Fourth Annual Halloweenathon
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
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