On a frosty, cloudy Saturday morning, hundreds gathered in Fort Boys Park to prepare for the three-year-old Boise tradition in Tree City. race to Robbie Creek.
After a two-year hiatus from COVID-19, the arduous road to the Aldape Peak, known as one of the toughest half-marathons in the Pacific Northwest, is back.
“It’s a kind of spring ritual in Boise,” said Michael Ditt, director of the race, to the Idaho Statesman. “We missed it, I think everyone needs it.”
This year the organizers of the race went on the theme of “Roaring Back Robbie”, which called for a ban on the “Roaring 20s”, the age of jazz. The audience wore trumpets or suits with wide slopes.
The dance on the supposed microphone was broken by a pair of mustachioed police officers who were driving an old Chevrolet Idaho police car just before the start of the 13.1-mile race.
The local band Carmel n the Closers played blues songs from the 1920s.
One of the participants in a suit ran to Reserve Street, carrying a sign reading “We want beer”, which was available at the end of the race.
Race to Robie Creek first ran in 1975 և Climbing Shaw Mountain Road in the East Boys over 2,000 feet to the Aldape Summit at about 4,800 feet before descending the last few miles to Camp Robie Creek, off the highway : 21 near Laki Peak Reservoir.
For many, hard work is part of the goal.
“One of the attractions of this race that makes it so unique is that it’s so challenging,” Ditt said. “It’s the hardest thing many people do all year.”
Ted Arellano from Caldwell ran about 14 times.
“It’s a tough race,” he said, “but people have the same feeling when they get to the end. they are all happy. That’s a great achievement. “
Arellano first took part in the race in 1984. He is 60 years old, he persuaded his daughter to drive with him, not knowing how many more years he will be able to compete, he said.
And this year the runner was going to fight more than the punitive up and down route.
On Saturday, a significant storm with Boyz occurred, the temperature of which fluctuated within 40 degrees. Group և stormy winds to the expected runners. At about 1 p.m., it was pouring rain at the finish line, and the riders saw snow, sleet, and ice all along the field.
“It will be something to talk about,” Arellano said in advance.
Jeff Pickett, who moved to the Boys in January, said before the race that he was excited by the sad prognosis.
“It’s a great alignment,” he said. “Sometimes when it gets a little uncomfortable, it makes it more fun.”
Historically, racing has been extremely popular. Over the past few years, more than 2,000 bib numbers have sold out in less than 10 minutes. The race was canceled in 2020, and the virtual version took place in 2021.
This year the race organizers had a little more trouble registering people, extending the registration period. About 1,500 people were registered, lower than usual, which Djit said may have been due in part to organizers’ decision to require vaccination against COVID-19.
Ditt said organizers took COVID-19 precautions seriously by meeting with Idaho epidemiologist Dr. Christine Hahn to decide how to run the race safely.
Initially, masks were required at the start and end of the race. Earlier this month, race organizers changed that requirement to a bid as COVID-19 transmission rates in the Treasure Valley slowed. But the buses that run from Robbie Creek to Boyce still required masks, Ditt said.
“We want people to leave with good memories, with sore feet, not with a virus,” he said.
On the day of the race, Ditt said he would be happy if 1,000 people took part in the race, which also challenged him to a ski resort. The Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area, an hour-long ski slope north of the city, reopened on Saturday for one day after a snowstorm dropped more than 20 inches of snow on the mountain this month.
“The sweetest memory of my life so far”
During the torrential downpour, Jackson Brill crossed the border of Robbie Creek a few minutes after 13:15, wearing a wet tank and a rainbow scarf.
The 23-year-old knows the process well, first running the race when he was 12 years old. He started running a 5-mile race when he was 5 years old with his father, he told Stateman, but it was Robbie Crick’s race that made him. he is a runner.
Brill returned to Boyce recently after graduating from Boulder University in Colorado, և Saturday’s race was his sixth time competing in Robbie.
As he started running years ago, he said, Robbie Crick’s races developed a relationship with running, which led him to become the cross-country runner-up at Boise High School, the semi-professional runner he is today.
“This is a dream come true,” he said. “Now becoming a winner is a small part of the history of the race, probably the sweetest memory of my life so far.”
Brill ran the race in about an hour and 18 minutes, with runners Greg Montgomery and Drew Schultz finishing second and third, respectively. In 2019, Brill took third place, and Montgomery – first, according to the results of the Competition schedule.
Brill wore micro-stems on his road shoes during the snow-covered stretch of the race landing after the summit, he said. He said there was snow on the road, near the top, on the way up.
Megan Roland, who took first place in the women’s race, said the run was “rather gloomy” around the top, near the finish line, when the runners were thrown in the snow and rain. He told Stateman that he had almost reached the top with the second and third place finishers before he “recklessly descended the mountain, knowing that the only way I could win was to be careful.” to the wind և just go for it. ”
This year, for the first time, he ran a course that he completed in about 1 hour and 31 minutes.
“I just crossed my fingers, hoping I would not fall,” he said, adding that he was impressed with the other runners.
“These are difficult conditions, but everyone I passed by had a huge smile on their face.”
Race director Djit said this year’s weather forecast was the worst he had ever seen on race day. But the organizers of the race do not aim for an easy process. “Over the years, many people have suggested that the race should start on the riverbank and end in Boise, which would make the race easier and less logistically difficult,” he said.
“But this is not a Fort Boise race, but a Robie Creek race,” he said. “So, it will start forever in the afternoon, it will go in this direction forever, or it’s pointless. That is the problem. “