Race Recap – Bend Ale Run 10k

Hello internet friends, I’m alive! I know, I know. It’s been a while. In my defense, I’ve been working 50-60 hours a week (+1.5-2 hours of commuting every day) and when I get home I just don’t want to be on the computer anymore. Plus half the time, I cook dinner when I get home at 7:30 pm, watch a teensy bit of trash TV, and fall asleep. BUT, I think things are on the up-and-up! I start a new job the Monday after Thanksgiving which is a 10 minute drive from home, and I can’t WAIT to get my work-life balance on. I’ll miss all my coworkers, and my awesome job in general, but I think my new gig is going to be a little more balanced and my quality of life should improve a bit.

Now, on to what I really wanted to talk about – the Bend Ale Run 10k! Shayne had a long weekend for Veteran’s Day, so I took two days off and we took a little vaycay to Bend, which has become one of my favorite places this past year. Since I was signed up for a race at home that weekend, I forced us to sign up for a race in Bend to make up for skipping the Beaverton race. Because paying two race registration fees for TWO different races makes complete sense. I’ll recap our time in Bend in a subsequent post, but in terms of the race itself, we had a GREAT time.

It had been a while since either of us had done a 10k, but whatever. We were excited to be in Bend and excited to run. The weather was GORGEOUS, but we huddled for warmth at the start because the high desert breeze left us chilled. Neither of us had any idea what to wear, as we hadn’t ever run in Bend. I had a tech tee and capris, Shayne had a tech tee and shorts. We were both fine once we got going, but as we waited for the half-marathon to start before we corralled…we shivered a bit in the wind. Here’s a starting line-selfie:Bend Ale Run Start Line 1And the hubs stretching in out while we waited. There was construction happening. It was loud.img_3333The 10k was an inaugural distance for this event – previously they had only done the half-marathon. Inaugural distances or events can always be chance-y…and wouldn’t you know, we were directed the wrong way the VERY FIRST CORNER which was a block away from the start. We knew we would be going through the starting arch twice, but when we showed up at it again only 1.5 miles in, everyone was a little concerned. Rightly so, because we had all managed to immediately go off course. The race director clearly felt terrible, and was very apologetic (refreshing after reading about the snafu at this year’s Portland Marathon) and promised us extra beer at the Ale Fest finish. He said no one was obligated to start again, but we are all Oregonians and we’ll be damned if we aren’t going to run the true whole race, so it seems like almost everyone queued up to start again. We’re hardcore here.

Starting line selfie...TAKE 2!

Starting line selfie…TAKE 2!

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Headed uphill.

Honestly, I think the “warm up” really helped me during the actual race. Bend is at a higher altitude than home, and I’d figured out my breathing and my pacing by the time we started again. We headed out through a park and what I think is a future housing development but right now is beautiful high desert country. It was hilly, but gorgeous. img_3339 img_3336I mean COME ON, that rainbow?! It was so completely different from our usual scenery…replace piles of leaves and overgrown rhodies with tumbleweeds and juniper and ponderosa pine.

My pace was all over the place, but I had a blast. By all over the place, I mean I had a mile in the 10s, a mile in the 13s, and the rest of the miles somewhere squarely in the middle. I knew when we started the final mile (because it had been our warmup mile) and was so excited to head to the finish and the Bend Ale Fest!

Shayne and I finished at the same time. Literally. As in identical clock and chip times (for the second time this year). I tried to get him to run across the finish line holding hands, but he wasn’t into it. img_3346As soon as they handed me my medal and a bottle of water, we found ourselves in the line for catered lunch and our beer tokens. Due to the 10k snafu, we each got extra beer tokens, good for tasters from 15 different breweries in the Ale Fest tent! We didn’t partake in the lunch, but they had a great looking spread: pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, cookies…it smelled tasty but I just wasn’t hungry.

We took our celebratory pint glasses (the swag was ON POINT) right on into the beer tent and each tasted 6-8 brews from local breweries. Bend has a LOT of breweries, and although we’ve been to many of them, we discovered some new gems. We left tired, happy, and full of tasty suds. Honestly, we could have cared less about the mileage mess-up, because we had an AWESOME time. The race director also offered all the 10k participants 50% off race registration next year, so I’m hoping we’ll be back! I would consider our first race in Bend a smashing success and can’t wait for more!

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Don’t I look like a complete Oregon running badass here? I like to think so.

Thanks for reading! I promise it will be less than 6 weeks before my next post…

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