Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fifteen Kilometers in the Gorge

Earlier today I completed the Blue Lake 15k in a time of 1:07:41 (7:16 min/mi pace, official). Suffice to say there are a lot of reasons to love this event, including these: it offers a mostly flat course with a grand view of Mt. Hood on a clear day, as today was (image source); it attracts a not-too-large, not-too-small turnout of participants, something on the order of a few hundred counting everyone; it's pretty close to where I live (your mileage may vary); and best of all, everyone is friendly and sportsmanlike.

There's no pressure, no self-importance, no airs, no pretensions -- just a nice run on a nice fall day, and afterwards, you leave with some cookies, a commemorative race bib, a new shirt, and if you've been fortunate, a ribbon signifying your age group standings (I came in third in mine, and so what).

It's what it looks like when runners come together to do what they love in a place that's hard not to love.

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