Jill and Marisa flew in from Utah on Friday to run the Eugene Marathon.
We drove to Eugene on Saturday morning, stopped by the Expo to get our race bibs and stumbled upon a new product called Run Gum, a caffeinated chewing gum. The co-founder of Run Gum, Coach Sam Lapray, was the nicest guy and gave us lots of training tips for the future. We explored the other booths, took some photos, and then headed off to Eugene's Saturday Market. The booths were filled with wares being sold by artists, bakers, and a wide variety of other entrepreneurs. After exploring beautiful Eugene, we ate our pre-race meal, laid out our running outfits, and watched the movie, Creed, to help us get pumped up for the race! I may or may not have hummed the Rocky theme song multiple times during the race the next day.
The next morning, we woke up with plenty of time to "prep" for the race. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a women's restroom in the hotel lobby that had an abnormally high toilet seat that no one else in the hotel seemed to want to use. It was really quite odd to sit on a toilet without having to bend my legs much. I don't think I will be installing tall toilet seats in our house any time soon.
I was forced to wear my grey monogrammed bathrobe (not pictured) on the short shuttle ride to the starting line because I lost my favorite purple robe at the last race. Old grey kept me nice and toasty during our pre race rotations through the porta potties. I'm pretty sure that some of the other runners thought that I was homeless. I have a slightly pained expression in the picture above as I was quite chilly after disrobing. Unfortunately, old grey was not at the finish line. I hope someone with the initials VH is enjoying it.
The starting line was jam packed with runners and didn't thin out for miles. I'm really not sure where the race took us because I don't know the city of Eugene at all yet, but I DO know that we ran over and along the beautiful Willamette River for a majority of the run. The views were spectacular and the company was even better. It had been six months since I'd been able to run with Jill and Marisa, and I enjoyed every step of the race. I tried to smile at the people cheering us on. The spectators in Eugene were fabulous! They handed out jelly beans and what appeared to be warm beer. They held up motivational signs. Lots of kids held signs that read, "Power Up!" that I punched for a boost of extra energy. Jill, Marisa, and I all agreed that our favorite sign on the course was a poster board that read, "If Donald Trump can run, so can you!" That one made us chuckle.
Now, I don't want you to think I am getting cocky, but I have to brag for just a moment about my big accomplishment in Eugene. I actually ran a PR - a Poofree Race! I know. I know. I can hear the rounds of applause from the two people that are reading this. Thanks, Mom and Dad for believing in me! The picture above is at Mile 26.1, and I am frantically scouring the area for a porta potty, but I managed to cross the finish line with a PR.
Side note: Jill and I are pictured above preparing for the 2016 Summer Olympics in the new event called Synchronized Running.
The Eugene Marathon is a race I will never forget! Thanks to these two girls for making the long trip out and for helping me remember why I love to run! P.S. I'm hoping there is another PR in my future!