Yesterday the mayhem that is registration for the Race to Robie Creek came and went.
If you have not heard of the Race to Robie Creek, or "Robie" as locals and veterans affectionately call it, you are obviously not from Idaho. But do not fear, there is still time to join the culture of Robie. Nicknamed, the toughest half-marathon in the Northwest Robie truly lives up to its name. With an 8 + mile knarly climb and a 4 mile steep decent through Robie Creek canyon, this race is not for the faint of heart. It is for those WITH heart and gumption and guts-well you may lose your guts at some point during it.
But this is all just a part of the culture. In this town, someone finds out that you are a runner and the first question out of their mouth is, "Have you run Robie?" It is because of this question that my husband, Pat McCurry, first ran the race. A Boise native, he had grown tired of this question. With a successful running career under his belt which included a stint running for Nike and an impressive set of fast times in anything from the 1500 meters to 10,000 meters, he decided to put this question to rest, so he signed up for Robie.
Not only did he put the question to rest but he came out and won the race.
Now, I will not go into detail about the IV's he needed after snagging the 'W' nor the complete inability to walk normally for two weeks following the race; but I will say, he gained an appreciation and extreme respect for not only the race itself but the thousands of individuals who put their bodies to the test each year. I recall later that evening when we were talking about the day he said, "That race makes all runners equal". When I asked what he meant he replied, "It does not matter if you are first or last, you will suffer-there is no way around it". And despite his vow to never run it again, he has gone on to run it three more times.
The culture of Robie is alive in Idaho. Each year 2,400 individuals run, scramble, yog, and trudge their way up to the summit and then skid, fall, slide, and zip their way down the back side to the finish line. And every year you hear many of them swearing off the race for life. But then after a beer or two at the finish line party their bodies begin to stop screaming and their memory of the pain fades until you hear them making plans for next year and setting their goals anew.
Find out more about Robie on their website: www.robiecreek.com