I Left The City Behind
I live in the heart of beautiful Portland Oregon. I am truly blessed to be a runner in a place with so many convenient places to run in the city. One of the things that I love about running is a sense of escape I get whenever I lace up my shoes and hit the dirt or pavement. When I’m running I can leave the world behind and free myself from the stresses of my everyday life. I usually run in some fantastic places within the city including the waterfront trail, Forest Park, and up Terwilliger Boulavard. I always thought that I was able to relax when I ran in these places but at the end of the day they were still in the city and they still carried reminders of work, bills, and expectations.
Last year I signed up for the 2013 Helvetia Half Marathon. While I really enjoy running the half marathon distance, one of the main reasons I signed up was because of the race slogan “Leave The City Behind”. This really hit home for me as their is nothing that I love more then to get out of town and spend a day away from the city. I had never run in Helvetia before and I had never participated in the race so I had very little expectations and knowledge of what I was getting myself into. I knew so little about what I was doing, as I was driving to the start line my eyes were more focused on the GPS directions then the actual road! The staff was so helpful as i checked in and received my race bib. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the start was, I couldn’t wait to get out into the countryside. After the first few miles of the race I started getting into my running groove and started to really take in the scenery. When I’m running a half marathon distance, I’m usually pretty fixed on the road and my running. However, during this particular run it was difficult not to gaze beyond the race and take in the beautiful hills, pastures, and trees. It was in this moment when I reached a level of escape that I had never experienced running in Portland. The race was really living up to it’s tag line.
When I crossed the finish line, receive my medal, and congratulated my fellow runners, I stood back and really reflected upon the journey I had just completed. I had reached a level of relaxation that I had never been reached before. I was truly stress free and without a care in the world during those 13.1 miles. Running over the years has taken me to some amazing places but the 2013 Helvetia Half Marathon took me to the pinnacle and ultimate level of bliss. Last spring I truly did leave the city behind.