Fourth of July, Race Day and KATE!
WOW. WHAT A DAY!
We started off the morning preparing for the Butte to Butte 5K and 10K; we were all a little nervous about "the hill" for which this race is famous, but excited about the prospect of sharing the road with so many teammates.
My race plan would have held up, had it not been for the last 200m of "the hill;" it was tough for me, but I tried to recover as much as I could on the downhill afterward.
As I mentioned in my post yesterday, my 10K PR, set in 2009 on a flat course, is 52:09; I'm proud to say that I managed to finish this one in 52:54, and the hill was worth this post-race hug from Sarah Lesko!
The race finishes right next to the Fifth Street Market, which is a delightful area; I could've walked around looking at everything for hours!
We found a coffee and breakfast spot and enjoyed some post-race celebration with plenty of Oiselle teammates; I also enjoyed chatting with some local folks who were delighted to share their stories of the Butte to Butte race history and their love of Eugene.
After some tough racing and delicious refueling, it seemed as though a nap was in order - yay! We all returned to Home Tweet Home for a little relaxation before the afternoon's track excitement.
First up at Hayward was the women's 3,000m steeplechase semifinal heats; Oiselle had athletes running in all three heats, which was really exciting!
Megan Rolland, Shalaya Kipp and Mel Lawrence all advanced, and we'll be able to watch them compete in the final on Thursday evening.
The men's 3,000m steeplechase semifinal was no less exciting; so many cheers for Evan Jager, who has been mentioned as the best chance the U.S. has had for a medal in the steeple in many years.
And then, for us, the main event - Oiselle athlete Kate Grace would toe the line alongside the best our nation has to offer in the 800m race; our hearts were nearly beating out of our chests, and for good reason.
The race was super-dramatic, thanks to a clip and a fall by former Olympic medalist Alysia Montano; it was heartbreaking to watch, but also absolutely thrilling to see Kate run her VERY BEST TIME EVER in the event. So powerful, so fierce, so indescribably badass.
We watched as she took her lap around the track, alongside her new Olympic teammates, and saw the joy on her face when she arrived at Section J, full of Oiselle cheerleaders, and it was definitely a moment to remember.
Physically and emotionally exhausted, we did the best thing we could think of to celebrate the moment and spent the evening re-watching the event on our phones, on the television at the brewery and discussing our amazement with one another.
Today is an off day for the athletes, but we'll be enjoying "Oiselle-palooza" - an event full of presentations, Jasyoga and more fun with teammates; this evening, we're headed to see the Eugene premier of the new film Tracktown USA! Until then...