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Run for the Hills

By Stacey Kim on September 27, 2011 10:56 AM

The day was muggy, the course hilly, the start time early at 8 a.m., but none of this deterred some 300 Reedies and their neighbors from tackling the challenging 5K loop around Reed's campus on Saturday morning, September 24.

At first glance, there's something incongruous about having the inaugural Reed College 5K Odyssey kick off the centennial community day celebration. Reed and athletics are hardly synonymous, after all. Yet one needn't dig too deep into the college's history to find that, despite the purposeful absence of varsity athletics, Reedies have always cherished the healthful diversion and stress relief of sporting pursuits. There was palpable energy among the the participants--many clad in our commemorative race shirts--as we waited for the race to start.

_LGN4669.jpgAt the sound of the air horn followed by the pumping beat of "Eye of the Tiger," we were off. It was immediately clear that there were serious contestants in the field; some runners headed out at a pace that I could never hope to achieve even if being pursued by a hungry bear. There were plenty of us content to maintain a more modest gait, a sound decision given that the course took us almost immediately up the Woodstock hill to César Chávez Avenue (that's 39th to you old-timers). This somewhat daunting beginning did serve the purpose of evening out the rather clumped-up starting throng.

The gentle slope down to Steele Street, a meander through the neighborhood just north of campus, and the descent to 28th Avenue were a welcome break from the initial climb. The wind came out of my sails a bit as I turned the corner and headed up Botsford Drive, but by that point, there was less than a mile to go in this odyssey. Ending the race by winding through campus was lovely. Also lovely was seeing such a diverse mix of participants: students, staff, faculty, children (running and being pushed in strollers). There is something democratic, and thus very Reed, about running.

Cheers of support greeted all as we crossed the finish line. And what's an odyssey without a festive feast? Pancakes, eggs, and bacon were served to all participants in commons. Virtue in the run, vice in the feast, a balanced start to a day of celebration.

Congratulations to all who participated, especially to the Reed students who took the top four overall spots. Race results can be seen here.

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