Oregon Summer Marathon

By Jen Lewis

On July 21 around 10:45am, I completed 26.2 miles on the beautiful course from Vernonia to Banks - the Oregon Summer Marathon.

Finish time: 4:12:38
Pace: 9:38 minute mile
Overall: 63rd of 173
Female: 23rd of 85
Female 25-29: 5th of 14

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This was my first marathon ever, and WOW what an experience. I have never felt that many emotions in such a short period of time. For most of the 26.2 miles, I felt a total euphoria - but I also felt anger and sadness dispersed throughout. Mile 16 was my fastest mile of the race, and during that 8 minutes and 51 seconds, I felt pure unbridled rage. I was angry, I thought dark, mean thoughts toward a certain person in my life, and I would have punched that fella in the face if he had been anywhere near me.

Then mile 17 flashed by, and my smile came back. It was weird.

Right around mile 21 there was a brief segment where we had to do a quick out and back to get a little bit of extra mileage in, and at the turnaround spot there was a group of six teenage girls. They shouted "You're my hero!" "You're so amazing!!" "You're doing so great!" to every single person that turned around at their spot, and they screamed at the top of their lungs, and applauded. I had to choke back tears, I have maybe never appreciated anyone more in my entire life. (that seems a little overly dramatic, but it FELT dramatic)

Right at the very beginning, I was keeping pace with a fellow named Chris who was super nice, and we passed Lake Vernonia together at around 6:45 in the morning, as the mist was rising off the lake. He snapped a quick picture and texted it to me right away. Thank you, Chris.

My family and friends were waiting for me at the finish line, with champagne and pizza and a change of clothes. You guys are amazing. Mom, Mikayla, Melody, Lizzie, Rachel, Lauren, Andrea, Oliver, you guys are the absolute best. Thank you for being there.

I didn't expect to LOVE running a marathon so much. That was incredible.

(Also, the medal was amazing)

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