Date/time: Saturday, April 19th, 2014; 5k @ 7:30am, Half @ 8:15am
Registration/price: 5k $35-40; Half $68-80
Location: Marine Drive; Portland, OR
Events offered: 5k and half marathon
Number of runners: 689 for the half, 299 for the 5k (capped at 1500).
Beneficiary: Society of St. Vincent de Paul - Portland
Swag: DEAR FOOT TRAFFIC... PLEASE STOP WITH THE MEDIOCRE GRAY HALF ZIP SHIRTS KTHANKS. The fit is a little weird, and the zipper scratches my neck. They're the same ones as the 2013 Holiday Half long sleeves, but with a really unexciting and boring logo (black and white? for Easter? at least the other ones had a LITTLE color on them). And the back just says "Foot Traffic" and "St. Vincent de Paul." It'd be nice to have the race name and year on the back as well. Last year's white tech tees were way cuter. Other swag: a really cute medal shaped like an egg with a bunny hiding behind it, and a metal waterbottle.
Parking: There was tons of parking, and tons of volunteers helping keep the cars moving. Free parking.
Bag check: There was bag check, and there wasn't even a line. Not many people checked their bags, probably because there wasn't any info about bag check on any of the emails or on the race website (note to the race director--please put all info from emails on the website also. I hate searching through my inbox to find the one email with the info I need).
Course: The out and back course was almost entirely flat, on a bike path along Marine Drive. There were 5 aid stations along the course with water, electrolyte, and gels at each! The volunteers were really nice and awesome.
The race: The morning of the race it was cool, perfect for running but a little cold to just be standing around. I had just PR'd at Blooms to Brews the weekend before (finally under 2 hours! 1:53:51) and I felt like I could probably get close to my time, but I was also anxious about possible injury from pushing myself too hard and getting my hopes up. As we lined up in the corral, I decided I was going to go for it, and if it didn't work out, I'd just take it easy the rest of the race. The first two miles were pretty easy, but the next 4-5mi were a bit challenging because we were running into the wind. Once I reached the turnaround, and got past the little hills, I felt really relieved and just tried to maintain my pace. When I ran this race last year, I almost finished under two hours... except I ended up vomiting non stop for the last 0.1 mile and finished in 2:00:16. I was really happy to PR (1:52:07) and really really happy to not barf on the side of the course!
Post-race: There were mini egg croissant sandwiches that were DELICIOUS (even though I hate eggs, I was so excited that they had them again this year!), mini cinnamon roll bites, fruit, and your choice of a mimosa or a beer (you'd still get a souvenir champagne flute even if you took a beer). They had egg decorating and lots and lots of giveaways as well as a dance-off with the Easter bunny. It was fun, but by then it was rainy and windy and incredibly cold.
Photos: You can buy race photos online. I was lucky enough that a friend came to cheer me on and took a few pictures of me running.
Results: I PR'd and feel pretty good about how I did. At one point I did feel a familiar twinge in my left quad (I've strained it a million times), and it hurt a little for the first part of my 8mi run the next day, but nothing serious.