I had heard it before, but everyone was right. It’s a great feeling to run the track at Historic Hayward field and cross the finish line after a running a tough race. I finished the Eugene Half Marathon on April 29th and despite the forecast of rain, the weather was perfect!
Jason also ran the race as did my friend Ryan, who made the Eugene Half Marathon his very first half marathon ever. It was so exciting to go through the whole race experience with him.
Ryan and I both had interrupted training, which never leads to great pre-race feelings, but I was determined to put my knee injuries behind me. I knew I had to take the race slow and I also knew that Ryan was likely to run at least a 10 minute mile. Ryan decided he wanted to try to run with me despite my slower pace, at least for a little bit, so I developed an unorthodox race plan for the day
I knew I could finish the race, so I decided to go out harder for the first 4 miles, running with Ryan and then back off to a slower pace. When Ryan was still running with me after the four mile marker, I did switch my interval timer to a better ratio for me, but I still tried to keep my pace fairly high, since I was running with a faster running buddy.
My finishing time probably doesn’t reflect the effort I put into this race, but I raced hard at the Eugene Half Marathon.
I really started feeling the struggle once we passed Hayward field to head out for our last few miles. Jason, who had already finished, managed to cheer us on, pancakes in hand. “Ryan’s killing me,” I joked as I ran past.
At mile 10, we stopped for my super quick, traditional mile 10 photo. What followed were 3 painful miles, the most beautiful of the race. We crossed the river twice and ran on pathways through the park. In view of Autzen stadium, the course met up with the faster marathoners, as we all headed back to Hayward field to finish.
With only a few blocks to go, I finally convinced Ryan, who was feeling great, to go for it and race to the finish.
I lost sight of him almost immediately he started running so fast!
Despite how tired I was, once I set foot on the track at Hayward field, a big grin spread across my face.
I felt like I could fly, but after racing hard, my legs did not agree and I didn’t really have a sprint left in me.
I crossed the line hearing a grandstand full of cheering people to receive an awesome finisher’s medal.
Ryan, somehow gained minutes on me in less than a mile, so congratulations for an awesome first half! He’s sure to get a massive PR on his next race.
Post-race, we were handed a goodie bag and a water bottle, which was a nice change from having to balance a bunch of stuff in your arms immediately after running.
I don’t advise my weird race plan and it certainly wore me out. As a result, the pancakes at the finish line tasted amazing, even though I don’t usually like pancakes.
We also aren’t sure how we got so lucky with the weather, which stayed cool and overcast, but didn’t rain a drop on us.
All in all, a beautiful race!
Ran With: Ryan, for his first half marathon!
Moment of Betrayal: There was plenty of cheering, but hills were still hard. They say the Eugene Marathon is fast and flat, but that day, I felt like the Eugene Half Marathon wasn’t. Just saying.