For Julia Webb, it was a successful first time in Cottage Grove.
“It was great; gorgeous. I had never even been to Cottage Grove,” said Julia Webb, the first-place female finisher in the half-marathon.
Webb, married to Alan Webb the American record holder in the mile, was one of 305 runners from across Oregon – and from nine other states – that converged on the Row River Trail to compete in the third year of the half-marathon or 10k race.
“I think the Row River trail provides value to the community and I think the Cottage Grove half provides that value for the region: come experience Cottage Grove,” said event coordinator Mike Ripley.
For the half-marathon, the main event of the weekend that saw 205 runners finish, runners boarded school buses that shuttled them to the start of the race at Dorena School. With 17 flaggers along the route pointing the way, the runners continue on the trail where they finish near Bohemia Park. Runners and walkers of varying ages and abilities took to the course for their first time at this distance for some and for others, like Webb, to train for something more.
“Yeah, I’ve got to do six more miles right now because I’m in marathon training. It doesn’t stop,” said Webb, a Beaverton resident who is training to run the Eugene Marathon, her first marathon, at the end of the month.
“So I was hoping to run about six-minute pace. That was before I even saw any weather. And then when I saw there was going to be wind I was like okay maybe your goal time will be nothing of that sort so I just wanted to get a good strong, solid effort,” she said. Webb finished in a time of 1:19.07.
On the men’s side, the first-place finisher was Chris Funch of Springfield, who competes in Half-Ironman triathlons which consist of a 1.2-mile swim, 54-mile bike ride and a half marathon.
“It was a relatively smooth effort. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to hang on to what I started to run but especially with the wind. Especially the last half mile it really kicked up,” said Funch. Funch, who was aiming to finish around 1:15 and finished in a time of 1:15.11.
Forty-three runners competed in the 10K on Saturday morning and Will Borrevik, a 13-year old from Eugene, was the first place finished in a time of 46:20. Jennifer Lewis of Eugene was the first female finisher coming in at 47:01.