Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Race Recap: Portland Marathon Half

So you've gotten the city recap already, with the short amount of time we had to go play around, and now the best part of all... race recap time!

October 4, 2015 | Portland Marathon Half 

So in the cluster that was the adventure into downtown on Saturday afternoon, we pretty much just bolted into the expo, got my bib, found the posters and race bags, and made a quick lap around the expo. The expo was much smaller than I thought it would be, and basically in the basement of the Hilton, race headquarters.

We were pretty much in and out in under 20 minutes. I do love that every runner gets a race poster, so it'll be perfect to add to my collection at work and covers another state on the wall! The race shirts came at the finish line, much to Doug's surprise, as they are truly finishers' shirts and say so.

Race morning, I got up - letting Doug sleep in some - and was out the door to catch the 5:56 train to downtown to meet Frank and Karin from the IERC at the hotel. I was actually downstairs and out early and managed to catch an even earlier train so I was already in the hotel lobby by 6:02, with a planned meet up time of 6:30! It was nice being their early, chilling and taking it all in. I met a friend, Darryl, who was in from Raleigh and running the full. We talked about races and distances and my birthday shenanigans and how we each managed to get into this race.

Frank, me and Karin! IERC representin'. 
Frank and Karin were down right at 6:30 and we headed outside to head to the start line. Lemme tell you, after training in 100+ degrees all summer, a 50 degree morning was quite cold... and refreshing, all at the same time. I was definitely shivering some and Frank's wife gave me an extra jacket while they hung out with us before we moved up in the corral.

I had no plan for this race, other than just to run well but take the time to take in sights, see Portland and enjoy state #8 for all it had to offer. Running through downtown right at the start was fun, even though it was still quite dark outside.

Miles 1 - 4: Frank, Karin and I all hung together and ran and chatted and had a great time. These gmiles Gradually roll all uphill. Honestly, I wasn't expecting hills at all in this course, so they took me by surprise but nothing we couldn't manage.

Miles 5 - 8: Thankfully, all the rolling hills we went up... we went right back down. This was a double-back basically past downtown again and all the folks lining the main street along the river. A good cheer tunnel, if you will, so that was fun! The only hard part was that, though seemingly an issue throughout Portland, is that much of this street seemed to be the equivalent to LA's Skid Row. Lots of homeless folks camped out under the bridge, some awake and watching us crazies, but it was hard to run by.
Miles 9 - 13: Early in mile 9, my stomach flared a little so I stopped at the porto. After wasting probably at least 5 minutes  inline, I gave up and kept going. Shortly thereafter, all these bubbles started heading towards us - best turnaround ever! These cheerleaders had a wall of bubbles going and was just a freaking blast. Mile 10 brought another porto with shorter lines, so success. And then like that, it was over! Generally though, miles 8 - 11 are another out-and-back that follows the river, but really runs by warehouses. Lots of folks out cheering though, trying to spice it up some, which I appreciated!

A sold 2:11 finish, even with 5+ minutes in lines and for beign stopped at a train. So really, I give this like a 2:05 finish, which makes me even happier. 

The finish line is where the fun continues: you get a rose immediately upon crossing, then continue on through the foods (grapes, oranges, bananas, pretzels, cookies, and clearly Costco-sized bags of Halloween candy!) and drinks (choclate milk, water, Ultima, orange juice)... like a full on buffet of drinks and post-race snacks. Then you get to the shirts. So I thought that all finishers chose their race shirt color - turns out half marathoners all get one color, while the marathoners had options: green (Universit of Oregon), orange (Oregon State), purple (University of Portland), blue (Portland Marathon's classic colors). I have no complaints about our maroon ones and will actually rock a race shirt at some point. Marathoners also get a commemorative coin that matches the medals. 

The best part, however, is that EVERY finisher (marathon or half) gets an Oregon sapling to take home and plant. YOUR OWN RACE TREE! I was more excited about this than the medal and just got my tree planted tonight. I can't wait to take this baby around and watch him grow! 

Overall, a great race with weather I couldn't have even dreamed of. 

Race pros:
- Great course support
- Save the hills in miles 1-4, easy course
- Race swag! 
- Scenery
- Weather = top notch for this Southern California girl!

Race cons:
- No bag check (I know, what?)
- Some sketch areas to run by 

Seriously though, no complaints. I had an awesome weekend in Portland, loved that this was my Oregon race and would seriously contemplate coming back again to run PDX! 

Have you run Portland? Your thoughts?

No comments:

Post a Comment