Veronica qualified for the regionals this year. We headed to Western Oregon University in Monmouth, OR for the event. Our friends Grace and Clara Fjermedal joined me for the trip. They will run in the 11 year old 3k event and Veronica will run 4k. Since it was just the four of us, I used Judy’s car and picked up the girls right after school on Friday. The 230 mile trip should have taken about 3 hours and 30 minutes. Leaving at 2:45 PM on a Friday I hit every traffic jam and drove well over 6 hours with all the stop and go traffic. The girls were great, making sandwiches and watching movies during the trip.
An intoxicating mix of nail polish, beer, wine, and pre-race jitters
Veronica, Grace, Coach Cory, Clara
We arrived in time for the traditional team gathering in the lobby of our hotel. The team paints their nails “Go Rain City” while number bibs are passed out. This event uses an RFID tag on the bibs to make the scoring very easy.
11 year old girls 3K start line (Click on the picture. Can you find Grace and Clara?)
Veronica is warming up for the 4k. The temperature is right at 40 degrees and there is a slight breeze out of the North. On the way to the race from our hotel, the twins asked Veronica what Kansas looks like. She noted that except for the mountains in the background, this is it. Flat terrain with a biting cold wind. Although the girls are in shorts and a tee-shirt, the spectators are trying to keep warm with coats, hats, gloves, and even the occasional sleeping bag.
2/3 of the way through the race and Veronica is looking strong. I like this picture it shows a chicane over her left shoulder. This course is relatively flat and open. It was so flat that the route was confusing with all the turns and backtracking. At several points the runners retrace a section of the course in the opposite direction. We did not do the walk-through on Friday but were told that it really did not help. The organizers used a garden tractor as a rabbit for all the races. The tractor lead the way so the lead runners know which way to go.
After purchasing an event sweatshirt, we headed home. Without traffic the trip only took about three hours. Thank you Judy for the car. We averaged 36 mpg and returned home with gas to spare. All that on less than a tank of fuel. Gotta love that German diesel.