Eugene Virtual Half Marathon

Well, that’s a wrap for this year. Actually, it’s been a wrap for a week, I’m just slow to report. First, the medal haul:

Should be self-explanatory

The race is sponsored by Krusteaz, makers of fine pancake mix. So if one runs the 5K on one day, and the half marathon (or marathon, if that’s your thing) then next, you get the “double stack” medal…’cuz pancakes, get it? Speaking of pancakes, in a normal year one could race a person in a flapjack outfit. If you beat the flapjack (there’s a flapjill for the ladies to beat), you win a year’s supply of Krusteaz pancake mix. Easy, right? I mean, my $DEITY, how heavy and hot and restrictive must that suit be? Yeah, well, the part they don’t tell you is that they pay one of the University of Oregon’s national-class runners to don the suit. I’m pulling this out of my ass, but I’ll bet I’m not far off, as we’ll see in a minute. Because the flapjack usually finishes in the top ten. Last I ran the marathon in my late 40s, I might have been able to dip into the high 17:00 range and beat the flapjack. As I approach 60? Yeah, my days of beating the flapjack are long behind me.

Beat the flapjack, win pancakes

This year, though, The Flapjack is in not-so-great racing shape, just like everyone else. The flapjack turned in a pretty sad 27:00 5K this year, meaning I easily stomped Flapjack into the pavement with my sub-22:00 time. That’s a pretty low bar, though, so I only get a “I beat the flapjack” sticker and not pancake mix. Which is okay, because given how much I love pancakes, an empty box would be a year’s supply for me.

The half marathon was run on the Sammamish River Trail, out-and-back. Given the name of the trail, it should come as no surprise that total elevation gain was 39 feet. I got to trot out my new carbon-plate shoes for this one. Not that it really makes much of a difference after the year I’ve had, but it was a cheap way to see what all the carbon hubbub is about. The shoes are nice, springy, and likely won’t last very long. The 5K the day before was hard to screw up. Like most 5Ks, just hold the pedal to the floor when the gun goes off and try not to blow up in the next 20 minutes. And that’s about how it turned out. The half? Eh, I lost my sense of pacing. It wasn’t a complete disaster or anything, often described as the “wheels coming off”. But the pace did start out a bit fast, and toward the end some of those mile splits lost 15-20 seconds/mile. On the other hand, it was a solo time trial with no one else around.

Anyway, it was a good excuse to get out and pretend to go fast. There were even results, but no prizes.

But I beat the flapjack, and you’ll never take that away from me

The half marathon “medal” was prize enough: it is made from the steps of the old Hayward Field. Hell, Katherine and I might have even stepped foot on that medal as we made our way to our seats to watch the Olympic Trials.

One of the reasons I did the virtual race was that entrants this year are given priority on registration next year, and what the hell, maybe I’ll go down and run the marathon next year. They put on a nice marathon down there, and one does indeed run in the footsteps of legends. And if we reserve a room early enough, there’s even a nice Best Western that’s along the marathon route and within walking distance of the starting line/Hayward Field.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *