Catherine Creek Classic T-shirt

2 down only 50 to go.

Thanks Tim for the amazing year of weekend half marathons. In return, I give you chafing in places inappropriate for blog photos. Oh dear, what has she done now – I hear everyone who knows me thinking. Well, this is embarrassing but I forgot my running shorts. I packed a long sleeve shirt in a similar fabric that tricked me into thinking the shorts were in my bag.

The night before a race I lay out the clothes I plan to run so I don’t waste time and stress out in the morning. Right before going to bed Friday night I laid out my running kit and realized I had no shorts. After freaking out I asked Tim if I could wear the shorts he has driven up in because I had worn jeans for the car trip. Tim said that I could wear his running shorts and he would wear his cargo shorts! I felt so stupid about the whole thing and assured him I would be fine in his heavy shorts but he insisted. Even though he made a scary joke about running me in my underwear, I’m nominating him for husband of the year.



Tim finely finds a pair of running shorts with enough pockets.

Tim finely finds a pair of running shorts with enough pockets.


Before writing about the race I want to write about our amazing dinner. We found an excellent Thai restaurant called Bangkok East. Tim had pineapple fried rice and I had shrimp curry. Tim had a Terminal Gravity IPA that we both recommend. La Grande is a real middle of nowhere kind of town so it seems even more fortuitous to find a good Thai place. And then we got these fortune cookies. The waitress must have thought we were too easily amused the way we were exclaiming and laughing over our fortunes.




This race was in many ways the polar opposite of our last race. The Catherine  Creek classic had 53 people for the half marathon, Eugene had almost 2000.

Everyone parked at the school and a school bus drove us to the start line. We were amused by the run back to your car method of discouraging runners from dropping out.

At the 8 a.m. start the morning was already warm. The start went downhill for about 5 miles. I try to run all the downhills and take walking breaks on the uphills but soon I was looking for a flat section to justify walking. I ran longer and harder in the beginning than I should have. A typical rookie mistake – going out too fast. I love running downhill (yay gravity) but I trashed my quads and I should have known better. I was much sorer after this race than the first one.

I wrote a long passage about sore feet, extreme heat, tummy issues, etc. but it bored me so I deleted it. Suffice it to say it was 92 degrees when I finished my race and I had every issue associated with running in heat.

I love to talk to people when I run and this time it helped me through a rough race. I talked to a woman, Stacy, who was probably hurting even more than I was. She had a compression sleeve on an injured calf. It was so hot, I can’t imagine how miserable it must have been to have the sun beating on that black fabric or to be running on a sore calf. I was inspired to complain marginally less. After a couple of miles I was ready to push on. I listen to my music and made a game of trying to catch the runner I saw way off in the distance. She was also walk/running at this point, so I would run whenever she ran and then try to run 30 more seconds after she started walking. It takes a long time to catch someone this way. I finally caught up with her. She seemed to be in as much of a – let’s talk and pretend this isn’t happening – mood as I was. At this point we were both doing more walking than running. It was in the 90s and we probably would have collapsed from heat exhaustion if we had run much harder, still I like to think we spurred each other on just a bit. When she slowed I said “30 more seconds” and we did it, then walked. At one point she said “let’s run to that tree” sooner then I would have started up again had I been running alone. It was nice to know someone was there if I had heat stroke. Thanks Jennifer.





I ran as fast as I could to the finish line and collapsed on a tree. Tim brought me some cold watermelon. It was right up there with the Eugene chocolate milk.


Tim must have had half a watermelon. I’m beginning to understand why I need to lose weight. For a blog about running I write an awful lot about food. I was amazed to learn that I had won in my age group. Turns out I was the only woman in my age group. Tim got 3rd in his age group, out of three. He came in 23 minutes faster than me. Look at our ribbons. They remind me of the 4-H ribbons given to kids at the Country Fair. And I did feel like a happy kid, just sitting under the tree, eating cold watermelon, clutching my blue ribbon, knowing it was a full week before I had to do this again.



  • They started the award ceremony before the age groupers were all in. They totally missed the woman in the 60-69 age group. She was 66  and came in just over 3 hours. Who deserves a blue ribbon more than her? In their defense they did say the award ceremony would begin at 10 a.m. They were packing things up and getting ready to leave while there were still runners out on the course. The race appeared to be full of cross country kids from the high school who were confused about the fact that people were taking almost 3 hours to finish a half marathon. If you are a back of the packer this race might prove to be a little hard on the ego.
  • Little to no crowd support. This is to be expected from a race of this size. I actually prefer the odd looks I got from two horses and a goat to the looks I get from people who expect to be entertained by watching a bunch of people run past them but some people thrive on cheering crowds. This is not the race for those people.


    • This race is a great value, for only $15 ($10 more if you want a T-shirt) you get a well-organized race with lots of country charm, a bus to the start, friendly volunteers offering large glasses of water and encouragement, cold watermelon at the finish line as well as prize drawings and age group ribbons. I would recommend this race to anyone looking for a well run, low key event with beautiful scenery.


And now (as Monty Python would say) for something completely different. On the way home, in the middle of nowhere (where we seem to be spending a lot of time lately) we see a shoe tree.



  1. Pingback: #3 Haulin’ Aspen | 52 T-Shirts

  2. A running tree? I had never heard of such a thing! I agree with Marilyn. YOU ROCK!

  3. Watermelon and a shoe tree? Thai food and Chinese fortune cookies? Winning a ribbon? I’d say you had a darn good weekend, the two of you! Sharon – it’s so fabulous to see you running again, feeling great about yourself (with your usual sense of humor!), and enjoying your voyage. You are such an amazing person, and I’m so happy to see that you are really hitting your stride! (That’s a poor attempt at a running joke!!!) Sending you love, and always, lots of laughter!!! You rock, my friend!

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