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!
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.