Two Local 10K's - Two Unofficial PR's

by Jodi

Hello Friends.  I know it's been FOREVER since we've written, but we are still exercising.  We're all still friends. We're all still busy moms and wives.  It makes for little time to write, but we miss you!

Up until this spring I have only raced one 10k - Pints to Pasta with Carissa in September 2012.  We had a blast.  I'm not sure why we never raced another one.

copyright Jodi Stilp Photography LLC
In March I had a photography client ask to do a photo shoot at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn.  I went to the website to get information on their hours and stumbled upon the inaugural running of a 5k/10k at the farm - Tulip Trail Run. It was a fundraiser for Oregon City Cross Country and Portland Running Company was timing the event.  On a whim, I registered and ran the race two days later.

The course was gorgeous!  It was a 5k loop through and around Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm.  10k runners looped it twice.  Racers went up and down rows of tulips, through an orchard, and along the perimeter of a field.  It poured the night before the race so the course was muddy and extremely slippery, even through the orchard.

I came early and helped the PRC team set up the finish area and work the Registration tables.  The sun rose brilliantly, illuminating the tulip fields and warming us against the brisk wind that came and went.

There was a GIANT turnout for a first time race, which had to have excited the Course Directors.  I think this race has potential to be really great and draw big crowds every year.
copyright Jodi Stilp Photography LLC
There were definitely some first year glitches that will hopefully get worked out before next year.  The Registration/Packet Pick Up/T-shirt lines were long and a little confusing, but runners were excited to be there and overall were patient while we routed them through the proper channels.

The farm was open to the general public, so runners had to dodge unsuspecting tourists who looked very confused as to why the fields were congested with racers.  This could be easily remedied with a few Runners on Road signs set up to mark the course and warn tourists to be aware.

Speaking of signs, the course wasn't clearly marked.  Often times I wasn't sure if I was turning up or down the right row of tulips.  It needed more signs and course volunteers directing traffic. I'm pretty sure the lead pack of 10k runners got lost on the first loop because they all passed me toward the end of the second loop even though they started ahead of me and I never passed them.

The other major glitch is that the course measured REALLY short. I forgot to turn my Garmin off until five minutes after I finished and the distance at that point measured 5.87 miles.  That's almost 4/10 mile short.

Pictures I took a week later at the photo shoot for my clients.  Tulips are SO pretty.
copyright Jodi Stilp Photography LLC

This was not a chip timed event, so I made sure to start at the front of the pack.  I noticed a young woman who looked like she might be on the cross country team and she looked fast.  I pegged her to win.  The gun went off and the herd of cross country kids took off sprinting.

I wiped out HARD on the first big turn, picking up at least five pounds of mud down my whole left side.  I didn't get hurt and since I was now covered in mud, I stopped trying to run around it and instead ran straight through it.  It was REALLY fun.

It became clear by the time I finished the first loop of the course that I was the second place woman.  The young cross country girl was nowhere in sight, so I slowed down a bit and ran more of a tempo pace for the second loop.  I had nothing to prove and wanted to enjoy the scenery and the experience.

I was totally surprised when one-by-one, the cross country leaders started catching up to and passing me.  They had to have gotten lost since they started ahead of me and I never passed them. The lead woman passed me with about 3/4 of a mile left to go.  She was working really hard to make up lost ground, so I fell in behind her and we finished 8 seconds apart to earn the first and second positions.
2nd place woman and covered in mud.
My official finish time was 43:45 - a 7:03 pace, but I know that's not accurate because the course was so short.  It would be a PR, but I'm not counting it. The Tulip Trail Run was really fun and I would love to run it again some time.  If you live close by, I recommend driving down to Woodburn and giving this race a try.  With a few minor tweaks, it will run more smoothly next year.

I had so much fun running the 10k distance that I decided to run another one two weeks later.  The Camelia Run, part of my hometown's Camelia Festival, benefits the Park and Rec department that services Newberg.  Since I pay hundreds of dollars each year in sports registration for the kids I was happy to support a race that puts money back into the park district programs.

My running buddy Dawn and I ran this race together.  The race began at 9 a.m. so we started our warmup a little past 8:30.  Our goal was to get our muscles nice and warm, drop our extra clothes off at the car, and arrive to the start line with little time to spare so our muscles didn't have time to cool off.
pre-warm up.  Should have been shedding gear instead of taking selfies.
We were making final adjustments at the car, parked a block and a half from the start, when I glanced at my iPhone.  It said 8:58 as we were locking the car and started jogging toward the start. We rounded the corner and found the starting corral completely empty!  The race started at least two minutes early!

This race was not chip timed, which means the second the official gun goes off, everyone's race time starts ticking.  Our race started while we were stashing gear in my car.  So much for the best laid plans...

Dawn and I had run the course earlier in the week, so we took off in the direction that we knew everyone else had gone.  We ended up running past the entire field of participants for both the 5k and 10k.  It was kind of embarrassing, but made for a quick start.  Too quick.  Dawn is a much faster runner than I am, so I slowed down while she ran her way into the lead.

It took me awhile but eventually I caught up to the lead pack of racers.  I could see Dawn in the distance going toe-to-toe with the men and I spotted two women behind her.  I passed both women around the three mile marker and thought Dawn and I had the first and second position locked in.  The only problem is I somehow missed seeing one other woman in front of me.  I noticed her when I made the final turn toward the finish.  She was about a 1/3 of a mile ahead of me and headed toward the chute.  DARN IT!  There was no chance of catching her.

 Dawn and I finished first and third overall for the women.  My official time was 45:00, a 7:15 pace. Not a PR.  But my Garmin read my race as 6.04 miles (so a little short on the course), but 43 minutes flat and a 7:07 pace. Had I been to the start on time, I would have PR'd on this course. Instead I gave myself a two minute penalty.  Lesson learned.
Post-race.  A little disappointed, but lesson learned.
The Camelia Run was a ton of fun.  It's a cute course through Newberg neighborhoods with fun raffles and festivities at the Camelia Festival afterward.  It was so fun to see friends, neighbors, and acquaintances out on the course.  Several of my friends from church also ran the 10k.  We took a selfie after the race.
It's fun to do life with these Beauties.  Thanks Mandee for the photo.

Sole Sisters - come join me for these races next year.  Especially the Tulip Trail.  It's no fun to run a race without a friend.

So that's the scoop.  Two 10k's in two weeks.  Two unofficial PR's.  I think I need to run another one...  Got any suggestions?