Having run competitively for the better part of her 26 years, Molly Mitchell isn’t into the dress-up portion of the Race to Robie Creek.
Mitchell, a Coeur d’Alene native and current Boise resident who ran cross country at the University of Portland, was the first-place finisher on the women’s side last year with a time of 1:33:20.6, nearly three minutes ahead of the next fastest competitor.
While Robie always has some sort of theme (this year’s is Retro Robie in honor of its 40th running), Mitchell can’t fathom wearing a costume while running a half marathon or taking goods from the Table of Temptation.
“I guess I just don’t really partake in the fun stuff. ... I just can’t imagine doing 13.1 miles in a costume,” said Mitchell, who works in Boise as a staff attorney for a district judge. “I just try to avoid it.”
But that doesn’t mean she isn’t having fun.
Mitchell is one of many who is serious about Saturday’s race, which includes about 2,440 runners and walkers. Among the returners in this year’s race are Mitchell and Erik Teig, the second-place finisher on the men’s side in 2016 (1:17:30.2).
It isn’t repeat or bust for Mitchell, however. The fun for her is in the running itself.
“If I win again, I’d be really happy about it,” she said. “(But) I run because I really enjoy it. Winning is kind of just an added bonus.”
The Race to Robie Creek was first run in 1975 and has been held annually since 1979. The 13.1-mile run/walk begins at Fort Boise Park and climbs from 2,700 feet above sea level to 4,800 feet above sea level over the first 8 ½ miles. After peaking at the Aldape Summit, runners and walkers make their way downhill.
“I love the competitive side of it. I like being able to be competitive,” Teig, 33, said. “(But) I never feel bad losing to people that really push themselves in running. It’s always nice to be the top finisher, but there are lots of good runners.”
Like Mitchell, Teig ran collegiately (Minnesota State, Mankato). Teig said he joined a running club in Minnesota shortly before moving to Boise after realizing how much he loved the sport. With the taste of his first Race to Robie Creek still fresh in his mouth from 2016, Teig couldn’t imagine being without it.
“The thing I love about Robie is, there’s 1,000 running events in Boise. But this is the one race everyone knows is happening,” Teig said. “It’s just a fun, unique event.”
Despite an extensive background as a competitive runner, Mitchell said Robie lives up to its billing as the “Toughest half marathon in the Northwest.” Mitchell said she began training in January and regularly runs four or five days a week, with runs ranging from 6 to 12 miles.
While a “Table of Temptation” awaits at mile No. 8, Mitchell has no intention of partaking. She has her eyes on the prize.
“I would say it’s hands down the hardest race I’ve ever done, as far as half marathons go,” Mitchell said. “There’s just not really an opportunity to catch your breath.”
Race to Robie Creek
- When: Noon, Saturday, April 15
- Where: Race begins at Fort Boise and finishes at Robie Creek Road
- Sign up/cost: The race is already full
- Donations: If you would like to donate money to local charities on someone’s behalf, visit the official Race to Robie Creek website. Last year, $77,900 was raised.
- Road closures: Reserve Street and Shaw Mountain Road will have a rolling closer starting at 11:55 a.m. and should be completely reopen by 12:40 p.m. Rocky Canyon Road will have a rolling closer starting at 12:05 p.m.