For the last three years, I’ve run the Race to Robie Creek, a hilly and challenging half-marathon. It’s a fun event with something they call a party at the end then a school bus ride back to the start. After the second year, I decided I was done with the school bus ride so last year I had the brilliant idea of just running back. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have on the return trip and took a wrong turn. The 13.1 mile run was supposed to turn into a 26.2 miler, but ended up being a little over 28. It would have been farther had I not gotten a ride for the last 4 miles. This year was going to be different.
Rather than rushing to register for Robie (it usually sells out in less than 10 minutes), this year I decided to run the trails above the course and cheer on BAR team members. I announced this alternate run to BAR and six people agreed to join me.
We met beside the starting line for Robie so we could see off the BAR members who were racing. The gun went off, the racers streamed by, we cheered then headed up the trails. The weather was perfect for running and we quickly climbed the hills. Our group spread out with only three of us planning to reach the upper part of the course. Several spots on the trails had views down to the course and it was fun to see hundreds of runners tracing along the road.
After several miles of following above the course, we decided to drop down to the road around mile marker 6 of the race. We stood there as one of my former co-workers ran past. She was walking at this stage, but still having fun with the event. From there we tracked along the course for just over a mile to the summit before turning around and heading back down. We encouraged racers and gave high-fives all along the course. Lots of smiles.
I ended up running almost 22 miles, avoided a school bus ride and had a great time. I think this will be my plan for Robie next year as well. Anyone else interested in joining us?