To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Butte to Butte 5K... with an Epic Finish!

I can really tell you that without looking it up, I've lost track of how many times I've done the Butte to Butte race on the Fourth of July in Eugene. Prior to having a baby I would do the 10K and tackle that massive uphill and downhill. But now that I have the cutest girl in the world, I choose to do the flat 5K and push her stroller. And this year was the best so far!

This race is really fun. It isn't about the racing. It's people of all ages, sizes and abilities coming together on a holiday wearing our red, white and blue and just enjoying each other. I always end up actually talking to other runners before and during the race! Another thing that I really like about Butte to Butte is the fact that Katura can get her own race bib for free as long as I pay for my own bib! That's pretty awesome. In 2016 we got to hear our little 6 month old baby's name called over the speakers when her stroller crossed the finish line! And so for the 3rd year in a row our little family was heading to the 5th Street Market for yet another wonderful race!

It was quite an early morning. I was up at 4:30am to get myself showered and ready, knowing I had to get everything together for a toddler as well. Plus we wanted to make sure air was added to the stroller tires. Man, my latest runs were getting tough with the air getting lower! Shockingly Katura woke up on her own around 5am and went out to cuddle in her blanket and watch cartoons. By 

5:30ish we were in the car heading north!

As per usual we parked in the Hult Center parking structure, then made our way to the start area. Being an older girl now, Katura was wide awake and paying attention to every single thing this year. We didn't miss a single dog in the race area. She found all of them! The start time was getting near, so I was doing all of my final checks of our group to make sure we were all situated, and I heard a man's voice behind me asking if I was Ronda. Huh?? I turned around and had absolutely no clue who this was. Turns out he works with my dad (who incidentally doesn't even live in Oregon!) and showed me a photo on his phone my dad had sent so that he could know who to look for in the crowd. Small world! So we took a selfie together and sent it back to Ohio for my dad to see!

Start Line  ---- Finish Line
And finally it was time to start! Okay, we totally planned ahead. I knew if we stayed to the far left we would be able to be spotting in start line photos. Clearly I was right, as you are seeing a couple of those photos in this post! After the start and passing the photographers, however, then it was all about trying to find a path for the stroller. This is quite a congested race due to its popularity, and it is pretty hard to not find yourself occasionally stuck behind a walking family. No big deal. That doesn't even bother me during this race.

We had absolutely NO goal for this race at all. We weren't aiming for a PR, we weren't trying to beat any prior finish time we have on this course. It was simply about running together, people watching, and using it as an easy training run before our upcoming Ragnar Relay! For a while we were hanging out near a dad pushing a stroller. I believe he even joked about drafting off of me. Eh, why not?!? If I can make a path and help another stroller runner out, then so be it!

Not 1, but TWO sparkle skirts!
I'm shocked at how well we ran. I mean it was insane how quickly that first mile went by. I spent that whole mile just starting at the two flags being carried by military guys. That one in the short shorts was impossible to keep up with ... but I was able to keep up with the old retired veteran!

Katura was wide awake during the entire thing. Along a row of plants I saw her little fingers sticking out trying to touch them as we ran by. Ahh, those fingers are so cute! When it opened up to a wider road again she was so busy talking to us and pointing out all of the other kids and animals. That really made the time go by... although let's be honest... this is only 3.1 miles. It isn't like it took that much time. I mean it took us longer to get there than it did to race. 

And then came the end. This is what I was looking forward to the most. Katura LOVES to run. "On your mark, get set, Go!" is one of her favorite phrases right now. Our finish line was going to be an exciting one! 

Just before the final turn near the finish I was able to push the stroller out of the way. We got Katura out of her seat and Shawn took off ahead of us with an empty stroller. Katura has done many races at this point, but this finish was about to be a first!

They did say her name again, and then had some confusion on their faces when they realized she wasn't there .... her bib was pinned onto the stroller. I mean do you really want to try to put four safety pins on the shirt of a two year old? Didn't think so.

Katura tightly grabbed onto my finger and led the way. She was so serious about it, but I could tell she was also loving it. Both sides of the road were lined with people cheering, and those cheers were extra loud when they saw this tiny little girl coming down the road. She stared straight ahead and never stopped moving. After the finish line she was all smiles and feeling pretty darn proud of herself, as she should!

This finish area always has yummy snacks... cookies, grilled cheese sandwiches, chocolate milk, bagels, bread, more cookies, fruit drinks, water ... I always enjoy crossing that finish line. Those Franz cookies are delicious!

But we didn't stop there! We saw the infamous pink Voodoo Donut box being carried around by people, so on the way to our car we had to make a detour. I highly recommend the special donut they made just for 4th of July... an apple die filled donut. Oh my gosh, so so so dang yummy! Shawn found a photo of my idol, Steve Prefontaine, on the wall, which made this an all around great race day!

And then he left my wallet on the counter.

I retrieved it the following day. Thank goodness.

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