Forest Park Trail Marathon Race Report
|September 24, 2012||Posted by Emily under Uncategorized|
Tagline for the weekend:
For such a healthy city, Portland sure has a lot of ways to be unhealthy.
And I think we identified and explored all of them.
It was a delicious, exhausting, relaxing, sweat, and absolutely perfect weekend in the Pacific Northwest.
After flying in late Friday night and proceeding immediately to Hopworks Urban Brewery to carb up, I woke up bright and early to head to the start of Marathon #18.
The Forest Park Marathon is a super small race, organized by the Forest Park Conservancy, as a fundraiser to preserve, protect and maintain the trails in Forest Park.
Word on the trails, is that Forest Park is the largest urban park in the country. Ask any runner from Portland if they’ve heard of Forest Park, and you will get an immediate and overwhelmingly enthusiastic response about the many miles of fantastic trail running enclosed in the park.
While admittedly, 26.2 miles might have been a littlebit more than I needed to run two weeks out from my 50, I decided that nothing would get me more excited for game day, than a morning of breathtaking trail running through the woods of Oregon.
So I registered.
And showed up ready to run (slowly).
Alisa very generously woke up before dawn, after I kept her up way past her bedtime the night before, to drive me to the shuttle pick up. (I owe this girl approximately 12 pairs of hokas and my entire collection of race bling for everything she did for me this weekend.)
The start line was on a road too narrow for runners to park on, so they shuttled us up to the start. Being the punctual girl that I am, I arrived in the very last group, 5 minutes after the race was supposed to start.
But, instead of panicking like I have on several occasions when running late for a race, I remained totally calm and chill, because in this crazy sport of trail running, they actually delay the start for shit like this. I’m becoming more and more of a fan of this trail stuff.
The race started (late) with a 1.25 mile climb. The road kept weaving, tricking you into thinking that the ascent might be ending, but no. It just kept going up and up and up.
But finally, after more than 12 straight minutes of questioning whether I was blowing my 50 miler on some sick Oregonian version of the Pike’s Peak Marathon, it flattened out.
As soon as we reached the top of the climb, I attacked a nearby runner with conversation. Lucky for me, he surrendered to my social advances and kept me entertained and running strong for the next 17ish miles. (I would tell you exactly how long, but my borrowed garmin decided to deprive me of satellites for the last 16 miles of the race.)
The course was as beautiful as everyone promised. We started with a few miles on a fire road and then cruised onto single track trails for the remainder of the course.
Because this was just a training run, I don’t really feel the need to give a play-by-play of every single step I took on Saturday.
Here are the important highlights from the 26.2 miles:
-The course was gorgeous. The kind of gorgeous that leaves you repeating over and over and over: “Oh my god, this is amazing. I hope this never ends. Can I pack the Wildwood Trail in my suitcase, pretty please?”
-I fell. Twice.
Surprising to no one, I’m sure.
-I successfully executed my plan to run the race at a comfortable pace.
At least until the last 6 miles. When I got to the aid station at Mile 20, and was still leading the race for women (don’t ask me how many females there were, I’m sure the answer is somewhere between “not very many at all” and “were there women racing?”), I decided to try and finish strong and picked up my pace for the homestretch.
-I finished in 3:51.(something) and did, in fact, walk away with the W for women
As well as a sweet prize from lululemon.
It’s like they knew I was coming to town.
- Running this marathon was absolutely the right decision.
I am now actually ready to taper (or, at least, slightly more so than I was last week) and out-of-my-excited to run my first 50 miler in less than two weeks.