That's why it was so important to have the Pear Blossom Run marked on our calendars. The buds on the trees were blossoming in February and have since been pelted with rain and snow. It was uncanny how most of our training seemed the same. Having racked up impressive mileage and tested ourselves with races throughout the winter a few of us were feeling downright hesitant and gun shy leading up to our regional rite of spring.
As with most things, we endure.
This year's race would usher in a new champion as Max King joined some 700 runners at the American River 50 with the hope of getting an entry into the Western States 100. Erik Skaggs found himself serving bread at the finish line and cheering for his fitter half out on the course. That left most of us wondering who would take this years crown. I imagine it gave a few people hope, but as we headed out of town my eye caught a glimpse of what looked like a Kenyan and that would be the end of the speculation. However, on the ladies side a fierce battle was being waged as our local favorite proved that her leg speed was not lacking after coming off a recent marathon.
Indeed, the fanfare our Born to Run hero has garnered has not change her humble roots. She has been seen mingling with the regular folk of our area and was even spotted signing a Kindle at the pre-race registration. With a Sharpie none-the-less. When asked if I should sign the Kindle, I was met with skepticism, "Are you in the book?" Humbling, just humbling.
As many people wondered upon seeing our hero at the starting line, was this her day to shine. Ultimately, it reminded me of that eighties sitcom with the undeniable theme song, "The Greatest American Hero."
Perhaps it was just Connie Sellecca?
And there were others that had come to enjoy the day in the same fashion, if you will.
As the race developed, it was amazing to see so many familiar faces out there with an improbable number of registrants. Some 1,800 runners in the 10 miler and another 1,200 in the 5k. Not to mention a Mayors Mile filled with hundreds of youngsters. The record setting Ruch School garnering the most participants again this year, congrats coach Stemple!
There are too many to individually congratulate so I will perpetuate the Mail Tribunes coverage of the Top Ten because, well, I made it.
1 Aron Rono 27 Santa Fe NM 0:49:49
2 Kirby Davis 25 Portland OR 0:50:21
3 Jonathan Marcus 26 Portland OR 0:52:41
4 Damian Baldovino 43 Lakeview OR 0:53:52
5 Dennis Brands 23 Canby OR 0:55:24
6 Scott Becker 26 Medford OR 0:56:35
7 Hal Koerner 34 Ashland OR 0:56:43
8 Neil Olsen 42 Central Point OR 0:56:45
9 Thomas Kreuzpeintner 44 Eugene OR 0:56:4910
10 Justin Loftus 38 Ashland OR 0:57:32
1 Jenn Shelton 26 Ashland OR 0:59:50
2 Kristen Rohde 26 Portland OR 1:00:12
3 Alanna Steinert-Garcia 27 Grants Pass OR 1:01:57
4 Holly Hight 34 Ashland OR 1:03:30
5 Melissa Schweisguth 35 Ashland OR 1:04:30
6 Maggie Donovan 34 Medford OR 1:05:08
7 Mercy Ray 28 Medford OR 1:06:24
8 Ixel Sanchez 24 Ashland OR 1:06:35
9 Bobbi Wright 27 Gold Hill OR 1:07:12
10 Janelle Ralph 28 Gold Hill OR 1:07:21
Seriously, I hope to see many more participants at all the valley races I know you all can run a long way now. And with that, enjoy the commentary.
Chris Rennaker dukes it out with Eugene's Craig Thornley. He Shaved his head just for this 10 miler!
Neil Olsen and I head up Hanley Hill with another Eugenian. Nothing like Devil's Thumb eh Neil.
The look of a champion, and sneaking a look at the champion.
Even a champion sometimes sneaks a look.
John Leuthold running strong, no chip time controversy this year my friend.
Loftus and Bob have been at it for years, today it was rabbit ears.
Yes, that is a Pear Monokini, you too can find it here.
Even John Mayer knows good fashion and sporting function.
Jim Carey would never be caught wearing anything but black though.