Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sage Rat Run - Dirty Rat 10K race report

Another spoiler: day 2 of the Rat Deux challenge was just as great!

We had another nice breakfast at the hotel before heading out to Prosser, where Sunday's races would start and finish. 

We got to the start just as the duathlon participants were getting their course talk; I sorta wish I had listened because I have no idea where they rode, transitioned, or ran...

The crowd was a bit smaller on the Sunday, but we recognized a lot of people. 

Promptly at 8:00 we set off to a pistol shot. BANG! (Kinda loved that.) We ran a very short while through Prosser, past a big fruit processing plant, a dog in hysterics, and a small group of folks who had set up chairs next to the road. And then UP WE WENT. 

The road was paved for a hundred yards or so, and then transitioned to well-packed dirt and gravel...a really nice surface to run on. Except, umm, CRAZY STEEP HILL. 

Crazy. 



Steep.  



Hill.



It was pretty unrelenting for about two miles -- we were going up to the top of the ridge, after all. But the weather was glorious - bright blue sky, not hot - and we were really fine with just a gentle stroll. Call it training for the Inca Trail...

We were happy to see one friend along the road:

always nice to "see" John at a race!
**SIGN LOVE** - both days there were cute motivational quotes out along the race course. A local car dealership sponsored them -- really cute way to get more from a sponsorship than just a logo on a race shirt!

We got to the top of the ridge, where it leveled off slightly. Once on top I thought, wow, we could totally have done the 15k or the 25k, but nah. A slight downhill to the turnaround:


and then we headed back down the hill to the start. The view was truly gorgeous:


And, no, I can't resist a panorama or two:



Down down down we went, me nearly losing it on the steep gravel a couple of times. The nice folks were still sitting out in their lawnchairs, the dog was more mellow with just a couple of people trotting by, and the big fruit plant, before coming around the corner to the finish. Quite possibly our slowest ever 10K, but who cares? We still picked up this GLORIOUS HUNK OF BLING:

2014 Sage Rat Run Dirty Rat 10K medal
**MORE MEDAL LOVE**- Yeah, I included my 6-inch ruler in there for perspective. Simply awesome!!! This is another fantastic medal.

And, well, because we also ran the Sage Rat Half Marathon the day before, we were promptly handed the Rat Deux medal, too:

Sage Rat Run Rat Deux Challenge medal: fear no distance!
I took these medals into the office on Monday... and people went NUTS. People who run a lot. People who race a lot. Seriously, these medals are AWESOME. And many felt that the Rat Deux medal, with all the skulls and crossbones, may have been designed for me. :)

**POST-RACE FOOD LOVE, DAY 2**- Today we were treated to two delicious (and vegetarian!) salads from the Green Olive Cafe in Sunnyside. Both the black bean salad and the pasta salad were very tasty, and it took great restraint not to have seconds. SO NICE to have real food!

We had hoped to stop in at the super cute Bern's Tavern... until we realized that it was 9:30 on a Sunday morning... So instead we headed back to the hotel, got cleaned up, and made our way slowly home.

A few additional memories from our Sage Rat Run weekend:

The Best Western GrapeVine Inn in Sunnyside was really, really lovely -- especially the breakfast room in the atrium with a view over a vineyard.

Best Western GrapeVine Inn breakfast room

The deep fried asparagus from Davy's Burger Ranch may not look like much, but it was easily the finest I've ever had. (Take that, Burgerville, with your skinny spears and sparse breading!) It's good I was sharing with Wil because I could easily have snarfed down a pound or so on my own...



We had it on our list to do some wine tasting... but then were PARALYZED by choice, so wandered in to the Horse Heaven Saloon and tried all of their beers...


Huge cheers to the Sage Rat Run organizers, the amazing volunteers, and the local police/sheriff/guardsmen who directed traffic and kept the runners safe.


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