Peterson Ridge Rumble 2021, IRL

Susan, Ann, and Cedar Sunbeam at the start of the race
Three racers at the start

 We ran a race in real life! While we participated in Peterson Ridge last year (and got the socks, which is the most important thing), the race was virtual, so we just tagged our normal weekend run for it. This year, however, we got to run the real course.


View of the Three Sisters mountains through a wire fence
Beautiful morning for the race

Race day morning was gorgeous. For COVID safety protocol, the race started in waves, and we were in the last wave at 9:45am. That lovely late start meant that it already felt decently warm, unlike other years that started with freezing frost, and ended in tank tops and sunburn. It felt so exciting to be there with the race clock, start flags, and a handful of other people. The race director counted us down and we were off!

The Three Sisters mountains behind a field with cows
Three Sisters Views

I was excited, but no one was more excited than Cedar, Ann's dog. His first Peterson was two years ago, in 2019, and while he loved it, he was also a very different dog back then since Ann hadn't had him very long. He pulled every which way back then, didn't react well to other dogs, and got very distracted, which slowed our overall time. Despite all that, we loved running the race with him and especially seeing him enjoy the aid stations with special dog treats and a crunchy pig ear at the finish.

View of Black Butte in the distanceBlack Butte

This year Cedar was completely different. He wanted to GO. He pulled Ann hard and really pushed our paced. Quite a few times, I wondered if I could keep up. Finally we hit a short, steeper hill and I had to walk it. In some places the rocky terrain also made it tough to keep up. 

More mountain views
More mountain views

My expectations for the aid stations were very low, so I carried everything with me. I was quite surprised to see an amazing spread set out in individual paper cups. We were able to grab a cup of chips, a cup of cola, and most importantly, my new favorite race fuel: mini Oreos! It was so weird and so exhilarating to have aid stations, with water and treats for Cedar. And all that every 4 miles! We were giddy.

Closer view of the Three Sisters
The Three Sisters

Just like that, we had completed the loop part of the lollipop and headed back. I finally caught my breath and settled into a good cadence. We finished strong and ran 20 minutes faster than our last time on the course. I knew we were being pushed (and pulled!) by Cedar, but there's something really satisfying about beating our times, especially coming out of the past year of quarantine and pandemic comfort food (me). We loved being back in Sisters, and Peterson Ridge Rumble remains a favorite race that we're excited to run again next year.

Cedar the dog checking out a stream under a bridge
Cedar tries an alternative water crossing


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