Friday, August 29, 2008

Bush Park Cross Country Series

The Bush Park Cross Country series happens every Thursday night in August in none other than Salem's Bush Park. I made it to three of the four and fared pretty well.

Week 1: The rest of the fam was up in Portland for the night so I was on my own for this one. I ran the 5k, felt pretty good and even passed Salem's most well known female runner on the last hill - who cares if she is pushing 50! - for a fourth place finish. My friend Stephanie ended up winning the race, but since the overall winner wasn't eligible for age group awards, I took took home the blue ribbon for my category.

Week 2: This time the whole family came out for the fun and it was a SCORCHER, topping out at 97 degrees. I was first to go, running the 3K this time. Before the race, I pointed out a lanky blond in a blue sports bra to my husband. "That's someone I run with. She's a lot faster than me."

"She's hotter than you, too!" Thanks a lot, hun! My first mile split was two seconds slower than my first mile of the 5k the week before. I blame it on the heat! As predicted, Hot Girl beat me to the line, but fortunately she is still in her 20's. I came in second female, first in my age group.

Then it was Megan's turn. She was SO excited to run leading up to the race, but when the race started she wasn't so sure she was having so much fun. She complained of being tired, but I coaxed her to the finish. She got a green finisher's ribbon given to everyone in the six and under segment for her almost last finish. She liked my blue one better and wanted to trade.

Then Mac did the 5k, only his second race ever. He didn't get any ribbons, but with a strong sprint finish he bested all his friends for back-of-the-pack bragging rights!

Week 3: We were at Diamond Lake for the Week.

Week 4 - trophy night!: The Smiths were back in action! This time Mac did the early race. He was pleased that the 3k was much easier than the 5k. It helped that it was 20 degrees cooler, too!

Megan wasn't so sure about her race, in fact she said she didn't want to do it right as the gun went off. I thought I could muster up some enthusiasm, but she broke down about 50 yards into the race and started crying. At age three and a half, we weren't going to push it. So instead we joked that Megan got her first DNF. I think if she had had a friend there she would have been OK. Maybe she'll be ready next year.

And then it was 5k time. The college kids were out in droves, including a huge group from the University of Portland. I have been feeling a bit lead-legged this week so I wasn't sure how it'd go. I passed one coed with about a mile to go, but another passed me on the last hill. Uggg, I hate that and don't usually let it happen! Despite feeling stiff, my time (20:30) was only two seconds off my week 1 time. Hot Girl won again and three college girls were also ahead of me. Lucky me, those youngsters weren't in my age group - so I got the gold medal!

Three races, three age group wins. I better enjoy it now - Hot Girl turns 30 next year!

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