A few weeks ago my cousin posted about a race. He asked if anyone wanted to come visit Oregon and run a 10k. I like being “yes” person. Saying yes to opportunities as they arise allows me to build memories and experience life. Doing new things and meeting new people always make life more enjoyable.
The Steens Rim Run is branded as the toughest 10k in Oregon. Located in the southeastern Oregon the route climbs the steens mountain range starting at 6700 feet and ascending to 9600 feet. Mountain millions of years ago volcanic lava flows created an incredible geologic formation resulting in a large ramp now known as the steens mountains. From the East the steens mountains are sharp vertical cliffs. From the west it is a slow gradual desert climb. If you weren’t breathless from the thin air you may not realize you were at a ten thousand feet above sea level.
We arrived at the starting line ready to go. The air buzzed with excitement. I built little cairns along the side of the road while waiting for the race to start. The race director called everyone to the line. I gazed across the rolling sagebrush covered hills as they bounced up and down along the horizon. The race started with a bang. People began to trot up the path. I slogged upward, my feet working hard against the gravel. Despite the physical exhaustion I smiled at the scenery. I looked across the landscape and imagined giant glaciers carving the worm like canyons that cut deep into the western slopes of these mountains. The finish line is at the rim of the mountain. I crossed the line exhausted and walked up to the rim. I looked out across the eastern Oregon plains and admired the beauty of the jagged clifftop that I stood upon. Standing on top of the world after running 6.2 miles uphill feels very rewarding.
When I signed up for the race at the starting line I thought to myself “was it really worth an 8 hour drive to run a 10k?” Upon finishing this race, experiencing the steens mountains, and spending time with great people, I knew the steens rim run was worth it. I would come again. Remember to say yes to the little things in life. Experiences that you think may not be significant may change your perspective on things.