We all know Portland had such an incredibly warm summer and it extended quite nicely into fall as well. I was hoping to return from Europe to a rainy autumn, but the 80 degree days continued. As a final event before our big send off, we signed up for the Condor 25k in Corvallis and it was nothing short of a beautifully sunny Sunday driving down that morning and we weren’t let down all run long. This was my second 25k event (I think we all remember the catastrophe that was my first?) and I was ready to dominate. I was intimidated by the elevation gain, but made myself proud by trudging up each hill step by step, only stopping to walk once (around mile 13, I might add!). The hill at mile 13 was brutal (not that the others weren’t), but the sun was beating down, there were switchbacks like no other…and I needed a breather. I won’t be ashamed of my small walk (she says to herself…). Here’s the elevation chart from my Strava. Looks impressive, eh? I felt I did well on energy during this run. Jesse couldn’t be bothered running with his pack, but with the first aid station not appearing until after some significant elevation, I decided to carry mine. By the end I ran out of water, so it was probably a wise decision. It’s funny how we get to know ourselves and our needs as the miles rack up. One thing I’ve always struggled with during runs though is eating. I had a strawberry banana GU in between aid stations 1 and 2 and this was seemingly successful. It took me about 1.5 miles to eat the whole thing, but didn’t feel sick at all. I also had an electrolyte drink at the 3rd aid station and did well on that too. I was very pleased and have since been trying to incorporate more GUs into my training runs. Maybe I’ll get my run nutrition figured out after all. Jesse and I ran this race separately; he found a guy to run with / pace him and I was often running alone, but I think we established our spots in the pack fairly well. The race was a small one; only about 140 people. These are often my favorites; they feel more exclusive somehow. It’s fun to chat with other runners about their accomplishments, goals, and lives in general. I made a few “friends”, but some left me in the dust and others I chose to leave behind. I was grateful for the conversations – it’s often someone else’s enthusiasm or small spark of encouragement that can carry lift you for another mile. We ran in McDonald Forest and at first were just running along some gravel roads but as soon as it turned to single track, it was all worth it. In the end, I was pleased with my time and my effort, given the amount of climbing. It was such a great run and was for a good cause as well. It’s a memorial run Dave ‘Condor’ Bateham and the proceeds from the race are donated to the Oregon State University Research Forest fund for trail maintenance and construction of new trails and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Dave’s immediate family. This year they raised over $4,300! These race photos are courtesy of Taryn Hand. As you can also tell, I was definitely in the spirit of October as breast cancer awareness month!