Date and time: Sunday, September 7, 2014 @ 8:00 am
Events and price: 10k run/walk $49
Location: The Old Spaghetti Factory; Portland, OR
Number of runners: 1800
Swag: This race included a tech t-shirt, two beers, and meal (penne with marinara, roll, salad with vinaigrette).
Parking: It's a point to point course, so we parked at the finish and then rode the $5 shuttle bus to the start. We arrive pretty early but
Bag check: I was kind of confused because there was a bag check at the finish line/near where we parked. I asked a few volunteers but they didn't seem to know if there would be bag check at the starting line. It was a little cold that morning so I was hesitant to check my sweatshirt too early but since I didn't want to risk carrying it, I checked it.
Course: The course is initially downhill, then fairly flat and fast (except going onto the Broadway bridge). It would be nice if the elevation map had been included.
The race: I tried to go into this race with the mindset that it was JUST FOR FUN, since I had run a hilly half (Gateway to the Gorge) AND Warrior Dash the day before. And if I didn't show up, I wouldn't have an excuse to eat FREE pasta and drink TWO FREE BEERS at 9:00am, right?! So after dealing with parking issues, we picked up my packet, hung around and waited for my friend's packet, and then took the shuttle to the starting line. It was pretty crowded at the starting line area. There was a long line for the porta potties but they moved quickly, which was good. Afterwards, I edged toward the middle of the masses to wait for the start. It took awhile to cross the starting line, and another few minutes for the crowd to disperse. There were a LOT of walkers in the front of the pack, which made it difficult. :( I knew my legs were fatigued and that I'd run out of steam at some point, but I also wanted to have fun and enjoy going fast on the downhill, even if I paid for it later. I did get pretty tired while running and tried to gauge how fast to run so I wouldn't crash and burn at the end. I kind of lucked out with my pacing and did alright (no bonking haha).
Post-race: The post-race is one of the things I love most about Pints to Pasta. There's music and food and two beers per runner, and people linger a long time and have fun. I do like that there were more tables to sit at than in previous years!! We stayed quite awhile after we finished.
Photos: Evan Pilchik was the official photographer. There were two photos of me crossing the finish line.
Results: It's a huge event, and I was fatigued, so I wasn't close to placing in my age group (19th out of 216), but I was only about a minute and a half slower than my PR. Not bad considering I had run BOTH a hilly half marathon (Gateway to the Gorge) AND a mud/obstacle race (Warrior Dash) the day before!
I was kind of bummed that this year's race shirt looked similar to last year's, and just one color screen printed. Some of my old Pints to Pasta shirts have been my favorite, with great graphics. The parking situation and crowds are nothing new for this event, but some of it could be lessened (ex. if there were corrals with estimated pace). But there were a lot of good things about this race also: a nice fast course, enough water stations and nice swag/post-race party. I love this event and think it's a really fun race. I've PR'd twice on this course but would caution people to expect a lot of other participants and to plan accordingly, on the course and before the race.