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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.

Click here to leave a comment. I love comments.


  1. O,K… this what I wanted to hear!
    Yes, you learn new things at every race, you get to see new things and you make some really great friends. What I really enjoyed the most (besides bring home a trophy or medal after each race for my age division!) was the camaraderie of all those great runners. Some I chatted with as I raced and some I tail winded if the wind was strong and then met afterwards. Of course, John never raced with me so he didn’t know about all the boy friends I would pick up! I feel runners are the most honest people and you can make great friendships. I envy you running, can you tell??
    So, keep going and enjoy and when it gets tough just swear as that is the best stressed release. I hope you never lose the fun, even when you whine and are grumpy. I will keep you up to date about Sally.
    She would love to hear from you as Claude wrote me that lifts her spirits.
    Love, and admire you and Tim,

  2. Gear check time — what are the shoes you’re wearing? Have the Adidas gone packing?

    I’m sorry for the rain, but it will be beautiful in the spring. I don’t think I’ve gotten rained on in a race after January out here. Maybe look into some Eastern OR runs, as the rainforesty parts out here will be soggy. I hope you guys have fun in CA.

    I think I’d like to try this next year, I do like Astoria, but it ain’t warm, that area and made Lewis & Clark pretty miserable when they were there. Did you see the Pig ‘n’ Pancake?? That would have cheered you up. Or made you physically ill.

    • Yep the shoes got traded in for another pair of Brooks Adrenalines and I am so happy with them. I keep trying the newest magic shoe and always go back.
      Don’t do this race. Next year do Newport ,Timmy’s race and Bizz Johnson with us. And the runaway pumpkin. We did like Astoria. And we did see the Pig n Pancake and thought of you but alas we did not eat there We ordered pizza
      Thanks for the advice. Right now the weather is perfect in Riverside.

  3. You two continue to amaze me (and a lot of times, amuse me!!!). I love that you make up your minds to do something, and just go ahead and do it. The idea of running, much less running in nasty weather, just boggles my mind. So I say, go for it – because you can!!! I love that you post photos. It really personalizes your runs, makes me feel like I was there (not running, silly, rooting you on!) Don’t forget to post photos of the medals one of these days, as I for one would like to see them. When you do your book, Sharon, Tim can make all the medals into different bugs (a bug for each run?) and that could be your photos. Just planting ideas. This blog wants – needs – and hopes – to be a book!! I hope to talk with you again soon. Meanwhile, you take good care of yourselves, and know you are loved!

    • I love the idea of Tim making his bugs with medals. We now have a link. If you click the medals link it will take you to a list of races. Click the race to see the medal for that race. We are not happy with most of pictures and plan to redo them in better light. It was great talking to you. Again I can’t tell you how much I loved your letter and gifts

  4. Dear Sharon,
    As long as you’re living in shitty Oregon I think you will have to face the fact that it will be raining during these fall and winter months, until it might snow. Again, when I was racing/running in Illinois, I always took an extra long sleeved shirt along, tied it around my waist and even wore a belt for my own water, I just got used to the extra weight around my waist. I also wore a cap when racing as it did help with the rain, until it got water logged!!
    I have to be serious and ask you if it is really worth all this, for your goal, to deal with the blisters and the agony you are feeling with the wet stuff. Maybe wait until spring as you don’t want ruined feet and infected toes, which can happen if you aren’t careful. Maybe you should think about modifying your races and what your goals are.
    I admire you for doing this but it doesn’t sound like you’re really happy with this and if this keeps up you will hate running. don’t want that to happen.
    I love your pros and cons though. I know you want this goal but think it through carefully.
    Love, Jane, an experience runner for 25 years until I hit 65 and then the knees gave out!

    • Hi Jane. I was pretty grumpy about this race but even when I’m feeling negative I’m still at some level loving this I promise that I am not in danger of hating to run. I am seeing new places and learning new things. We have even made a new friend I promise to quit if the not fun starts to outweigh the fun
      On a sad note thank you for the update about sally

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