I did want to come back and run the half. I liked the half course. Tonya knew this, and on August 1st, registration opened at 8:00 am. I was already at work, but Tonya registered herself and I for my birthday in November. This would be a birthday fun run. The half filled up within ten minutes. The full, only 3 days!
We got to Silver Falls, picked up our packets and t-shirt. Used the bathroom and went to say hi to our friend Kelleigh who was volunteering over in the food area. There was a nice fire going but we went to sit in Tonya's car with the heater going. With about 5 minutes to start, we headed over to the wet soggy grass to join the other runners. It felt cold, but not too cold. Our plan was to stay together and have fun! That's just what we did!!!!!
The gun went off and we ran across the wet soggy grass. We started in the back since we weren't really running for time. I don't think that was the best idea. As we made our way through the parking lot, we passed several people. Soon we came to the narrow path. Now we were pretty much stuck where we were in the pack.
|It's time to start!|
Every once in a while we could pass a person or two, but on this narrow trail, that didn't happen much. Every once in awhile a runner would come up behind us and try to pass. For the most part, we just ran single file for a mile or so.
Last year we had to cross a creek, it was very cold and I was really not happy about having to do this again. I kept telling Tonya, the creek is coming, I know it! I was getting a little worked up about this.
We did some sort of loop and came back into the park (South Falls day use area). I told Tonya to remember all the people are there to cheer for US! I tossed my gloves at the first aid station. I was now good and warmed up. We were about three miles in.
We had gone through the campground and were now on the bike path heading to the rim trail. As we came to aid station #2 we took a sharp turn onto the narrow canyon trail. I realized we didn't have to cross that creek this year! I guess that's only for the full marathon! I was really happy.
|One of the falls we ran behind|
We ran behind our first waterfall. It was so beautiful. We ran down a few stairs. Lots of mud, gravel and many bridges. The path was really rocky. My foot began to hurt about mile ten from large rocks poking my foot. I even had trail shoes on with a rock plate built in! We ran under a couple more large waterfalls. One was so large and loud. I yelled, Tonya..listen!" I loved the sound of the waterfall. It was slick. We had to slow down so we didn't fall down the cliff. As I looked in front of us and back behind us, I realized everyone was slowing down.
We ran by many more waterfalls. Tonya and I would get tired and then remember how we felt at this point last year for the full and then laughed. We didn't feel so bad after all! When we realized we were more than half way done already, we just enjoyed the run! We talked about how beautiful it was, how we were glad we weren't running the full and how good pizza sounded.
We started to climb out of the canyon about mile 9. The stair climb is brutal. We ran right up the first three sets of three stairs, then said forget this! We walked and walked and walked up the endless flight. Everyone around us was also walking. It was just awesome!
We got to the top and knew the climb wasn't over. We still had a trail up before we came out on the top. We made it and started down the bike path back to South Falls. We still had about 2.5 miles left with the hardest climb left for just before the finish line (at least that's how it feels at the end like that). We headed up that last mountain in the mud and again, had to walk along with everyone else around us. We said, hummm, this seemed steeper last year! Hah, it's only because we had ran an extra 13.1 miles...it does make a difference. We hit the cross-back and went up the 2nd half. As we came to the top, I was so excited. We ran as fast as we could down the muddy mountain without falling or taking someone out.
|After the race! Still smiling|
We had about a half mile left, if that! I could see a few people in front of us that were going slow. I told, Tonya, okay...lets do this! She knew exactly what I meant. We passed person number one! I said, okay, again! We passed person number two and crossed the bridge. The finish line was only about 60 meters in front of us. Tonya, then said, okay and we went into a sprint to pass the last guy! As we came up on him, he could hear us and took off himself! All three of us crossed the finish line laughing. I think the people standing around got a good laugh too. I was handed a medal and pushed over into a narrow finishing shoot. I was still laughing.
We walked over to get some food and say hi to Kelleigh. There was chili, great harvest bread, hot chocolate and apples. The bread was really good. Hot chocolate sounded gross!
We both won a prize. I caught a cheap water bottle and Tonya got a new pair of New Balance gloves in the drawing.
We went to the car and realized there was a women in a tutu changing in the parking lot. I guess she thought if she kept the tutu on, it was ok...it wasn't! I tried to get a photo but Tonya was having a fit. She was sure I would get kicked off of facebook for having such a photo! The park bathroom was right there! This lady was really silly!
It started hailing and it seemed to be getting colder. We were glad to be done. It was the best birthday run ever! Thanks Tonya!!!!
|Another half, in the books! 2:17.12|
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