, my butt was not happy. Oh man, this is going to be a long day! Most of the course was pretty rolly, with some good climbs and good descents. The worst part was that right when you thought you were done the lap, so close that you could see and hear the finish line in front of you, they shot you off to the left and up the biggest hill of the day for about an extra 500m. Definitely a kick in the pants, so I was glad to know that it was there to mentally prepare myself.

Lining up at the start it was pretty funny, because nobody wanted to be near the start line. I stood there with a couple other guys, but everyone else was shied well away. I sussed out the competition and figured things were looking pretty good for me. Then a kid snuck up to the start line, wearing a singlet and some pretty short shorts and he looked fit. “Well, this just got interesting,” I thought to myself.

The gun went, and I lead for about the first hundred or so metres. Then the kid went flying by me. He gained about 30m then stayed locked in there. I thought about chasing him as we hit the first hill, but the pain in my butt said that was a terrible idea. So I held back and aimed for the long game. On the first downhill, I leaned into the hill and caught up to him almost right away. He pulled away again on the flats, but I suddenly felt like I had an angle that I could work. If nothing else, I’ll make him work for it. The cycle repeated over the next couple downhills, until we got near the end of the first lap. And turned left. Up the big hill. And he completely deflated. He just completely fell apart and it was almost as if he was standing still. I cruised the up and coasted the down, and just like that I was leading at the halfway point in the race. And then things got tricky.

Because the course was narrow, they were worried about congestion so they released the runners in waves at the start. I think they staggered the waves about every 5 minutes. Which mean that by the time I finished the first lap, some of the walkers had only barely started! As I came back through the start/finish there was a wall of people in front of me. “This is going to be interesting!”

I called out to people as I ran through, “Excuse me!” “Pardon me!” “Great job!” “On your left!” “Trail please!” “Have fun!” It felt like I was running hard while not breathing. Sometimes people heard me and moved, other times they didn’t and I had to dodge around them in the slippery grass.It was sketchy, it was hard, but it was hilarious! There was another kid who had slipped in behind me near the end of the first lap, and he rode on my wave as I dodge through the masses on the second lap. With about 500m to go in the race (pretty much the big deadly hill left) he took off. And I was absolutely winded. If it was an A race I might have gone after him, but who knows. I was exhausted! It also didn’t seem safe, as there was a big slippery downhill to the finish and it was absolutely full of runners so if the two of us had been charging down and actually racing it would probably have been quite dangerous. But those are just excuses. Bottom line, I came second. And had a lot of fun doing it.

The really funny thing was that in the registration there was the option of paying extra to buy a timing chip. I didn’t bother, because why would I worry about a couple seconds difference from gun time in a fun race? It seemed silly. But it turns out that they only kept results for the people with timing chips! Because I didn’t pay extra I don’t even exist in the results! And I find that hilarious!
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Re: 2015 Worst Day of the Year 5k

Postby Kiwi Keith » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:40 am

Only in America!
How does the course compare with Bear Mt? Other than the gravel surface.
"Aint nothin gonna breaka my stride, I'm running and I won't touch ground, oh no I've got to keep on movin."
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Re: 2015 Worst Day of the Year 5k

Postby MarionB » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:18 am

HaHaHa. That sounds hilarious Brad! I love the way you were trying to find a balance between trying hard and also enjoying the spirit of the race. The planning sounded crazy, with walkers and fast runners all mixed together! Yikes. It's always awkward in those community events where they are timed but also the main purpose is to have fun and get people out. When I did Run the Spit race in CR it was for Aboriginal Days and it was a blast, but kinda weird in that I didnt know if I should try really hard or just go with it! In the end I tried really hard like you and had a blast too.
Loved the way you wrote the report. Glad you are having fun as well as working hard.
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