Date and time: Sunday, August 24, 2014 @ 10:30 am
Events and cost: $40 5K run/walk; $40 8K run/walk; $8 Kids' Half Miler without a shirt
Location: Mt. Tabor Park; Portland, Oregon
Number of runners: ~270
Beneficiary: Autism Service Dogs of America (ASDA)
Swag: Swag included a grey tech t-shirt; burger (veggie or meat) or hot dog and potato salad; and two Lagunitas beers. There were also plenty of freebies (sunglasses, chapstick, dog food, etc.) at the event.
Parking: We arrived around 9am and parked probably 1/4 mi away. I wasn't very familiar with the area, so I don't know where the best place to park was.
Bag check: I'm not sure if there was bag check--I think so? I just left my stuff in the car, and Ron came with us but wasn't running, so he held on to stuff while we did the race.
Course: The course maps are here. The markings on the actual course weren't very clear, and I heard a few runners may have been misdirected by volunteers. However, it was a beautiful course with gorgeous views of the city. The path was a paved road that was closed off for the event, so there was tons of room for both runners and dogs. It was easy to pass others without getting tangled up. The 5k course was two loops and the 8k course was three loops. The course involves some hills. Parts of the course were shaded and cool and a few parts were in direct sun.
The race: We arrived very early to the event, which gave us plenty of time to use the bathroom and wander around and look at the vendor booths. We even wandered into the nearby neighborhood to get the dogs relaxed and to get some coffee for us humans! Eventually, the crowd gathered to head to the starting line... only the starting line near the main event space was actually for the 8k. The 5k participants had to walk about another 1/4 mile up the hill to get to their starting line, which was kind of odd. Ardara and I weren't sure how her dogs Maverick and Country would do since they don't typically go for runs. We had planned on just walking with them. But once the race started, they were both pretty happy to just jog along with us! There were two aid stations on the 5k course--although only one had water for the dogs at the time we went by it. Although Country and Maverick were a little tired during the second lap, they still chugged along!
Post-race: After the race, we all grabbed some water and met up with friends. There was a small covered area with picnic tables and a large grassy area for people to sit. We grabbed burgers and potato salad and beer and hung out and chatted for quite some time! Music was going, and there was also a doggie-owner look-alike contest, and age group awards (both with dog, and solo categories).
Photos: No official photos were taken on the course, but a few were taken before/after. Fortunately some friends were able to snap a few pictures of us as we finished our first loop! The dogs weren't very cooperative about taking group photos ;)
Results: Neither Ardara nor I was competing--we just wanted to have a good time, get in a few miles, and take the dogs out for a walk/job! We had figured it would take about an hour to walk the dogs, but are super proud of them for being good jogging buddies and finishing in about 35 minutes!
Overall, it was a really FUN event and I had a great time! There could definitely be improvements in terms of marking the course, and Ardara mentioned that it would be nice to have a few more dog-product vendors (although she did say that one of the vendors there did an awesome job handing out samples to all of the dogs!). Ensuring that there's more water for the dogs would have been nice as well. But both Ardara and I had a great time with her dogs, and all of our friends (and their dogs) had a great time as well! All of us are looking forward to next year's Mt. Tabor Doggie Dash!!!