Event, times, prices as of 4/5/2015:
Marathon ($110) & Relay ($210 per team) will begin at 7:30am
Half Marathon ($80) will begin at 7:40am
10K ($55) will begin a 7:50am
+$40 extra for VIP (includes covered lounge with outdoor heaters, massage therapists, multiple beverage options, catered food, and an open bar)
Location: Horseshoe Lake Park, Woodland, WA 98674
Number of runners: ~1000
Beneficiary: Scott Hill Park and Sports Complex, a planned park that will be built on a 39-acre site at the top of Scott Hill Road that was purchased by the City of Woodland in 2011. Fundraising and development for the park are being spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Woodland.
Swag: Tech tshirt (gender specific), one free pulled pork sandwich, one free beer (plus oranges, peanut butter and bread).
Marathon course info and map.
Marathon relay course info and map.
Half marathon course info and map.
10k course info and map.
Past recaps: 2014
Other notes: Marathon pacers were provided by Beast Pacing for finishing times in 15 minute increments, starting at 3:00 to 5:00.
It was starting to rain, despite forecasts for dry weather. We shivered in line for the pottapotties and wondered if we had dressed appropriately, and how many layers to shed since the forecast had promised dry weather. Since the porta potty line had been a little long, I didn't have time to find bag check, so my friend Carolann, who was running the 10k, was nice enough to take my jacket and put it in bag check with her stuff. Fortunately the rain stopped just after the race began!
My foot has been bothering me on and off--it's been a little unpredictable and annoying. I haven't had any pain as bad as I had at Fort Vancouver Run 12k, but I've been anxious about it. I was planning on running a 10:20-10:30 pace with some friends, but part way into the race, they ended up running faster than that. Instead, I ran with my friend Charlene who was running her second ever half marathon, and was hoping to beat her previous time by about fifteen minutes. She agreed to let me pace her (and then got stuck with me hahaha!) My phone keeps running out of batter quickly so I didn't listen to music at all during the race, and I talked to Charlene instead, especially the last half of the race. We talked about everything--running, Lip Sync Battle (Anne Hathaway kills it in this episode), and all sorts of stuff. The run was really pretty and very flat although the gravel dike portion was challenging. I fueled with a Salted Caramel gu (what took me so long to try these?! They're delicious!), and some of the gummy bears provided by the aid stations on the course (physical and mental fuel)! She ended up BUSTING her PR BY 26 minutes! So proud of her. I know it was feeling tough at the end, but she stuck it out :)
Also super exiting, several other friends finished their first marathon! Congrats to all of them but especially my friend Brenda. I was so happy to be there after she finished. The morning you finish your first marathon is unlike any other. So proud of my running friends :)
After the race, we headed to the beer garden. The sun had begun to shine and it was perfect post-race beer drinking weather! I love that this event is very conducive to hanging out for awhile after. There's music and food and areas to lounge, and there were lots of photo ops. The area is scenic by Horseshoe lake, but there were also two areas set up to take photos, and the flower mascot was around also, which is a really nice touch.
The line for the beer garden was a little long and moved a little slow. I was excited to try the very special Bold IPA and to see familiar faces serving beer from the Heathen Brewing truck! (Thanks guys!) The BBQ like didn't seem to have much of a line and there was plenty to be had (it looked and smelled good but I didn't have any since vegetarian). The beer garden also seemed a little small for the number of people wanting to be in there, so I headed over to the VIP area for some food and more space.
The VIP area was awesome. There were breakfast potatoes, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage as well as an open bar serving beer, mimosas and wine. There were beach chairs, real sofas and tables and chairs, as well as free five minute massages. If you aren't fond of BBQ and/or want to have lots of drinks, then definitely consider upgrading to the VIP option! ;)
There were a few issues that should be mentioned: I found out later that the runner who was thought to be the marathon winner had missed a loop and was disqualified, and the 10k turnaround hadn't been clearly marked and volunteers hadn't been instructed clearly, so several runners ended up doing extra mileage.
While there were a few areas that needed improvement, I think this year was a year of some growing pains for this event. I was fortunate to have a really awesome race experience for the most part, and I would still like to run Blooms to Brews again next year.