EWEB Run to Stay Warm - T-Shirt


18 down only 34 to go.

All week the forecast predicted rain in Eugene on race day. I was prepared. I had a waterproof jacket, gloves, and a headband ear warmer thingy with a built in ponytail cutout in back. I had a talk with myself and we decided that I was going to act like an adult about the weather, I wasn’t a sugar witch, rain is our friend, etc… It didn’t rain! Yipee! I hate running in the rain. I hate trying to act all adult about stuff I want to complain about.

The race started at 9am and we only live an hour from Eugene so we decided to drive instead of getting a hotel. Even factoring in driving and getting there early for packet pickup, we were able to sleep in later than last week (Big Sur.)

One of the things I like about smaller races is being able to park close to the finish.

Even though it was colder than my ideal running temperature I enjoyed this run. Most likely I would have been bitching about the cold if I hadn’t been expecting cold rain.

EWEB Run to Stay Warm - wimps

I have on 4 layers (wimps)

This was a fairly uneventful race. The HM was mostly on bike paths. There weren’t very many bikes out (maybe because it was cold) and they were nowhere as aggressive as the bike gangs in Riverside. It was a fairly scenic course with river and forest views. One section had the freeway on the right but it was separated by some trees. You could see the traffic but luckily not smell it. I just tried to look ahead or to the left. We saw quite a few ducks and geese. I thought they looked cold. One thing I did not like was the surface. About half of the path was concrete. Concrete is the worst surface to run on for your joints. I felt my extra weight more on the concrete than on the asphalt.

EWEB Run to Stay Warm -

I talked to a woman named Amy who was doing her first HM. I caught up with her in the last couple of miles. She was hurting but she finished. She wants to do a triathlon next. My idea of a triathlon is swimming in cold water while getting kicked in the face, then you’re all wet trying to find your bike, your butt hurts on the bike because they all have those tiny thong seats – finally you get to run.

One thing I did not like about this race was the impatience of the running company to pack up. They were taking down barriers and water stations while I was running. There were quite a few people behind me. If you are putting on a race don’t start breaking stuff down while people are still on the course. Unless, of course, you have a cutoff that you mention. I saw some people packing up water stations at the last two I went through and Tim noticed them starting to break down the finishers gate shortly after I came in. I know there were more than 20 people still out there.

On a more positive note – they had hot chocolate. Hot chocolate after a cold run is brilliant. They had a beer and pretzel party at the Tap and Growler only a block from the finish. It was really nice to have after race festivities indoors. And they had good beer. Extra credit for hot chocolate and free beer.


  • Not enough port-o-pots and they were set up facing each other. Very weird
  • Packing it up while people were still on the course
  • Running on concrete. UGH


  • Quick and easy packet pickup
  • Close parking
  • Scenic (don’t look at the freeway)
  • Hot chocolate
  • Beer and Pretzel indoor after party
EWEB Run to Stay Warm - Tim

This is what happens when Tim dresses himself

Like most races this HM had positives and negatives. It was well marked, scenic, and mostly flat but about half the pavement was concrete. As always the volunteers were nice but they looked cold and started packing up early. Having an after party in a warm bar was nice touch although it was crowded. If you have your heart set on doing a HM in November, in Oregon I would recommend this one. Plan to be cold and possibly wet (we were so lucky). What I would really recommend is planning not to run races in Oregon during the rainy season.

EWEB Run to Stay Warm - Bridge

Big Sur - T-Shirt


17 down only 35 to go.

Happy birthday to Tim! He turned 47 on November 17th. And this was our 17th HM, so his birthday present was a no brainer this year. Usually, I have to get creative to figure out something that Tim wants that he doesn’t already have. For example, one year I got him a Mister Bubble T-Shirt (makes getting clean as much fun as getting dirty) that I knew he wanted. I also knew that he would never get around to sending in his box tops. Another year, when we were in Hawaii, I got him cage diving with sharks. Because it was Tim’s birthday weekend we chose a more dramatic destination race. I’m happy and relieved to be able to report that this was a wonderful race. I would have felt awful if I got Tim a race for his birthday and then it sucked. This race did not suck at all, in fact it was a damn near perfect day.

Given the number of people doing this huge race (8905) the packet pickup was extremely efficient. This whole HM was one of the best organized races that we have done. The expo was nice but we didn’t spend much time there. I wished that I needed something but I have so many running clothes that it would be silly to buy more. I do love to shop, so Tim hurried us out of there and back to the hotel to check out our swag bag. We were a bit dismayed to discover that our bag only had a T-Shirt and a couple of advertisements. We also had a virtual swag bag that consisted mostly of local coupons. However, once we did the race it was clear that much of the money went back into the race experience itself. The music along the course, frequent aid-stations (all with port-o-pots), amusing mile markers, and great food more than made up for the fact that we didn’t get any pens, sunscreen or chapstick. Also the long sleeve tech shirt and the medal were high quality.

Big Sur - Music


One of the only complaints we had about this race was the earlieness factor. The race started at 6:55am but if we wanted to park in the free parking garage we had to be there by 5:30am. The roads would be closed for the race (yay) so this was understandable but it meant we had to get up around 4am. As tim so eloquently put it – the race started at, “the butt crack of dawn.” The parking garage was about 5 blocks from the start. It was still dark. It was nice to watch the sun rise over the water.

Big Sur -  Sunrise

Normal people are all still in bed

They slowly hoisted the flag up on a fire truck ladder. It was pretty dramatic with the sunrise in the background and a flock of birds scattering. I love it when someone with a beautiful voice sings the national anthem. I know it’s corny but I felt a little emotional about the whole production.

Big Sur - Flag over crowd

Oh say can you see …

When we signed up for this race they asked us our estimated finishing times. Once at the race we figured out that they had different starting corrals based on finishing times. I was in corral K, the second to the last. Tim was 2 corrals closer but started back with me. I really like the corral system because I have noticed that quite a few slow runners don’t get that they are supposed to start near the back. It’s annoying to get stuck behind walkers in the first mile of a race. I always start near the back because it is way funner to pass than be passed.

The thing you don’t get in smaller HMs is the crowd support of a large event. There were many cheering people with signs. Usually this is not something I care about but during this race I found it charming and invigorating. The bibs had our names on them so people cheered for you by name. One cheering guy was dressed as a bear so, of course, Tim yelled back at him, “Thanks for making it bearable.” Oh dear.

Big Sur - asphalt

Kick some asphalt

Tim ran with me until about mile 4, where a nasty hill forced me to walk. Tim walks only for aid stations, and cold/wet wives having a mental breakdown. We were only around mile 3 when we saw the first elite fly by, already on his way back. Remember, the elites started about a half hour before we did. It was beautiful to see such incredible speed and form blur by. You could hear the cheering well before you saw him. The first woman was wearing a sports bra and a pair of those tiny shorts and did she ever look fit. Sorry no pictures – they were moving too fast for that.

Except for the start and finish most of this race had stunning ocean views. Every mile was marked in an amusing way.

Around mile 6 I hooked up with a woman who I ran with for over 5 miles. I wish I could remember her name because running with her really helped me out but my brain seems to turn off in the middle of every race. I remember that she was wearing a hydration pack because she slowed down to wait for me when I pulled into an aid station for water. This made me really happy because I don’t want to be that person who starts yapping at someone who wants to be alone but is too polite to say so. I did leave her in the last mile because she was walking and I try to run as much of the last mile as I can.

One of my favorite moments happened at some point during the second half of the race. I saw an otter playing in the water and watching runners. The only reason I spotted him was because I saw someone point him out to her friend. The little guy looked quizzical. He would play a bit then stop and watch runners with a – where did you all come from and what are you doing? – look. After crossing the finish line and getting an awesome ceramic medal I saw Tim. There was a longish line for food but it moved really fast. There was a wide variety of food to choose from. When I looked happy about the strawberries the volunteer gave me a whole pint. She said they had too many. Score. They had another line for soup. I have decided that soup after running is as good as chocolate milk. This race also had chocolate milk. Yay chocolate milk and yay to this whole race.

Big Sur - US

My shirt that chafes the least


  • Must be by parking garage at 5:30am
  • Race starts at 6:55am, a little early for November (still dark)
  • Limited swag featuring local coupons
  • First couple of miles were crowded
  • Aweful beer (Michelob Ultra) Tim didn’t even take his free beer


  • Perfect weather
  • Free parking close to start/finish
  • Very well organized
  • Very green race
  • Long sleeve tech shirt with no sponsor logos
  • Music on the course
  • Multiple timing mats (option of online timing)
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Great crowd support
  • Name on bib (people cheered for you by name)
  • Frequent aid stations all with port-o-pots
  • Great ceramic medal
  • Great food spread including soup and chocolate milk
  • Immediate results available
  • Out and back course that allowed runners to see the elites
  • Roads were closed so no disgruntled drivers

We both loved this race and would recommend it as a good destination, special occasion race. It was spendy ($135 each) but they put a lot of that back into making the race a great experience. For the size of this race it was amazingly well organized. Although this was the largest race we have done it had the friendly good feeling of a smaller race. It had a beautiful course with fun crowd support and nice volunteers. What’s not to love? The logistics of a race this size take a little more effort (longer lines, having to get up way early) but this race was worth it. You won’t be disappointed.

Big Sur -  Master

The Masters (over 40) champion

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Mission Inn Run - T-Shirt


16 down only 36 to go.

Yay! A nice clean room with a firm bed. Some of the rooms we’ve gotten have made me itch just looking at them. If you do this race or are in Riverside we recommend Americas Best Value Inn. It was close to the race start, friendly, and they let us do a late checkout so we could shower before getting back on the road. The guy at the desk recommended a couple of places to eat. And just as important, where not to eat – the place next to the motel that we probably would have ended up at (because we are lazy) if we had not been warned.

After packet pickup (which was quite chaotic) we had lunch at Elephant Thai. The outdoor expo was packed. Because this was a fundraiser run for the Mission Inn I thought it would be a small local event but between the 3 races (5k, 10k, and HM) there were about 3400 people, according to the volunteer I asked. Elephant Thai was tasty. I like the heart shaped rice, I think I am going to use cookie cutters or jello molds to make my rice in cool shapes. I don’t like Christmas cookies but I could make Christmas rice. Thai food is our go to cuisine because it is usually a reasonably priced source of vegetables.

Mission Inn Run - Tim carb loading

Another picture of Tim carb loading

The desk clerk said that even if we didn’t eat there we should check out Tio’s Taco. And was he ever right. The food was average but that was not why it is a must see. The place is more of a one man recycled art museum. The back patio had the largest, craziest pieces but his stuff was also out front and in the restaurant. Pictures do not do this place justice.

Mission Inn Run - Tio's Tacos

About the artist


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They also had excellent margaritas.

Mission Inn Run - Sharon approves

Sharon approves of her margarita

I was amused to hear people complaining about the heat during this HM. I thought it was perfect. There was not a cloud in the sky on race morning. After the last 2 races my definition of perfect weather was – not raining. But this really was perfect, starting in the 50’s and ending it the mid 70’s. It is surprising how hot 70 is in the direct sun while running.

The races started downtown but soon funneled us onto a scenic bike path that went past a couple of parks.

Mission Inn Run

Most of the race was an out and back on a divided bike path so there was zero chance for me to get lost. I love seeing the frontrunners fly past. It is so inspiring to see how hard they are working. I got a high five from the first woman. Unlike last weeks race on a bike path this race did have bicyclists. In fact, this race had the fastest, most aggressive bikers I have ever encountered running. Groups of bicyclists were weaving in and out of runners. I saw some near collisions. It was both scary and interesting to watch.

This race had a timing mat that you had to cross at the turnaround. I thought that was a good feature. I’m sick of seeing people cut the course. It’s way more common than you would think. I have seen people cut switchbacks, turn around at the 4th aid station (when there were 5) or just turn around and start back when it was obviously not time to turn around. The most eye rolling thing of this sort I have ever seen was at the Elkton Butterfly Run. A woman saw her friend coming back on the road and crossed over and ran back with her. I think I yelled “seriously” at her.

Around mile 11 I talked to a guy who was bonking badly. A bonk in running is basically when you deplete all your carbs (energy) and feel like you can’t take another step. I found out that he hadn’t eaten anything during the run and had only a granola bar for breakfast. Even if you aren’t hungry, if you are going to be running more than 90 minutes you need calories. I gave him a Gu. I hope it helped, but my walk brake was over. I had planned to run to the finish but they put the biggest hill in the last half mile. Evil.

A couple of miles from the finish I noticed a lot of people passing me (WTF?) Where did all of these people come from? I figured out that the HM had merged with the 10k.

Wonderful Tim cheered me through the finish line. I hate to end this race report on a negative note but this race obviously did not put it’s money towards food. There was no food on the course and only bananas and orange slices at the end. Tim confused the hander out of orange slices by asking him for a couple extra. Maybe they wanted to encourage people to eat at the local restaurants. I think they should have at least had chocolate milk.

Mission Inn Run - Post race

The happy couple after another HM


  • Chaotic packet pickup
  • Started late
  • Angry speeding bicyclists
  • Ends on an uphill
  • Very limited food


  • No rain!
  • Frequent aid stations
  • Out and back (I love seeing the frontrunners, and how many people are behind me)
  • Port-o-pots on the course
  • Scenic
  • Nice medal
  • Good cause

This race didn’t have a lot of character but it was perfectly adequate. We would recommend this race as very beginner friendly. No chance of getting lost and you will never be running alone. There were a lot of walkers and run/walkers so you won’t feel slow. The scenery is nice but watch out for bicyclists. Be aware that there is no food on the course – bring something. Also, there is almost no food after the race, but there are plenty of places to eat downtown. I suggest Tio’s Tacos – prepare to be amazed.

Mission Inn Run

This guy’s T-Shirt

T-Shirt Logo


15 down only 37 to go.

“One can find so many pains when the rain is falling.” John Steinbeck

I think Tim would agree that we can refer to this race as my hissy fit run. As much as I hate to admit it, I am a weather wimp. I complain that I overheat when it ‘s hot, that my arthritis acts up if it’s cold, I can’t breathe right when it’s humid, I hate wind, I won’t even attempt to run in snow and even fog pisses me off, because not only is it damp but now I can’t see what’s around me. I really need to toughen up. My least favorite condition to run in is cold rain. I guess that’s not technically true. Tim and me once got caught in a hailstorm on Humphreys Peak outside of Flagstaff, AZ. Even so, I just think of hail as mean rain – bullet rain. Anyway, this is the second weekend in a row that we had to run in the rain. And there was more rain this weekend than last. Getting real tired of your shit, Oregon.

This was the most disorganized HM that we have done, yet. Some of it was bad luck but much of it just seemed like poor planning to me.

If Tim hadn’t been driving I would have had a hard time finding the start. The race was in Fort Stevens State Park. This is a fairly large park with more than 1 parking lot. Once you got to the park there wasn’t a single sign about the run. To be fair the website did have directions. We got there early to pick up our packet. They forgot safety pins so we had to wait a bit for the volunteer who ran out to get some. That wasn’t a problem because she showed up shortly. They had a nice big fire going under a covered space. That was a great touch because as I may have mentioned, it was cold and rainy. This fire was still going at the end of the run and it was the best feature of this race.

Battle to the Pacific - Fire

I’ll just wait here for you

There were no port-o-pots but the race start was near the park bathrooms. There was never a long line. I like this better than the unisex bathroom trend. Guys – It’s not your territory, it’s a public bathroom, you don’t need to mark it. So please, all users of unisex bathrooms and port-o-pots, stop peeing on the toilet seat.

It wasn’t raining at the start of the race so I made the decision not to wear or bring my long sleeve shirt. This was not wise.

Battle to the Pacific -

It won’t rain…

The screen printer had a problem with some equipment so the T-Shirts weren’t there. That is why there’s no T-Shirt in it’s normal spot. The race director said that he would mail them, so as soon as we get ours it will be posted in it’s designated spot.

The race started on the grass. This cute pup ran the whole HM. I got to see him a couple of times because a part of the race was an out and back. Watching dogs run always makes me smile. I have thought about getting a dog to run with (a boxer or husky) but Tim is against it.

Battle to the Pacific - Starting

This run was almost all on a nice bike path. It was close to the ocean. Before you saw the ocean you could hear it. If it wasn’t raining this is exactly the kind of place I love to run.

Shortly after the race started it started to rain. Tim had wisely brought his long shirt and he let me wear it. Tim doesn’t seem to mind the rain. He tries to point out rain positive things to me, “It’s cool how rain brings out these mushrooms.” or “look how pretty the leaves are.” To which I usually reply, “Oh, Shut up.” One good thing about running on a bike path in the rain – no bikers.

I had a total meltdown when it started to rain hard and I had to run through a tunnel of water. It went something like this, “Fuck this. I hate rain. If it’s going to rain every week I’m going to quit this stupid project. Fuck Oregon. My blisters are never going to heal if I keep running in the rain. This is stupid. I hate this, etc…” Poor Tim – I would never have a hissy fit tantrum like that in front of anyone but him. Because this was a loop we had to go through the flooded tunnel twice.

Battle to the Pacific - Tunnel

Hissy fit tunnel

As I feared, my blisters (3 at this point) didn’t like running through water and bothered me for the second half of the race. I knew what was going on with my blisters but I also had a mystery pain. Tim thinks it was a pinched nerve. I was running along and suddenly it felt like a pin had been pushed into the front pad of my toe. I stopped and quickly took off my shoe wondering if I had a bee sting or if a burr had somehow gotten in my shoe, but I couldn’t find anything. It happened 3 times. Each time the sharp pain lasted a couple of seconds followed by about a minute of tingly pain, then it went away. That’s new.

One thing that I will give this race kudos for is how well marked the course was. Even if Tim hadn’t decided to run with me I would not have gotten lost. I was afraid with all the rain that the flour would be washed away but the arrows were still there on the second loop. They even had taken the time to write out some encouragement. When I saw it I said, “Oh, shut up.” but I thought it was a nice touch.

Battle to the Pacific - encouragement

I don’t believe you

Besides having to run through a water filled tunnel (twice) we got to run over some water (twice) on these 2 gorgeous bridges.



Tim got a picture of me doing the second loop. I smiled for the picture but that was one of the only times I smiled out there. Notice how wet my hair is, we were both drenched. I think this picture shows how nice the trail is.


Battle to the Pacific - Sharon

I miss Tucson’s weather

Tim stayed with me this entire run. I told him that he could and should do his own run but he said that it seemed like a good idea to stay with me. I’m really glad he did. I hate feeling like I am slowing him down but I think I ran more than I would have if he had taken off. I only walked a couple of times. We started out last but soon passed a couple who was walk/running. We passed another woman in the last mile.

The two aid stations were set up on the loop so you passed them twice. On the second loop the second aid station was gone! I don’t know when she bailed but I talked to a woman who came in about 20 minutes before us and the 4th aid station was gone at that point. This is my biggest gripe with this race. Only 4 aid stations is pushing it, but only 3 water stations for 13.1 miles is just not enough. Luckily, I had a water bottle so it wasn’t a problem for me. I asked Tim if he needed water and he said “no” because he didn’t want to drink up my water. If he had known she was leaving early he would have gotten more water at the first aid station. A big thanks to the woman and kid who were cheerfully manning the first aid station. The first aid station was super friendly both times while the second woman was grumpy on our first time around and gone the second time. People really count on aid stations being where they say they will be.

They had a nice warm fire as well as chili and good beer at the after party. I was glad they had a covered place after the race because I had had enough rain by then. They had no medal ceremony because the computer was having problems so they didn’t have age group results. He promised to mail the medals. I talked to a guy in his 60’s who said they didn’t even mention his age group. Our times are taken off our watches because as of today (Wednesday) they haven’t posted results. Most races post results that night or the next day.

Tim thought they were having a string of bad luck but I think many of their problems could have been avoided with better planning.


  • No race signs
  • Didn’t have the T-Shirts
  • Only 3 aid stations, because the 4th bailed
  • No age group results or medals
  • No finisher medals
  • No results online
  • No bathrooms on the course
  • Race director didn’t seem concerned that his last aid station wasn’t there
  • Rain (not the fault of the race but very likely during any race this time of year)


  • Covered area with a fire
  • Beautifully scenic
  • Well marked course
  • Chili, snacks and beer at the end of the race

This is the first race me and Tim disagreed about recommending. Tim said he would love to do this race again and would recommend it if you carry your own water. It was a run in a beautiful place but there were just too many mess ups for me to be able to recommend this race. The deal breaker was the water station disappearance. I cannot recommend a race that advertises 4 aid stations (already too few) but only has 3. If you do run this race bring water. Because of the time of year it is likely you will get rained on. What I highly recommend is getting to this park and running the trails.

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