Eugene Marathon Race Report

Short version: Marathon #7 Great race, well supported, warm for me but PR!!!! 4:21. Super happy about this, my last marathon PR was in NYC November 2013. I ran Vancouver, BC and Chicago last year with no PR.

About mile 24. Thanks for the pic Travis!

About mile 24. Thanks for the pic Travis!

I went to Eugene with my friend, Amy. We arrived about 12:30 Saturday and went straight to the Expo. It was very small. Amy and I thought this sign was funny. And yes people were buying plants.

Amy's picture

Amy’s picture

We quickly picked up our bibs and shirts then headed to McMenamins for a lunch of burgers. Then we stopped at Voo Doo Donuts!


We checked into our hotel, the Holiday Inn Express. We could walk to the start/finish line, which is super helpful. They also gave us a late check out of 2 pm and had breakfast open at 5:30 on race day!

We went back downtown and shopped at the Saturday Market and the 5th Street stores. Eugene is a college, hippy town. We stumbled across a great restaurant for dinner, Ambrosia. It was modern Italian and very good.

We got up at 5:30 on Sunday, got coffee and a bagel in the lobby and headed over to the start at 6:30 for a 7 am start. It was already a little warm about 55 degrees, but it was partly cloudy which helped during the race. I think we started a few minutes late and I was in corral D. The 4:40 pacer was in C. I never saw another pacer after I past him in mile 1.

Amy and I at the start. Amy's pic.

Amy and I at the start. Amy’s pic.

The race went through some neighborhoods and along the river, on bike trails. It was a very nice course. Mostly flat, a few rolling hills and a bigger hill at mile 8. There was lots of shade, which I loved and water stops every 2 miles at the beginning, but I think almost every mile towards the end. I felt good most of the race. I started a little too fast, but slowed down quickly. And stayed in a good groove for about 22 miles. The volunteers were great and the police officers along the course were the best I have ever encountered on a race.

I was getting tired at mile 22 and it was warmer about 65. This is when I heard someone call my name. We had our names on our bibs so at first I thought it was a stranger, but I looked up and it was Travis, my friend Marilyn’s husband! It was so good to see a friendly face. We chatted a few minutes and he told me I looked good, and I told him I didn’t feel good. He was on a bike and I saw him a few other times those last few long miles. It was the pick me up I needed. Thank you Travis!

The last 2 miles were hard. I only walked through the short water stops. I knew I had a PR and did not want to see it slip away. I just kept moving. I came onto the track at Hayward field and the finish still seemed so far away. I tried to sprint, but had nothing left. Official time 4:21:03! A PR of 4 minutes! At the finish I was given chocolate milk, which the volunteer opened for me, my medal, a bag with water, bagel, PB, cookie and nuts.

Race Swag

Race Swag


Next up Mt St Helens climb in 2 weeks!



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Gametiime Puppy Run

I joined Gametiime about 18 months ago. It’s a great local site that has since expanded to a nation wide running community. They are having a virtual run called the Puppy Run. A virtual run is a run that people are running where ever you may be. You pick the time during the weekend. No rushing to get to a race. You can then connect with people across the country on social media who also ran. And you can also register your dog.

Cognac and I will be running. He is running about a mile with me now, but has done a bunch of hikes and I think the 5k will be perfect for him.

Cognac ready for a run.

Cognac ready for a run.


There is great swag for this race, including kids and pup swag. Plus if you use the code bethany10 you can get 10% off your registration fee.

Join us the June 5-8 for a fun run.


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The rest of Beijing and Shanghai

In Beijing we had some great food. Our favorite restaurant was Dali Courtyard. The food and service were top-notch. It’s a fixed menu for about $25. We were brought 7 different plates and everyone was amazing. We also had peking duck at one of the top rated duck restaurants in the city, Da Dong Roast Duck. The duck was good, but the service was horrible.

Dali Courtyard

Dali Courtyard

Da Dong

Da Dong


We went to the Temple of Heaven and many shopping areas called hutongs.

Making nut candy

Making nut candy

temple of heaven







We also went to the site of the 2008 Olympics and saw the Birds Nest and the Water Cube.

birds nestcube






We were only in Shanghai for one full day. We walk the Bund, during the day and at night. We also went to the highest observation tower in the world at the World Financial Center. It’s on the 100th floor. And went to Yu Gardens.Yu Garden2
Shaghai night






A couple of travel notes. Bring toilet paper, there is none in any public bathrooms, including train stations and airports. Communication was easier than I thought. Most people spoke a tiny bit of English. The Beijing subway is awesome! For .50 you could travel anywhere including transfers. The Chinese people to not wait in lines, so don’t be surprised if you get cut in line. It was a great vacation!

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One of the best days ever on the Great Wall!

I walked the Great Wall of China! It was the best day ever! I never would have thought that I would have the opportunity to go there.

Great Wall

We splurged on hiring a car and driver from our hotel to take us to the Great Wall at Mutainyu. It has a large section of restored wall, but also a part that has not been restored. We arrived at about 9:30, an 1.5 hour drive from Beijing. We purchased our tickets and then took a shuttle to a gondola which brought us to the wall. It is enormous and seems to go on forever.

wallwall tower









We walked for about a mile mostly up steep hills and stairs, and reached the point of “old wall” with this sign.
danger sign

We continued on for about .33 miles. It was overgrown and the wall was non exsistant in some places.
old wallold wall2

This was my favorite day on the trip. It was amazing to see something so old and big, in a place I never thought I would have the opportunity to visit.

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I had an amazing time in China. We started our trip in Beijing. We stayed at the New World Beijing Hotel. It was a very modern, western hotel. It had a pretty good gym, I did not run outside once on this trip. The smog was bad and it was warm, about 75/80 most days The best part of the hotel was a great breakfast buffet with American and Chinese options.



Our first day we started at Tiananmen Square. We could walk there from our hotel. We quickly discovered there are So. Many. People. in China. In Beijing there were very few westerners. It was great to see the Chinese people excited to be in a place where so much history has happened.










Next stop was the Forbidden City. This is an amazing and large palace It dated back to 1420. It has been burnt and rebuilt many times. We went to  Jing Shan Park across the street and hiked up a small hill to get an amazing view of the palace.

Forbidden CityFC Land




At the Beijing Zoo we saw the pandas!

We had heard that the zoo was pretty run down, so we did not stay long. The pandas are in a good space. It has a large indoor and outdoor space with climbing strcutures and plenty of trees.



More to come later in the week!

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My first trail race!

I ran my first trail race on Saturday. The Evergreen Trail Runs Squak Mountain 12k. I registered last week because a friend was running it and I thought it would be good training for Mt St Helens. I have not run a lot of trails, just a few runs on Cougar Mountain and at the Redmond Watershed.

The 12k started at 9:30. Laine and I got there about 8:45. it was chilly but they had a tent with a space heater which was toasty. The race started on time and we were off, up the first of many steep hills. It was an elevation gain of 2,550. It was a mix of very narrow trails and wide gravel road. It was hard. It was hard going up the steep hills and hard running down them.

Picture by Herb Purganan

Picture by Herb Purganan

Picture by Herb Purganan

Picture by Herb Purganan









I finished in 2:04, first in my age group, out of 2. The race was well supported for a trail race. On the top and bottom there was a table with chips, m&m, cookies, peanut butter sandwiches, water and Nuun. There was also soup and hot chocolate at the finish.

I think is was a well run race. I don’t know if I will race a trail again, but I will definitely start running on them more.


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Marathon Training and Hiking

The Eugene Marathon is about a month away. Last week was one of my highest mile weeks this training cycle, 43 miles, including a 20 miler. I’m looking forward to this week of only 35 miles. I’m using Hal Higdon’s Intermediate One plan. This is the same plan I have used to the past 5 marathons. I think I have to change it up on the next one, to get faster. I know a few people who have successfully followed Run Less Run Faster. I do have the book, but always found it difficult to following the paces. I either have to use that or hire a running coach.

Rattlesnake Cognac

I have added a hike into my weekend for the past 4 weeks. In the next month I will hike Mt. Si and a few other bigger hikes. I’m hoping that I will be ready for Mt. St. Helens in June. Permits have been purchased for June 1!


Top of Rattlesnake Ledge

I almost didn’t post this picture. Everyone was saying what a great picture of me it is (thanks for all the love on FB) and all I see is my belly flab. We all have body issues.  A friend was recently telling me how confident I am. I don’t know if it’s confidence or willingness to accept what I can’t change and craziness of wanting to live life to the fullest. After cancer I made an effort to do things out of my comfort zone. I’m still doing that. Run fast, take chances! And try not to care about my belly flab.

My first trail race is Saturday. It’s a 12k at Squak Mountain. What trail shoes to you run in?



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