Yesterday morning, I ran my 63rd half marathon in the town of Everson, Washington. There were lots of raspberry farms in the area. At first, I guessed they were vineyards, until I spotted signs advertising “pick your own raspberries”. Maybe we should have detoured and done that instead! =)
Race started at a decent time: 9 o’clock in the morning. Gave us plenty of time to drive down across the border. It’s a wee bit further than Birch Bay. Took maybe an extra half hour. There’s not much in this town. I found it extremely rural. In fact, the race route passes a variety of farms, cattle fields, and stables. Riders were taking riding lessons, and were sharing the roads we running on. That part was very cool!
The route was more like a figure 8 loop where we got back to the same water stations several times. Started out breezy for the first 5 minutes, then it warmed up with the nice spring sunshine.
This race consisted of a half, 4 miles and a kids run. Maybe a total of 100 or so runners. There were lots of draw prizes, which kind of reminded me of some local races we used to have in British Columbia. Prizes ranged from ice-wine bottles to timex watches, water bottles, socks, and gift certificates. I haven’t had much luck recently, unlike before when I used to win these small draw prizes. Then again, the tradition of offering draw prizes seem to be out of the norm now. From my observations, the bigger races tend to offer more entertainment along the course, or spend their money on shirts, medals, post-race snacks and foods rather than draw prizes. For that reason, it seems that small-town races are much more generous in this regard (despite not having a big budget).
With this race, they provided warm soups at the finish. No running medals nor shirts. But I was content with that.
I went into this race with a bad cold and cough. Two days ago, I had a temperature and was debating whether or not to forego the race. I’m glad with my decision to run it as I finished 3rd place in my age group (50-59 category) – see picture attached.
My next marathon is coming up in a month’s time. That means it’s time to bump up the mileage (seriously!!). However, with 2 more half marathons, I will be able to promote to the next level on the half fanatics criteria. Tough to choose between the two.
I hope I can achieve both these goals in a few months’ time!
Before I conclude this recap, I would like to thank my husband and my kids for lending their unconditional love and support. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today!
By: Mabel Fong