Russell and I left Wilsonville morning at 5am, with plenty of time to spare before arrive a little ways past Oakridge. We stopped at the nearby Starbucks, then headed into the fog. As we chatted and caffeinated the fog didn’t let up. In fact, as we drove past Eugene and into the Willamette National Forest, it got worse. I had been talking up the beauty of Oakridge to Russell for a while now, and was happy that he was able to have glimpses of the surrounds between the heavy patches of fog.

We took a turn onto a road that I didn’t recognize (having run this race last fall) but went with the GPS anyway, as generally when I don’t listen to it – bad things tend to happen. This time I listened, and things got dicey. Russell and I proceeded to spent the next hour driving 10 miles on quite the back-country road.

We found snow, ice, and some great camping spots along the lake come summer. We also weren’t sure we were going to make it to the race.

To make a long story shorter, we ended up eventually getting off the “road”, then realized the GPS coordinates were wrong. Desperately we only managed to find the race course after driving – quickly I might add – following the course markings for finding the aid stations – backward.

Russell hopped out of the car, grabbed a bib, then headed to the restroom before starting on his way, giving every other athlete in the race a nice 10-15 minute cushion.

Russell ran an official time of 2:50:37, but in actuality, ran a bit quicker….winning the race by a sizable margin. In his debut race for the club, and his first race in a good while, Russell is more than on his way.

Coach Drew

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