Date: Saturday August 30th & Sunday August 31st, 2014
Saturday, August 30, 2014: Half Marathon, 5k, 10k, Kids Race
Sunday, August 31, 2014: Marathon, Half Marathon
$91 for the Half+Half challenge
Location: Sunriver Resort; Sunriver, OR
Number of runners: Fewer than 200 for each half marathon
Beneficiary: Oregon SW Washington Affiliate of Susan G Komen
Swag: The race swag was AMAZING, especially considering it was only $91 for both half marathons! I received a Nike tech t-shirt, Nike long sleeved shirt, cinch backpack, and little goodies. Each half marathon gave participants a pint glass, pint of beer, and medal, as well as tons of food and drink (it was REALLY nice: kombucha, juice, milk, water, ice pops, fruit, bagels, crackers, etc). Half+Half challenge finishers also received a special "Challenge" medal and tech hat.
Parking: Parking was in the resort parking lot. It was a little crowded.
Bag check: Bag check was quick and easy!
Course: The Saturday course was mostly through the cabin/residential area of Sunriver, along the bike/walking paths. Sunday's course was primarily along and through the Sunriver golf course. Both courses were fairly similar in terms of being fairly flat, and there were aid stations approximately every two miles. My Garmin was a bit short both days, but that may be due to the winding course, and the tree cover?
The race: My friend Eiko talked me into signing up for the half+half challenge several months ago. It was going to be her first race, and I thought it was CRAZY TALK, but that would be good training for the Portland Marathon. The funny thing is, since I signed up for SMFAC, I've run two half/half weekends... back to back. Four races, over two consecutive weekends. Since then, the SMFAC Half+Half challenge seems a lot less crazy!
My plan going into this half+half challenge was to try to finish each race under two hours. How far below two hours would depend on how well my body handled the elevation (Sunriver is about 4000 feet above sea level, and Vancouver/Portland is only a few hundred feet). I haven't been running as much as I would like since I've been putting in long days at work. On Saturday, I felt pretty good until about mile 9, when my body just felt heavy and tired. I managed to finish in 1:55:53, placing second in my age group. Saturday afternoon and evening I made sure to foam roll and use the Stick constantly, and frequently stretched my legs and took some ibuprofen. I knew that "aggressive proactive recovery" would make Sunday's race a lot less uncomfortable, and would decrease my risk of injury. I also wore compression sleeves and put on some Rock Sauce. The beautiful golf courses in Sunriver helped take my mind off of my fatigue during Sunday's race. It was BEAUTIFUL. There was one pretty brutal long uphill near the end of the race, which I hadn't known was coming. Fortunately, I managed to finish in 1:57:13, and placed third in my age group.
Post-race: After Sunday's half, I went immediately to stretch out and iced my legs while I waited for my friend Eiko to finish (more of that aggressive recovery!). I enjoyed some beer from Sunriver Brewing, received my special Half+Half challenge participant swag, and relaxed with my friends! I was excited to see fellow Run Oregon bloggers Jessica and Annette after the race also. There was a really nice spread of snacks and beverages for participants. They had picnic tables out on the lawn for people to hang out as well. The rest of Sunday I spent a lot of time stretching, foam rolling, using the stick, wearing my compression sleeves and applying more Rock Sauce! With a 4+ hour car ride home on Monday, I was a little worried about my legs cramping up. Fortunately, my legs felt pretty good--a little tired, but not tight or painful.
Photos: The wonderful Michael Allen took some pictures of me on the course!
Results: Available here.
Overall, this is a spectacular race that's an exceptional value. Everyone was very supportive of the runners--all of the race staff expressed their appreciation for the runners taking part in the event. So even though it's a long drive and the elevation makes it difficult, but this destination race was really fun!