After hours upon hours of doing cleanouts and laying pipe sometimes you just need to find a way to work out letting go of solving other people’s plumbing problems. For a few other guys in our plumber’s union, and I, we started running. Nothing but you, some cronies, and the road. Perfection.
Running was the healthiest option I could think of destressing. After talking it over with some friends I learned they we of the same mindset. I was a perfect mind meld for the 6 of us.
Once we mastered the skill of running and learning how to commit ourselves to the sport, we started running races. It started with running 3k’s; then it was 5k’s then it was relaying.
The Eugene Marathon was the first 5k we signed up to run. It was a brief discussion over post-running beers. The next thing I knew we all committed to one another to at least give it a try. The next day one by one I received emails and text messages that my friends we signed up for the 5k. I reluctantly did so as well. Race day came. We took our places along with the thousands of others at the starting line. Winding our way through the University of Oregon campus to historic Hayward Field. It was magnificent to run my first 5k and end up in the center of Track Town USA! We all felt so united that we made a pact that day to run another race.
The Wild Rogue Relay was the first relay we ran. We each recruited one friend to make up a 12 person team. Our team name was Plumb Luck Running. After a few years of running 10k’s, we worked our way up to running 18-20 miles each. It was brutal training wise. But running along the Rogue River was enough of a visual distraction that I could quickly fly through 10 of the 20 miles and not even know it. When we finished, we thought that there was no way any other race could top the Rogue Relay’s scenic beauty. Wrong!
The first time I ran the Hood to Coast I wanted to cry. Not because of pain, but because of the beauty. I have lived in Oregon my entire life; I know how beautiful this state is. But to encounter its beauty on foot while running 15 miles of wilderness somewhere between Mount Hood and Seaside is something else. It was a religious experience with Mother Nature. It was Zen for all of us. We have made it a point to do the Hood To Coast every year. Every year I get anxious to get out on the trail and beat my times from the year before, we all do.
Plumb Luck has yet to run itself out of the Hood To Coast Relay or any of the other marathons in which we have participated. No matter what you run, whether it’s the Hood to Coast Relay or Pre’s trail in the heart of Eugene, it’s worth it. Oregon is one of the best places to be if you are a runner.