Monday, October 26, 2009

Columbia Gorge Half Marathon 2009: Monotonous Beauty

As vaguely live-blogged yesterday, I completed the Columbia Gorge half marathon in a time of 1:33:10 (7:07 min/mi pace, official), which was only 9 seconds too slow for a PR at that distance. As advertised, the course was challenging -- hills up, hills down, repeat for 13 miles and change -- but staggeringly beautiful, actually monotonously beautiful if that's even possible.

I mean, how many times can you round another slight bend in the Columbia River Highway State Trail to reveal a breathtaking natural vista without getting slightly agitated with it? My eyes wanted to find something ugly just for the contrast, but there was nothing ugly, nor even average, nor even merely above average, to be seen. The photo at left of Multnomah Falls, mediocre as it is from my camera phone, gives a sense of the colors in the gorge yesterday.

It was a terrific event, one I encourage fellow runners to add to their calendars in future years. My thanks go out to the event's organizers and the volunteers who made it all possible.

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