I LOVE doing the Hop Hop Half. I've participated in this race the past two years (every year since it started), and it has been SO much fun. Not only is it a well organized and very festive race, for me personally, there's something really kind of cool about having done a race every year since it started :)
Hop Hop Half Marathon & 5k
Events, times, prices:
7:30am: 5K $36-45
8:15am: Half Marathon $60-85
9:15am-12pm: Post-race party, egg painting, food, music, and more!
Location: A vacant parking lot on Marine Drive; Portland OR
Number of runners: 1150
Beneficiary: Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, Inc
Swag: Big adorable medals, one Mimosa or beer (with souvenir champagne glass), Easter brunch snacks (including scrambled eggs on 1/2 croissant, cinnamon rolls, fruit, hardboiled eggs, more!), Easter Egg painting, costumes and more!
Course: The course is slightly different than last year. Both events are out-and-backs, on very flat paved paths. There were beautiful views of the Columbia River during most of the race!
CLICK HERE FOR GMAP of the HALF MARATHON course
CLICK HERE FOR GMAP of 5K COURSE
Results: Available here.
Past recaps: 2014, 2013
Other notes: Bag check available, event entirely outdoors.
That morning was a bit cool and overcast--perfect race conditions, and we all were really hoping it would stay that way (anyone else run this race in 2014, when it started POURING and blowing sideways while a few half marathoners were sitll out there on the course?). My friends and I arrived just before 7:30 (when the 5k was about to start). Instead of being instructed to use the main parking lot, we were diverted into another parking lot a short distance away from the starting line, which I thought was odd because I was sure that the main parking lot wasn't full yet (and it wasn't). It seemed to just be the timing of when we arrived. We headed to the starting line area so we could scope everything out. It was really festive, with music going and activities all set up and ready to go. There were several vendor booths to peruse also.
I ended up running with a group of four of my girlfriends, but I wasn't sure if I would be able to run the entire race with them because my right foot had been having issues. The half marathon consisted of a short out and back (passing by the start/finish line), before heading out on another out and back along Marine Drive (with an extra, little out and back thrown in at the turnaround). The course was flat for the most part. That morning had just a slight breeze coming off of the river. I was pretty excited to run the race pain free.
After we finished the race and took a few pictures, we headed back into the post-race area. IT WAS SO FESTIVE! The Easter Bunny was hopping around taking pictures (ok, not literally, but that guy was PRETTY POPULAR), music was playing, raffle prizes were being given away, kids and adults were coloring eggs, people were riding in the beer chariot, and brunch and beer and mimosas were being served! Getting my stuff from bag check was super quick thanks to the attentive volunteers, and then I got a free quick stretch at a vendor booth. It was so fun. We definitely hung around for a long time afterwards, enjoying the festivities (thank goodness no rain!).
I really had a great time, and I think my only suggestion is that I think it would be nice if the 5k started after the half marathon, so that they finished closer to the same time, instead of most of the 5k-ers being finished before the half marathon even started (my friend running the 5k finished in time to see me head to the starting line). I heard quite a few other runners express the same thought. The price is a smidge higher than some other half marathons, but this event sells out, and you can see why.
Everything else was really awesome. In particular, I did appreciate that even if you registered late (after March 3), you still received an event t-shirt--it was just a regular cotton t-shirt instead of a tech t-shirt (I'm actually more excited about the cotton one anyway since I can use it on my t-shirt quilt!). I also loved the quantity and quality of volunteers--they were absolutely plentiful and fabulous! Additionally, there were lots and lots of police officers helping to stop traffic, allowing runners to safely cross. I'm very impressed with the quality of this event, and definitely planning on registering for year four, 2016 :)