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!
As the temperatures kept climbing higher and higher the week of the 4th, I was relieved that Freedomthon had an early start time. I love that Uberthons always seems to have efficiently run races in great locations. I arrived about 20 minutes before the start time, grabbed a parking spot in the lot right next to the park, and got my bib all in less than 10 minutes. That gave me plenty of time to walk around a bit with family and friends that were also doing the race and get a good spot at the start line. Kicking off the race at 7:30 am meant a beautiful sunny run in the mid-60's, and with quite a bit of shade on the course it felt pretty perfect. The course was an out and back, which I've come to love for short races like a 5k. It's great to see the lead runners pushing themselves and runners cheering each other along throughout the race, and it doesn't get boring because before you know it you're back at the finish line!
The finish line festivities were great! About a tenth of a mile before the finish line there were volunteers handing out flags to carry across the finish line, and once you crossed they had tables organized to help you find the medal that had your name engraved on the back. It didn't take us long to find our medals, take a few pics, and head over to get our pancake breakfast! The line was short and moved fast, and I was excited to see that everyone got two large pancakes with butter, syrup, and whipped cream and two sausages. Everything was just as delicious as they looked, it really hit the spot! There was also fruit and oranges available, as well as the entertainment of watching volunteers use buckets and power tools to make pancake batter! As long as you didn't mind sitting on the grass or on a curb there were plenty of shady places to sit and enjoy your meal with fellow runners.
Uberthons continues to impress me with great races for great value, and this may have to be another of their races that becomes an annual tradition for me! There are a lot of races to choose from over the holiday weekend, but this small, well-organized, and fun race is one of my new favorites!
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!
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!
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!
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
I'm very lucky to be able to work with Uberthons and participate in their events--their races tend to be on the smaller side, and encourage runners and walkers of all abilities, while still putting on a professional, good quality event. I had been looking forward to Uberthon's Oregon Marathon & Half Marathon because this year's event started/finished at Mt. Angel's Oktoberfest, and I had never been there! I also love the concept of a race that switches locations every year to highlight different parts of Oregon.
And then I heard about Cause+Event Portland. Cyndie and Amy are the amazing race directors, and I couldn't help but get excited about their event too! Their enthusiasm was pretty contagious. And I love that C+E benefits ANY 501(c)3 cause that a participant chooses!
So there were two AMAZING but incredibly different races... and I wanted to be involved in both. So I decided to run the Oregon Half Marathon, while also doing the virtual Cause+Event race (unlike some virtual races, C+E allows any type of run/walk, whether it's outside, at another event, or on a treadmill!) Here I am, double-bibbing it. Party in the front, party in the back.
Race name: The Oregon Marathon & Half
Date and time: Saturday, September 13, 2014 @ 7:00 am
Events: Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay
Location: Mt. Angel, OR
Number of runners: 800
Race name: Cause+Event Portland
Date and time: Saturday, September 13, 2014
Events: Half Marathon, 10k, 5k, Virtual race
Location: Bethany Village; Portland, OR
Number of runners: 500
Beneficiary: Any 501(c)3 of your choice! I chose Solemates.
Race name: Clackamas County Fair 5k
Date and time: Saturday, August 17, 2014 @ 7:30am
Events and cost: 5k $29
Location: Clackamas County Fairgrounds; Canby, OR
Number of runners: 143
Beneficiary: Not specified. The event website says: "A portion of the registration fee will support kids . . . a college scholarship, PTO organizations, or a Kids Health program at a hospital."
This is my first of three 4th of July weekend races! Uberthons Freedomthon!
Race name: Freedomthon
Date/time: Friday, July 4th, 2014 @ 8:30 am
Registration/price: $30; free for kids races
Location: Beaverton Library Park; Beaverton, Oregon
Events offered: 5k run/walk; 1mi and 1/4mi kids races
Number of runners: capped at 300
_Beneficiary: Beaverton Police Department Police Activities League
Registration is now open for Uberthons' Oregon Marathon & Half--and get $5 off your registration fee!
The second annual Oregon Marathon & Half Marathon will be held on Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at Mt. Angel, Oregon. The Boston Qualifying course is mostly a loop that takes you from the streets of Mt. Angel, through farmland, across the Gallon House Bridge, and through Silverton before returning to Mt. Angel and Oktoberfest! Registration includes a gender-specific event t-shirt, and a gorgeous Uberthons medal, as well as coupons for Oktoberfest. Last year, over 750 runners participated.
Save $5 on your registration when you enter the coupon code TOM45. Coupon expires Sunday 06/15/2014. Through June 14, the entry fees are: Half Marathon $65; Marathon $85; add jacket for $35. There's also a marathon relay (min 2 max 4 participants) which is $60.00 per person.
Race name: Luckython
Registration/price: $35 for the 5K or 10K, $40 for the 15K
Location: The Reserve Golf Course & Vineyards in Aloha, OR
Events offered: 5k, 10k, 15k, 15k Relay, 5k Headlamp Run, and Lil' Leprechaun Run
Number of runners: Capped at 700 for 4pm events, capped at 500 for 6:15pm events, capped at 350 for 7:30pm events
Packet pickup: At Road Runner Sports the day prior to the event, or the morning of the event. Picking up your packet early entered you into a drawing for running gear though!
Swag: No t-shirts but leftover shirts from last year's Luckython were available for only $5! I bought one because they were so stinkin' cute. Also, if you broke the course record, you'd get $100 (I wasn't even close, but that's a cool idea). ALSO... special announcement about Ubethon's new incentive program...participate in any four Uberthons events and you'll earn an Ubethons jacket! If you're fast and want to earn your jacket faster, place in the top thee of your age division at any three Uberthons events. (This doesn't include events that are only timed by Uberthons, the events have to be official Uberthons organized and timed events). Considering the price of an Uberthons race is already on the lower side (usually $25-45 until the race fills up, no price increase) and includes food, and hefty medal (tshirts aren't always available but when they are, they're inexpensive and optional for purchase), it's a great that they're offering this extra incentive as well.
Parking: We arrived about 30-45 minutes early and parking was very full.
Bag check: No bag check because parking was close by.Outfit: I'd been working on my tutu all week (I purchased the tulle and elastic and cut it up). There is now glitter everywhere. The rest of the outfit came together a few hours before the race as I scrambled to find any St Patty's day accessories (no where to be found) at nearby stores. I settled on a green synthetic tank and green lacy tank that I found in the juniors sections of Fred Meyer and Walmart (perfect departments for cheap costume stuff that's not heavy plasticky or cotton).
Course: This time the course was along the South half of the golf course. The entire route is on paved golf cart paths winding through the scenic Reserve property.
The race: The staggered start in waves of 20-30 runners helped keep things going smoothly. Because there aren't marked corrals, if you're kind of fast/run the entire time, you'll want to make sure you start in one of the first few waves. I wasn't sure about how I'd run that day, so I decided to just feel it out as I went. There were a few quick tight turns that forced me to slow down a little, and only one bathroom along the course that wasn't marked (meaning I ran with a full bladder for 10k...). I ended up about 40 seconds shy of a PR. :(
Post-race: There was a "baked potato bar"--you got a baked potato and could pick toppings which included black beans, bacon, green onion, nacho cheese, broccoli, sour cream, olives, etc. The volunteers even let me have EXTRA nacho cheese! ;) The hang out area was a covered shelter with lots of tables and chairs.
Photos: Available to purchase online. There were 1 or 2 photographers on the course, as well as a photo area in the post-race pavillion.
Results: I love that Uberthons has tables where you can enter your bib number and get instant results! Unfortunately 2 of the 4 computers weren't working, so there was a bit of a line. There's also an app to get your results shortly after the event also. I ended up placing third in my age group, earning me a "silver" age divison champ pin. My friend Jacob also placed, as did my friend's niece, and a few other friends.
I love Luckython, and think it's a great St. Patrick's Day race option, especially if you're trying to avoid the crowds at Shamrock Run.
Hi, I'm Marilyn! I run for beer and I love makeup. I was born and raised in the Pacific NW.