Sunday, May 03, 2009
Pancakes, Hotsprings, Bagpipes, a Brewpub and a Little Hill Climb
Startline Set Up.
Set in the mountains east of Eugene, in the small town of Oakridge, the Larison Rock Hill Climb is a hidden gem of a race. Dubbed the "Fastest Little Race in Oregon", it tied in with the town's weekend's festivities; their annual tree planting festival (which includes a parade, craft fair, and vendors.)
The race started at the Greenwaters Park in Oakridge, crossed the Middle Fork of the Willamette River, and after a mile of flat dirt running started to ascend. In a 3.5 miles, the course climbed 2,200 feet up the switch-backing, pine-needle laden Larison Rock Trail to the summit and finish line.
Rogue Valley Runners' Erik Skaggs led the charge up the mountain. Finishing just below the rock strewn summit in 42:45, Erik solidified his lead in the 2009 La Sportiva/USATF-Oregon Mountain Running Series. The Larison Rock Hill Climb is the first race in the six race series. Series creator and Portland resident Richard Bolt finished a solid second in 47:30. RVR's Ian Torrence finished third in 48:09.
Men's winner Erik Skaggs.
The Top Three Men: (L to R) Richard Bolt (2nd), Erik Skaggs (1st), Ian Torrence (3rd)
In the ladies race, Jenn Shelton out distanced herself from Eugene's Susannah Beck to win in 52:50 (fifth overall); roughly two minutes ahead of Beck's second place showing.
Women's winner Jenn Shelton.
Atop Larison Rock enjoying finish line views. (L to R) Susannah Beck, Erik Skaggs (holding Zoroaster), Jenn Shelton.
After jogging back down the mountain (a shuttle was provided if you didn't want to run down), runners were presented with an all-you-could eat pancake breakfast and awards ceremony. Shelton and Skaggs each walked away with $100 in prize money for their efforts.
Pancakes! (L to R) Alan Abbs, Bev Abbs, Erik Skaggs, Jenn Shelton.
Richard Bolt's race report and full results can be found on his blog here.
Though only still a very small event, we can surely see this hometown race reaching great heights in the future. Special thanks to race directors Alan and Bev Abbs and Catrina Davis for their work in organizing a first class show.
The intrepid Rogue Valley Runners, however, did not end their road-trip race weekend there. After awards and breakfast they headed up river to soak in the McCredie Hot Springs. Leaving the pools light headed they continued on to Oakridge's new brewpub, The Brewers Local Union 180. Post race meals were accompanied by several rounds of bagpipe serenades. The food and brews were good!
(L to R) Erik Skaggs and Jenn Shelton follow an unidentified hotspringer as they head into McCredie Hotsprings.