Several months back, a good friend invited me to join her for the Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival in Sunriver, Oregon. She was planning to register to walk the half marathon (her first!) and thought it might be fun to make a weekend out of it. I’d heard a lot of good things about the event and I LOVE Central Oregon so it sounded like the perfect weekend to me!
Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking and I ventured down on Thursday afternoon, arriving to 100 degrees! The forecast was calling for upper 90’s to 100 degrees for the entire weekend. EEK!!
On Friday we got in a quick round of golf (my first time on a golf course in more than four years!) and then drove to Sunriver to hit packet pickup.
Friday afternoon was spent in the pool trying to stay cool, fueling up, and getting prepared for race day! We were also treated to a spectacular lightning storm and a fiery sunset over the Cascade Range mountains.
We were up bright and early Saturday morning to make the hour drive back to Sunriver from where we were staying. Despite concerns of not being able to find parking close to the event, we totally lucked out and found a spot near the start/finish. When we arrived, just before 7 AM, it was nearly 70 degrees with the temperatures anticipated to climb quickly as the morning progressed.
When I first registered, I had intended to train for it in hopes of securing a new PR. While I knew the altitude (4,200 feet) would play a role, I thought it was doable. And then life got busy. And I got sick and missed a key long run. And yada-yada. Long story short, the race, er, the running part, was not great. I went in knowing there were limitations (under-trained, the altitude, the heat, etc.) and decided to focus on enjoying the event and course without the pressure to perform.
It was a smart move and mindset. I struggled from the start but decided to make the best of it. I let my pace slow as I meandered along the tree-lined, paved bike path that passes vacation homes and rentals. Later, we ran alongside ponds and small lakes, passed the airport and a golf course, and back towards the Sunriver Village to the finish. It was probably near 85 degrees when I finished and I wasn’t the only one challenged by the heat. Thank goodness for the kind people with misters and hoses along the course! I felt for my friend who had nearly another hour and a half before she’d reach the finish line.
Regardless of how I felt and raced, I loved the event! There were numerous races going on throughout the weekend, they had tons of volunteers and even added extra aid stations when they learned of the forecast, the food at the finish line was the best spread I’ve ever seen at an event, and the course was beautiful and mostly flat the entire way!
My friend, and both of our men, decided that we’d like to take it on again next year and are already beginning to make plans! There are few events that I would recommend anyone travel to do but this one is totally worth it, in my opinion. And, the resort community of Sunriver is an athletes paradise and offers something for everyone!
In all honesty, I’m a little disappointed with my overall race results but that’s the way it goes. Not every race is going to be the greatest race ever. But I had a great weekend, with great friends, in one of my favorite areas so I’ll call it a win!
|Hyla Ridenour||St Helens, OR||2484||F||37||1:54:01||8:42||13 / 87|