Wednesday, September 12, 2007
McKenzie River Invite
Why would anyone invite so many Rogue Valley Runners to a central Oregon party? Probably because they knew we would give their course a run for it's money, and that in part is exactly why RD Phil Vaughn decided to have the Mckenzie River 50k invitational on Sunday. The allure of the Mckenzie river 50k has grown greatly in my mind over the years based in part by the fact that it fills so quickly year after year. On the day that entries are taken, it fills leaving those who want to experience a first rate NW race on the sidelines watching. This year, Eric Poole, Joe Griffin, John Leuthold, Todd Ragsdale and myself provided the SO contingent and became the exception to the rule as the MRTR hosted a special invite for it's 20th anniversary. The race was as billed; fantastic single-track, cascading waterfalls, nice temperatures, fast course, easy crew access and all the lava rock you can handle. The race started way too friendly and as the morning progressed I found myself waking to the realization that if I wasn't too careful I could let some of the excited folk get too far ahead. And that is exactly what happened as the eventual winner gained 10 minutes on me in some 20 miles. However, as is the case with speedy sub 2:20 marathoners that shouldn't be out running for 4 hours they start to "come back." Unfortunately for the invite I could only regain 8 minutes. Oh well, there's always next year and the hope of breaking that inconceivable CR. Congrats to Todd, John, Joe, and Eric for making the A standard and for putting up with all the razzing that preceded the race.