|3/12/2013 1:47:00 PM|
As we enter into the spring and summer, Sisters Country becomes alive with locals and visitors out and about on our many trails, Forest Service roads, and byways. We are lucky to have such great access to the outdoors, as well as great events and even the occasional visit from Olympic-level runners.
Trails are soft but getting better.
Sisters loves its running and biking trails but the snow and frost has now turned to muckiness once the temperature gets above freezing each day. However, most of the trail system is free of snow and the trails are getting more use every week as we approach spring and summer.
I have been out on one of the newest trails, which starts directly across Highway 242 from the entrance to Sisters High School and connects with an older trail that goes behind Crossroads. It's a great little hilly route and is lightly used. A pink sign at the trailhead requests that cyclists stay off it as they are making ruts, which will protect the long-term condition of the trails. Park at Sisters High School since there is no parking where the trail begins.
Upcoming events of note:
The annual St. Patty's Day Run and Walk is Friday, March 15 at Sisters Athletic Club at 6 p.m. Refreshments, including beer provided by Three Creeks Brewing Co. will be available at the finish of the 5- and 10-kilometer courses. Participants are invited to dress in St. Patrick's attire and the best outfit will win a prize. Registration is available online at www.sistersmultisport.com
The 11th annual Peterson Ridge Rumble is just around the corner on Sunday, April 14. With distances of 20 and 40 miles, it is not for the faint-of-heart. Race director Sean Meissner, who just finished some adventure running in the Copper Canyon of Mexico (made famous by the book "Born to Run") will be back in Sisters for a week or so before the race to reconnect with old friends and tell stories. Check www.petersonridgerumble.com. The Rumble benefits the Sisters High School cross-country team, which provides much of the volunteer support for the race.
A true kick-off to summer, The Dirty Half, which takes place Sunday, June 9, on a course that starts near Summit High School, might be something to start training for right now (if you haven't already). Rumor has it that Kent Boles and his daughter Hannah are already registered and training. It fills up quick, so check it out right away at www.footzonebend.com/dirty_half.
Oregon-based runners continue to shine nationally and internationally.
Oregon has long been considered a Mecca for distance runners thanks to the track-and-field program at the University of Oregon under the guidance of the likes of Bill Hayward, Bill Bowerman, Bill Dellinger, and now Vin Lananna. Offspring programs include the Oregon Track Club Elite, Alberto Salazar's Oregon Project in Portland, and Jerry Schumacher's Olympic charges. Olympians and future Olympians are coming out of Oregon at a high rate-Galen Rupp, Mo Farah, Lopez Lomong, Nick Symmonds, Matt Centrowitz, Shalana Flanagan, Kara Goucher, and now teenage sensation Mary Cain, who recently set the high school record for the indoor mile, 4:28.25.
Lomong, who gave a talk about his book "Running For My Life" at Sisters Athletic Club in November and who lives in Lake Oswego, won the Millrose Mile in Manhattan in the third-fastest time in American history (3:51.2) three weeks ago and then broke the American indoor 5,000-meter mark (13:07.0) last week in New York City.
The University of Oregon women's track team won its fourth consecutive NCAA Indoor national championship last Saturday behind heroic performances from its distance runners, and Central Oregonian Max King won the epic El Cruce Columbia ultra-marathon stage race in South America February 22.
Perhaps Oregon is becoming a mini version of Kenya, from which nearly all of the world-record-breaking runners in the past 15 years originate. Interestingly, last week's sports pages also included reports that a number of runners from Kenya are being investigated for the use of illegal
Let's hope the Americans are running clean!
Next column, I will have a new version of locals' favorite runs for the summer months. If you want to submit your favorite run, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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