Sunday, January 19, 2014

Race Recap: Archer Series Stinger 5k &10K

Race Recap for the Archer Series "Stinger 5K and 10K" on January 19, 2014.

This was a very fun event!  There are some things that may have made the race a little "smoother" or a little bit better, but overall, this is an event worth attending.

The race series is brand new, having started in 2013.  It is a small, intimate affair with about 86 runners.  I believe there were about 50 people registered to do the 10k distance.

Being a brand new event, there are a few glitches that might need to be worked out.  I think I may have seen a few more of the "wrinkles to smooth" as a volunteer with my Moms RUN This Town group.  We were not able to accept day-of-race registrations, and I know that was disappointing to a few people.  I did overhear a runner speaking to the Race Director at the finish.  She stated this was the first 10K she had participated in where there were no water tables or aid stations on the course.  There were granola bars, bananas and a hydration/sports drink at the finish.

The shirts were a plain white cotton shirt with a small logo on each sleeve.  Sizes available were only medium or small.  Instead of spending funds on a shirt, save the money for the beneficiary or invest maybe in a visor for everyone.  5k participants were given a yellow visor (with no logo) as part of their swag.

These things are easy fixes and hopefully not something that will turn runners away from future events.  I'm sure that the Race Director will be working to make all future events memorable and enjoyable.

The beneficiary was the Hillsboro Public Library.  The Archer Series is dideicated to picking a local public library to help provide reading materials and math supplies or upgrades to e-devices in the K-5th grade levels.  (Maybe the shirts could have said something like "I run for my library."  Or something more witty...)
Past events benefited the Newberg public library and the Sherwood public library (located in Oregon).

The course is an out-and-back starting near a coffee shop in Hillsboro and before I knew it, on softly rolling hills and curvy roads in farm land.  We ran parallel to Hwy 26 in the distance and the sound of swooshing cars, but within a mile or two the distant highway dipped out of sight too.  I wouldn't call the course flat, but the inclines were not too much trouble.

There were no mile markers, but this is good for me to ignore how far I have gone and how much farther I have to go and just focus on my surroundings.  Focus is a good thing, because while the major road we ran on to the twisting country road had a lane closed for us... but the country road was not closed to traffic and there wasn't much of a shoulder.  Besides a car or two, we mostly had the road to ourselves.

Signs were put up for the 5k turn around and a volunteer shouted encouragement to those nearing her for the 10K turn around.  

I had a lot of fun, got to cheer for friends and strangers as they passed me and ran on roads I wouldn't have even considered before.  It was a beautiful, freezing morning.

Race bibs were round to help ensure that the timing chips would read on the sensor.  Round bis were pretty cool...

The Bling is a nice medal that was first produced to commemorate the start of the Archer Series Foundation.  Age Division winners were given a weighty "coin" for their award and 5k finishers were given a pin of a shoe with wings.  I really wish I had gotten that... I love Hermes.  

This was a fantastic way to support the local library... and probably more appreciated than the late fees I seem to keep accruing on my account.

I do hope to see some improvements to the website for this and for the future events.  Maybe I worry too much about races and like lots of info... but it would be nice to see: 

Course information:  
How long participants have to finish the race.  
Is the course dog friendly?
Is the course stroller friendly?
Course description or map of route.

Is there medals for this event?  For certain distances? 

Is the event timed?  (It was.)

Will there be race photos?  (Not for this one.)

And a final suggestion would be the facebook link on the website takes you to "Archer Series Race" which is a person to send a friend request.  If it were set up as a "facebook page" to click "like" on, it would be easier on that forum to see future events.  Those events would be made public for everyone... instead of Archer Series "inviting" his friends and relying on those friends to continue the invitation process.

I would definitely do this event again, look forward to watching this venue grow and look forward to the half marathons coming up... which I am told offer a BBQ afterwards and "great bling".

Trying to breath again,"I get a medal?" and I PR'd!
 According to my garmin, I have three new records!  Woo Hoo!

New records to smash:
9:44 fastest mile (thanks to a Mariah meeting me at the last mile and not taking any of my excuses...)
31:22 fastest 5k
1:04:04 fastest 10k

What is the smallest race you have ever done?  Did you enjoy it?


  1. I agree with your comments. An aid station would have been nice. Until today, the smallest race I've participated in had 110 participants. It's hard to choose between the small, intimate setting and a larger, more exuberant event like Uberthons' races. I love avoiding the crowds and it was especially nice that this event was so close to home. On the other hand it can be nice to have the loud speaker, the gun going off, etc. I definitely would not hesitate to do another Archer event but I also wish they'd put course info, aid info, etc on the website.

    1. Yup! I think we found a gem of a series, but maybe I'm biased because of all those PRs. ;-)

  2. great job...I love small races but find they are sometimes undermanned.

    1. That is so true. I'm glad i had carried water with me... If I had relied on a water station at the half way point today, I would have been hurting.

  3. I ran a 5K for a library a few years ago and it was called "Booking it for Brandon Library". I thought that was a cute thing for a library run. I'm surprised about the aid station for the 10K. I have yet to run one without one.
    AWESOME JOB ON THE PRs!!!!! You rock!!!!

    1. I love that! "Booking it"... ha ha ha! Thanks for the encouragement! I'm still basking in the PRs, he he he.