Eugene - Holiday Half - T-Shirt


21 down only 31 to go.

I am so done with Oregon. We woke up Saturday morning to the sound of rain, drove to Eugene in the rain and then ran 13.1 miles, in the rain. Oh yah – I also stood in line to use the port-o-pots, in the rain.
Luckily, there was a small indoor expo and dry gathering place near the start/finish line.

We saw our new friend, Jeanie, who had wisely chosen to run the 10k rather than the HM. We also saw Atheana and Robin. Tim met Atheana through the Half Fanatics and we have seen her at a couple of races. We met Robin at the Run Like Hell race when she took a picture of us for her Run Oregon blog post. Just as we are getting to know some cool Oregon people we are moving to San Diego. Yes – we will soon be leaving Elkton. More about that next week.

I have been looking for a pair of running shorts with an iPhone sized pocket for over a year. I have found mens running shorts with large pockets but the pockets in womens running shorts either don’t exist or will only hold a gel or set of keys at best but not a phone. Although it was a tiny expo they had the one thing I wanted. I found a black pair of shorts with a phone sized pocket and they had a no slip guarantee. ( I tried them on in the bathroom and did a mini kung-fuish jumpabout – they didn’t slip. I’m hoping to wear them in San Diego next week. Thanks Tim for buying me absurdly overpriced running shorts. I love them.

This race had the worst weather I have ever run in.

Eugene - Holiday Half

Race start: notice the umbrellas

I have to admit that I was not crazy about this course. It had a scenic river view but most of the race was run on concrete sidewalks and bike path. Concrete is one of the worse surfaces to run on for your joints. As I have gotten older and heavier I notice the running surface much more then I used to. My shins did not like this race. Tim, also, found this to be a joint jarring run.

I am so glad that we took a week off before this run. My feet got soaked but I didn’t feel any of my old blisters and I didn’t get any new ones. I also had a better attitude at the beginning of this race. I knew it was going to rain because I had been watching the forecast all week. In fact, I was okay with running in the rain for about the first 6 miles. I noticed how much easier it was to run in the rain when I was mentally prepared. I was congratulating myself (silently) on my adult attitude – And then the wind started. It was a cold, sideways rain, try to blow runners into the marsh kind of wind. Then it started to rain harder. It wasn’t until I hit the turnaround that I realized that what I thought was a crosswind was actually a tailwind. I figured this out because when I turned around I had a headwind trying to push me backwards. It was too windy to run and too cold to walk. And then it started to hail! I think I yelled, “Really!” out loud. Luckily the hail was small and only lasted a couple of minutes.

A wonderful volunteer helped me open my Gu and put water in my handheld because my fingers wouldn’t work. I have rheumatoid arthritis and my joints seize up when they get cold. While I was hanging out at the aid station trying to get my gloves over my fingers (about 4 minutes) I thanked the volunteers for being out there. The guy said he wouldn’t miss it and told me about Ophelias Place a beneficiary of the run. Sounds like a great place. I love it when the volunteers are excited about the race. They must have been freezing. A special thanks to the volunteers who stood out in the cold rain (and hail) to take care of runners.

For me, the worse part about the race was having to run under the last 2 flooded underpasses. I hate getting my feet wet. Luckily, they weren’t flooded on the way out but they were very flooded on the return trip. I had thought that my feet were as wet as they could get but I was wrong. I got quite a shock as I ran through the cold, shin deep water. My feet almost stopped working.

The last three miles were a death march, mostly walking but small amounts of shuffle running. Often, when I feel like I can’t run anymore I play a game with myself. I try to run for 20 seconds then I look at my watch to see how much further I have until the end. I only let myself look at my watch after running. I love looking at my watch. When I was dragging along the last quarter mile I thought I heard someone yell my name. I looked up and over the river to see Tim, Jeannie, and Atheana waiting to cheer me in. That gave me enough of a boost to start running (slowly, 20 seconds) again. Thanks, you guys.

I had thought I would be shedding clothes (not wishing I had more) like I usually do as I warm up, so my bib number was under 3 layers of clothing. When I came through the finish line they yelled that they needed to see my number. Tim got a picture of me trying to hold up my shirts so my number was visible as I tried to run through the finish. I was so wet, cold, and exhausted that I felt disoriented. I’m glad Tim was there to lead me inside.

Eugene - Holiday Half

Barely concious

Tim is so awesome. He got me a plate of pasta and had already brought in my dry clothes from the car. As soon as I was able to stand up I went to the bathroom and changed into blissfully dry clothes.

I have often thought about getting one of the free massages offered after the race but there is usually a long wait list. They had two massage therapists and almost no line. I was called before I was done changing. It was great. I usually like deep massage but I was so stiff and sore that I had to ask for less pressure. Why don’t they have tip jars? Is it appropriate to tip the after run masseuse? If anyone knows the answer please let me know because this will not be my last after run massage.


  • Aweful weather
  • Running on concrete
  • Flooded underpasses
  • Ran out of soup (before I got any)


  • Parking close to start/finish
  • Indoor expo area
  • Nice sweatshirt (optional purchase)
  • Extra wonderful volunteers
  • Well marked our and back course
  • Scenic course
  • After race pasta
  • Nice glass medal
  • Good cause
  • After party at a brewery (we skipped it this time)

Would I recommend this race? Well – even without the epic wind and flooding I don’t think I would do this race again because I try not to run on concrete. That said, if the weather was better this would be a beginner friendly race. It was well organized and had extra helpful volunteers. There were no hills, the only climbing was the small rise coming out of the underpasses. This run had scenic river and marsh views, that I only saw briefly because for most of the race my head was down trying not to get a face full of rain. It was a festive race that benefits a good cause. This would be a fun race to dress up for. There were runners in tutus, covered in Christmas lights, dressed up as elves, and I saw at least 2 Santa runners. If you are looking for a holiday run in Oregon you won’t find a friendlier race. As for me, I’m glad we are running in San Diego next weekend.


  1. Sharon,
    I am finally reading this after the wild holidays! S glad you are done with Oregon and in SD now. Tim had emailed me you guys were there looking for a place and then Marilyn wrote last night you had found one!
    Thinking of you and am so happy you got our messages on voice mail.
    Love you and Tim,
    Jane and John
    Marilyn wrote about the rain and today was 29 degrees when we got up! YUCK!

  2. I probably won’t do this one again either, nor would I recommend it — the 10K was dull, the 5K turnaround wasn’t clear so there were at least two turnaround spots, and who wants to see the strip malls of West 11th? I hope you had a good, blister-free, unsoggy run yesterday! I am looking forward to reviews of sunny, DRY half marathons! Give those of us here in the PNW something to fantasize about!

  3. Well, the good news appears to be – that was the last run in Oregon in a while! So you’re heading to SD today, and running a HM tomorrow? You two amaze me (yes, I know I say this all the time!). I hope you both had a wonderful Christmas, and I’m so excited for your new adventure. I spent Christmas Eve with Becky and Sylvia and they are almost as excited as I am about your move! It puts you within driving distance, and that makes me so happy, to know I’ll get to see you more often. You wouldn’t want to be here right now, it rained last night, cold rain, and we are expecting a hard freeze tonight. The cold weather plays havoc with my lungs, but the acupuncture really is helping me. I hope we can chat by phone before you leave SD. Know you are loved and missed, and I am so excited for both of you!!!!

    • Merry Christmas my friend. I’m very excited to be going to SD today. Our next two runs are in CA We are running Sunday this week. No way we could make it to San Diego by tomorrow. Kiss Becky and Sylvia for me. I can’t wait to see all of you. I loved the happy hour phone message. Thank you. It made me feel less alone up here.

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