Friend and fellow Run Oregon blogger Brian Bernier
Thanksgiving is all about being thankful, and time with those you love. Though I went by myself to the Uberthons Turkeython at Bridgeport Village, I was definitely welcomed by my running family. No less than a dozen people made it a point to say hi and exchange at least a few words. In spite of the chilly temperatures, everyone was smiling and ready to have a great time. It was unfortunate I was there, as I had been on the fence about registering and decided not to due to being unsure about my fitness level at the time. But after a friend was unexpectedly unable to run, I decided the night before I would see about taking her entry and just getting out to have fun. Even as I pulled up almost an hour before the race, there were cones everywhere and prolific volunteers already on the course. Uberthons always does a really good job with course staffing and marking and this race was no exception. It was easy to see that it would wind around the shopping center before making a large loop, mostly on Boones Ferry. Not the most scenic course, but it had the potential to be fast and was definitely unique. Packet pickup was a quick stop inside one of the storefronts and the only left to do was warm up. I wanted this to be a higher mileage day and knew it was going to take a lot longer to get warmed up due to the temperatures, so I started meandering around the mall almost 50 minutes before the race start. I felt energized, and noticed no niggles or tweaks on this particular morning. I put off stripping down to race gear until minutes before the start, preferring to stay warm. I had noticed quite a few fast looking women before the gun went off, but only one speedy male. Knowing this was not a foolproof assessment of the field, I just toed the line hoping to win, but the first goal was just to eke out as much speed as was possible in that moment. After the start, I found myself at the head of the field with a few other men. It quickly settled as another competitor got to the front and three of us made a lead pack. I pushed for the lead a little to test the waters and discovered that the other two were quite serious and settled into a comfortable pace.
We worked together for about the first mile, then they picked up a little as we got onto the road. I tucked in behind them, but they drew away slowly as I concentrated on maintaining my form for that speed and trying to stay relevant. As we headed south on Boones Ferry and climbed the long gradual hill I kept within a few feet of them, after the crest they hit another gear I just didn't have and smoothly pulled away. Instead of giving up as I lost my chance to win, I kept my form and effort level. As usual, I was not wearing a watch, so had no way of knowing what I was running. After 3 more turns and a slight uphill we were back in the mall parking lot, and another 3 turns put us on the block long finishing straight. I had been accelerating, but didn't get into a full on kick. Just opening up my stride for a strong finished and glanced at the clock with a few steps to go to see it ticking along at under 15:30. I was completely floored as I crossed the finish. I had just ran a 27 second best with an official time of 15:33. It was a very cold morning, but the atmosphere, logistics, and timing made this for an amazing race. Even though I had been hoping to continue my win streak, to be soundly defeated and use that gap to pull myself along to new heights is a great experience. It was awesome to see happy, involved volunteers at all the turns and placed regularly on the route along with a incomprehensible number of cones to keep us on course. This is what racing is all about, enjoying all the aspects of the running community, the chance to do our best as well as mingle with friendly people. I am thankful indeed for my running family.
I love Freedomthon. It's incredibly fun and a perfect way to start your 4th of July--and it's also where I got my current 5k PR, because the course is flat and fast. :) I was disappointed that I wouldn't be able to attend this year's event (and get another amazing and hefty Uberthons medal!) but my BFF Cari ran it and had a great time. Scroll own for more photos and her race recap!
I've always been to busy with other traditions to do a 4th of July race, but I decided this year I was going to get out and do one no matter what else was going on! And of course I wanted a race that gave me a great piece of patriotic race bling, so I chose Freedomthon for my holiday race, and I'm so glad I did!
Get ready for the first of the three events in the 2015 Uberthons Oregon Half Marathon series--the Oregon Spring Half Marathon, at St. Josef's Winery! Last year's event was very hilly, but the route has been revised this year to be much flatter, and the 5k event is new for 2015. As before, there will be gigantic medals, and there will be Qdoba! I'm really looking forward to this event. There are only 90 spots remaining for the half, and 40 for the 5k, so sign up soon so you don't miss out :)
Events: Half and 5k, and a special 15k world-record attempt
Entry Fee: $75.00 and $35
Start Time: 8:00 AM
Discount: 3-event discount
Swag: 4-inch 2015 Series medal, name engraved with lazer-black if registered by April 14 at noon. Oregon Half apparel item
Location: St. Josef's Winery is located 22 miles south of Portland, Oregon in the winery-rich Willamette Valley. St. Josef's award-winning vineyards host the Oregon Spring Half for the second year in a row. Set your PR at the Oregon Spring!
Post Party: For the second year in a row, Qdoba Mexican Grill caters the participants-only buffet in the St. Josef's banquet room and on the cobblestone courtyard area. Others may purchase the buffet when you register. See Q & A's for Spring Marathon.
Previous recaps: 2014
Last year, wine was available for purchase. St. Josef's winery is really lovely, and it was fun to wander around afterwards and take pictures. For 2015, Uberthons is giving pins to the overall and age division winners, so be sure to stick around to claim yours!
I'm excited about this cool event on Saturday! I haven't decided if I'm going to do only the 5k as a shakeout for Sunday's Blooms to Brews Half Marathon, or if I should work on getting in some extra miles and do the Double Five Challenge. In either case, I'm looking forward to running in Lake Oswego, since I haven't run there much. Although online registration is closed, you can still register the morning of the race!
The Double Five & The Double Five Challenge
Date: Saturday, April 11, 2015
Events, times, prices:
5mi run or walk $35
5k run or walk $30
Double Five Challenge option: run the 5 mi, and then run the 5k for a total of 8.1mi! $40
Shirt optional, +$15
George Rogers Park
611 S State Street
Lake Oswego, OR 97034
Number of runners: Not known.
Beneficiary: Hillsboro High School Athletics
Swag: Medals will be given to all Double Five Challenge participants. Awards will be given to the top three overall males and females for the 5mi, 5k, and Challenge. There will also be beverages, fruit, Dave's Killer Bread, and raffle prizes! Souvenir race shirt optional for $15.
Course: Both scenic routes are partially along the Willamette River.
5k Route (walk or run) - flat and fast!
5 Mile Route (walk or run)
Double Five Challenge: first run the 5mi route, and then the 5k route
Other notes: The Double Five course(s) are not closed to the public.
New Yearathon 1 miler and 5k
Date and time: Saturday January 3, 2015 @ 8:30am
Events and price:
1 Mile $14
1 Mile & 5k $25
Kidathon FREE ($10 for a kids medal)
Location: Cook Park; Tigard, OR
Swag: Every finisher received a nice, hefty Uberthons medal. There was hot cocoa and bananas post-race. Pins for age division winners; necklaces for those running their first 5k with Uberthons (even if they've run any other race prior--your first Uberthons 5k is special!)
Course: The 5k contains both dirt and paved trails. It's nice--pretty, well-marked, and not hilly.
Number of runners: 400
Past recaps: 2014 New Yearathon
I'm so excited to have earned my first medal of 2015 :) Although I'm bummed that my fitness level has plummeted over the past few months, there was a lot to enjoy at the second annual New Yearathon. I LOVE Uberthons events, and race organizers Darwin and Alan are two of the nicest guys ever. Uberthons events are very welcoming to all abilities--it's low key enough for new runners, and well organized enough for more experienced runners.
The day of the race, I was tired and having an off morning (Ardara called me a cranky panda), but there's nothing like a good race with good people to turn that frown upside down :) Five other Run Oregon bloggers were running at the event, and sooooo many of my running friends! It was great. The event was capped at 400 runners and walkers, which was just right for the venue. There was plenty of nearby parking, there were two heat lamps under the park shelter, and plenty of bathrooms.
The one milers were split into two tiers: the sub 7:00 runners started first, and the over 7:00 runners after all of the one milers in the first group finished. It was really fun to watch Run Oregon super speedsters Brian, Joe and Tung finish! The one mile course was a mix of paved course and dirt/barkdust trail. It's a fun course but it's a little challenging--don't expect an easy 1mi PR!
After the one miler, I gave a quick speech about Eating Right and Exercising right--I was super nervous about talking in front of the group, but fortunately it went alright! I also got to announce the two raffle prize winners, who each received a voucher for new shoes at Road Runner Sports (up to $120). I feel like I had barely caught my breath and then it was time to run the 5k! Because there are a lot of newer runners and walkers at Uberthons events, if you're a faster runner or looking to PR, you'll want to start near the front and be prepared to weave! And the 5k course also had a mix of paved trail and a bit of dirt trail, as well one short steep climb. It was very, very well marked with plenty of volunteers on the course. After running the 1mi pretty hard, the 5k felt a lot more difficult for me than usual! (Oh yeah, and being super out of shape....) I was very relieved to cross the finish line, hear my name announced, and receive my ginormous medal ;)
I loved that official times were available immediately after the race on two kiosks. Usually age group awards are announced fairly quickly, but this time the awards were somewhat delayed. Although I was a little bummed not earning an age division pin for either race, I was super happy for all of my friends who did!
As always, this was a fantastic event, and I'm so excited for all of the Uberthons events coming up for 2015!
Date and time: Saturday November 15, 2014 @ 10:00 am
Events and price: 5k run/walk; kids race
Location: Big Al's, 14950 SW Barrows Rd, Beaverton, OR
Beneficiary: the Movember Foundation
Swag: Cotton t-shirt (gender specific fit); goodie bag; bottle opener medal; 1 beer from Widmer; 1 Cuervo cocktail (hot apple cider w/Cinge or a margarita on the rocks); post-race snacks.
Course: A really tough road race. Steep uphill for the first half, steep downhill for the second half.
Thank you to everyone who came out for the Portland Mustache Dache! It was sunny and cold, and the course was tough, but it was so fun to see over 800 runners and walkers supporting men's health, and wearing mustaches!
I debated buying a ton of cute mustache-specific costume items, or making some items myself... I ended up doing neither, instead just throwing together a random mix of beer socks, a black tutu, my Burnside Bourbon tank (with mustached man on the front), green painted on mustache/goatee, warrior helmet (I cut a hole in it for my ponytail to go through!, and a gold cape. What was I supposed to be exactly? Heck if I know. But it was a fun costume in any case ;)
We arrived about an hour early to hang out, and make sure we could park closer to the start/finish. There were lots of great photo ops, and tons of people were dressed up, which was super fun. Tons of vendors were there giving out samples also.
The run itself was tough. It was really cold, and even though I waited to drop my jacket off at bag check (which was super fast, as always!), my muscles were COLD. I was glad it wasn't windy or rainy, because the hill would be bad enough to deal with! Getting a PR at this race never even crosses my mind. There is an elevation gain of approximately 400 feet--the mile and a half is a VERY steep uphill. Many participants chose to walk portions of the uphill, including myself. It's just constant incline and it's pretty brutal. The last mile and a half is really steep downhill. You'd think it'd be fun, but it's a little too steep to just let loose. I was pretty nervous about doing a faceplant, especially around some of the sharp turns. While it was difficult, everyone around me still seemed to be having a good time, commiserating together.
The finish line was great--they announced everyone's name as you crossed the finish line, which I love. We took lots more pictures with our medals, and then headed to the beer garden, which was in the finish line area. There was Widmer Hef and Upheaval IPA. There was ladder toss and cornhole in the beer garden too. We only stayed outside a little while since it was so cold, and the kids wanted to play arcade games inside Big Al's.
Inside they had Cuervo cocktails in the bar--hot apple cider mixed with Cuervo Cinge (cinnamon tequila) and margaritas on the rocks. It was fun talking to everyone about the course and their mustache outfits.
The race shirts were cotton "gender-specific" tshirts with the Mustache Dache logo on it. They're the official 2014 Mustache Dache shirt, which is the same for all race locations that are part of the Mustache Dache event series. While Energy Events organizes the Portland race, they don't get to pick the shirts. I don't love wearing baby blue (I went to Duke... so it's not an acceptable color to wear. GO TO HELL CAROLINA GO TO HELL!) but I plan on including it in my tshirt quilt that I will someday get around to making. (First I need to learn how to quilt...)
Mustache Dache - Portland was another fantastic race put on by Energy Events. The pre-race, race, and post-race were all amazing. It's a wonderful event for runners and walkers who want a challenging 5k, and want to have a really great post-race party. Thank you again to all of you who came this year--hope to see you at Hot Buttered Run on Sunday November 2nd at Esther Short Park in Vancouver, WA!
I'd also like to give a shout out to fellow Run Oregon blogger Jessica, who wrote a great recap of this event.
Hot Buttered Run
Date and time: Sunday, November 30, 2014
Events and price:
12k $50 (if under 18 years old, $18)
5k $45 (if under 18 years old, $18)
Kids Kandy Kane Dash $8-12
Online registration closes 11/24/14 at 6:00pm!
Location: Esther Short Park; Downtown Vancouver, WA
Beneficiary: Race to Remember and The Boys and Girls Club in Vancouver. Additionally, Energy Events will match every nonperishable food item you bring on race day and donate it to the Clark Country Food Bank.
Swag: Long Sleeve T-shirt, Hot Buttered Rum, Hot Chocolate, goody bag
Course: Both the 12k and 5k are flat and fast.
I'm just going to come right out and say it: Hot Buttered Run is my favorite winter race. There are lots of other good winter races that are also totally worth running, but I'm in love with HBR. Why? Where else can you get an awesome, flat and fun race where the race organization makes the hot buttered rum mix FROM SCRATCH?! That's a lot of sugar and butter, my friends. Delicious, scrumptious, boozy, buttery, sugary liquid goodness. And the race is at beautiful Esther Short Park, which is a fantastic venue (I love great races in Vancouver!).
And I also love the fact that the first year I ran it with my best friend Cari, someone ran in a Gingy costume (the gingerbread man from Shrek) and we look forward to getting a picture with Gingy EVERY YEAR. There are tons of other great photo ops too! And tons of post-race snacks (I really hope they have those Biscoff cookies...). And it's one of the few races that has a 12k option, which I find kind of fun to do.
Lastly, bag check at Energy Events races is always super quick and efficient, which REALLY matters for winter races! It sucks standing in the cold waiting to check in/out your bag. But Kathy and the volunteers do an amazing job of getting you taken care of, and that's pretty AWESOME (and uncommon!).
Run Oregon bloggers Amber and Robin wrote race previews also--be sure to check them out :)
Hot Buttered Run is just a really great, feel-good event for the entire family. I hope to see you out there!!!
Fourth Annual Halloweenathon
Date and time: Saturday, October 25th, 2014 @ 9:00am
Events and price: 5k and 10k run/walk; 15k run; 15k relay; 1k and 0.5k kids dashes
Location: Meriweather Golf Course; Hillsboro, OR
Number of runners: ~550
Swag: AWESOME finisher's medal--4" across and has blinking red eyes!; nacho bar
Course: Mixed paved golf cart paths and across the grass--see Mariah Jeffrey's thorough report here
Uberthons' Fourth Annual Halloweenathon was such a fun event. I was so excited to see so many friends come out to run in their very first Uberthons event. And I was also excited to have a few friends earn their Uberthons jackets (yay Cari and Em)! And, of course, it's always good to run into fellow Run Oregon bloggers (Tung, Jessica, Annette, and Brian).
Though it looked like it might rain, the cloudy and cool weather weather held steady for race (which I appreciated, because I didn't want a soggy tutu). When we arrived at the Meriweather Golf Course, therewas plenty of parking, and close enough that we didn't mind not having bag check. I was curious to see how this venue would differ from last year's venue (the Reserve Golf Course & Vineyards), especially since it was a somewhat last minute change since the Reserve had double-booked that day. In spite of that, I thought that the Meriweather Golf Course was a nice location, and that Uberthons put on a nice event in spite of the change. There were a good number of portapotties available very close to the start/finish, and also bathrooms inside as well. We headed inside to pick up our bibs, which the volunteers were able to do quickly and there wasn't much of a line. A bit before the race, we headed outside to take pictures and get into the starting corral. The grass was soft and muddy because of the recent rain--and this year's course was partially paved golf cart trails and partially through the grass on the course (which Mariah Jeffrey did a fantastic job previewing here). Although several runners said that they had been unaware of what the course conditions were going to be, I felt that Uberthons did a good job informing participants via Facebook, their website, and via email. The event featured a 5k loop, run once for the 5k, run twice for the 10k, and run three times for the 15k.
At the starting line, participants were released in small waves of roughly 20 people. The course was fairly wide, which I really liked, since it made passing/getting passed easier, but parts of the course were slightly ambiguous since it wasn't marked on both sides, just with a single line of flags for the most part. To ensure I wasn't cutting the course, I ran as close to the flags as I could. There were also plenty of volunteers and aid stations. I really liked that there weren't any switchbacks to clog up the flow of runners. The grass was softer and muddier than expected--I'm sure by the time the 15k-ers were coming around on their third lap, it was likely pretty squishy--but I liked the change of terrain! It was more difficult than a race entirely on paved trails or roads, but it was fun doing a more cross-country style event, even though it slowed me down a little.
Each participant's name was announced as they crossed the finish line. They were presented with their finisher's medal, water, and optional space blanket. Back inside, there was a photo booth selling pictures for just $1, as well as the nacho bar, live music, and kiosks for looking up and printing your official race results. There wasn't quite enough space for all of the participants to fit in one room, so my group headed into an adjacent room to eat our nachos. Unfortunately, I missed hearing my name announced as winner of my age division. A few people mentioned that it was a bummer that nachos weren't included for the kids, however, the kids races were FREE, with the option of purchasing a kids medal or "grown up medal" for only $10-12.
All in all, it was a fabulously fun race, that balances that small-race feel and price point, with the organization and attention to detail of a larger race. I really enjoyed myself, and am excited to see that the event will be held at Meriweather Golf Course again in 2015!
Fellow Run Oregon blogger Brian Bernier also wrote a recap, and so did Jessica Mumme--be sure to check out their blog posts too.
Lastly, Uberthons' next and last event of 2014 will be the Turkeython on Thanksgiving morning at Bridgeport Village. Stay tuned for a preview and ... a GIVEAWAY! :D
Ghost Runners Brewing Ghost Run 5k
Date and time: Saturday October 25th, 2014
Events and price: 5k beer run; Free
Location: Brickhouse Bar; Vancouver, WA
Number of runners: Capped at 150
We really lucked out with the weather, since it was cool and overcast! I was a little worried about rain, but fortunately it held off and I didn't have to worry about running in a waterlogged costume. Although it's not an official timed race, the Ghost Run is a fun running event, with the added challenge of a beer stop! I first ran the Ghost Run last year--although I didn't know anyone there, I had a blast and made some new friends (runners are so friendly). The logistics of year's event was a little different compared to last year's, but similar: at last year's run we started at the old Spark's building downtown, ran to the first stop where we had a free beer taster sample, ran to the Grant House and had another free beer taster sample, and then finished back downtown with a free full sized beer.
This year, we started at Brickhouse, there was only one stop (Grant House) with one free beer taster sample, and no free beer at the finish (back to Brickhouse). Given that it's a free event, it's understandable. However, Brickhouse did offer three food specials, and you could also order off the menu. I ordered some mac and cheese off the menu, and a beer at the bar (Brickhouse has about 20 beers on tap--good craft beers, too). Ghost Runners Brewing's prizes for the costume contest were great--growler with fill, two pairs of running shoes, and a book about running. The two guys in the red Solo cup costumes were really cool and clever, but they said that they were pretty sucky for running in.
It was a fun event and a good excuse to run through the streets of Vancouver in costume! Thank you to Ghost Runners Brewing for organizing this fun local event :)
I was so excited to find out about the inaugural OHSU Institute of Development & Disability's Harvest Hustle 5k, benefiting Camp Odakoda, a camp for adolescents with autism. OHSU is an amazing institution and supporting adolescents with disabilities is a cause that's very close to my heart, since my three half brothers have varying degrees of autism, I've been a volunteer counselor at day camps and overnight camps with disabilities, and I've worked as a special ed paraeducator for a few years. I'm really excited for this inclusive community event, and hope that you'll join me!
Race name: OHSU Harvest Hustle
Date and time: Sunday October 19th, 2014
Events and price:
5k run/wheelchair race; 1k family walk/run/wheelchair race; kids dash
**Join or organize a team of co-workers, family, and friends and receive a$4 registration discount. Use promo code, MEMBER. Please make sure to enter the correct team name during registration.**
Location: Naito Parkway; Portland, OR
Beneficiary: Camp Odakoda, a camp for adolescents with autism.
Following the event, there will be a Harvest Festival, with live music, food vendors, and giveaways! It sounds like a great time, and a great cause. I hope to see you there!
Hi, I'm Marilyn! I run for beer and I love makeup. I was born and raised in the Pacific NW. I'm also a writer for We Heart This and a former writer for Run Oregon.