Thank you to everyone who came out tonight to the November WHAT? run! It was dark and cold tonight, and a slightly smaller group than usual (about 70 runners) but it was a fun time as always! Thank you all for bringing your awesome energy :). The group was awesome and in good spirits, and we're so grateful to Dirty Hands Brewing for hosting this month. It was so good to see so many friends, and also to meet new people and talk about the 2015 Vancouver USA Marathon & Half. And lots of fab prizes were given out, including race entries, tshirts, goodie bags, and a filled growler! By the way, if you or a friend is thinking of signing up for either event (full or half) please let me know--I might just have a little surprise for you! ;)
Race name: First Annual Veteran's Day Run
Date and time: Saturday November 8th, 2014
Events and price: 5k run/walk; $35
Location: Camp Withycombe; Clackamas, OR
Number of participants:
Beneficiary: $10 of every registration goes to the Oregon Military Museum
This year, the Hood to Coast Race Series added a Veteran's Day 5k to their lineup! I was excited about this race because several of my family members and friends have served or are currently in the military, and also because the race was going to take place at Camp Withycombe, which is a facility used by the Oregon National Guard--AND THERE WERE GOING TO BE TANKS. Additionally, $10 of each registration was donated to the Oregon Military Museum for its renovation and remodel. The entry fee was also very reasonable too--only $35.
Race day was chilly but clear as we headed to Camp Withycombe. As our car approached the facility, each person's ID was checked at the gate before allowing us to enter. Inside, there was a nice outdoor setup on the main lawn. I picked up my packet and there was no line at all. There was a bag check, but we opted to just hang on to our jackets until right before the race, and then toss them back in the car, since the parking lot was so close to the start/finish. As we hung around waiting for the race to start, I realized several of my friends had signed up for the event as well! We took a bunch of pictures--there were lots of great photo ops at the starting line: a firetruck with a giant American flag, some tanks, and a DUCK (which is much more dangerous than it sounds!).
Just before the race was going to start, a few people hit the portapotties (there were plenty). The race was a nice size--just 500 people. The course itself was very flat, a 1.55mi loop around the base that was run twice, with 1 aid station that you passed twice. I started off with Ardara and Krista, since I was going to pace them. About a mile into the race, Ardara's foot was bothering her, so I paced Krista for the remainder of the race. I was really excited to help her reach her PR! The course was just about right for the number of runners. A portion of the course were just a smidge congested--at the turnaround for the water station, which was more narrow, but the congestion was mostly due to runners/walkers/children not being aware and not moving out of the way as faster runners passed them on their second loop.
At the finish line, we were handed a our dogtag "medals" and a small flag. Results were posted fairly quickly, and I saw that I had placed 3rd in my age group, so we stuck around waiting for the awards ceremony so I could receive my mug. I hadn't really expected to place, so I was pleasantly surprised (yay small races!).
This was an awesome event that did a great job honoring veterans. I enjoyed that it was a smaller race in terms of number of participants, but that it was fairly well organized and still had the same things that you would expect from a larger race. My favorite part is that the location is so unique--I can't think of any other races in the area like it? So I would definitely like to run it again!
The November WHAT? Run will be this Wednesday, November 19th. It will be the last WHAT? run until January's run. I'm super excited to announce that this month's run will be held at Dirty Hands Brewing, which recently celebrated their first anniversary in Downtown Vancouver. The untimed, fun group run will start at 6:00pm and will have 3-6 mile options. Runners and walkers of all speeds are welcome to join! Please be sure to dress for the weather and sunset.
As always, there will be raffle prizes, including entries to the the 2015 Vancouver USA Marathon & Half Marathon, and VUM/Energy Events will be paying for the first round of drinks!
If you're thinking of registering for the 2015 Vancouver USA Marathon or Half Marathon, please email me and let me know--I might have a surprise for you!!! ;)
Fourth Annual Halloweenathon
Date and time: Saturday, October 25th, 2014 @ 9:00am
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
Uberthons' Fourth Annual Halloweenathon was such a fun event. I was so excited to see so many friends come out to run in their very first Uberthons event. And I was also excited to have a few friends earn their Uberthons jackets (yay Cari and Em)! And, of course, it's always good to run into fellow Run Oregon bloggers (Tung, Jessica, Annette, and Brian).
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
Ghost Runners Brewing Ghost Run 5k
Date and time: Saturday October 25th, 2014
Events and price: 5k beer run; Free
Location: Brickhouse Bar; Vancouver, WA
Number of runners: Capped at 150
We really lucked out with the weather, since it was cool and overcast! I was a little worried about rain, but fortunately it held off and I didn't have to worry about running in a waterlogged costume. Although it's not an official timed race, the Ghost Run is a fun running event, with the added challenge of a beer stop! I first ran the Ghost Run last year--although I didn't know anyone there, I had a blast and made some new friends (runners are so friendly). The logistics of year's event was a little different compared to last year's, but similar: at last year's run we started at the old Spark's building downtown, ran to the first stop where we had a free beer taster sample, ran to the Grant House and had another free beer taster sample, and then finished back downtown with a free full sized beer.
This year, we started at Brickhouse, there was only one stop (Grant House) with one free beer taster sample, and no free beer at the finish (back to Brickhouse). Given that it's a free event, it's understandable. However, Brickhouse did offer three food specials, and you could also order off the menu. I ordered some mac and cheese off the menu, and a beer at the bar (Brickhouse has about 20 beers on tap--good craft beers, too). Ghost Runners Brewing's prizes for the costume contest were great--growler with fill, two pairs of running shoes, and a book about running. The two guys in the red Solo cup costumes were really cool and clever, but they said that they were pretty sucky for running in.
It was a fun event and a good excuse to run through the streets of Vancouver in costume! Thank you to Ghost Runners Brewing for organizing this fun local event :)
Race name: Bend Beer Chase
Date and time: Saturday October 11th, 2014
Events and price: One day 70 mile relay, split between 1-6 runners; 6keg brewery run
Location: Bend, OR
Beneficiary: Numerous local non-profits, school groups, and community organizations
I was fortunate to be offered the opportunity to run the Bend Beer Chase relay for the first time this year by Kerry (co-race director of Gorgeous Series) and Wendi (founder of Solemates). Although it was the week after I ran the Portland Marathon and the day before Girlfriends Run for a Cure, and I knew it was a lot to put my body through, I couldn't turn down this cool opportunity.
So Friday afternoon Steve, Wendi and I headed down to Bend to meet up with Kerry and Jazi. The traffic was awful since there was an accident, and we didn't arrive in Bend until 10 pm, and pretty much went straight to bed. We woke up early the next morning to the start line at Worthy Brewing. There was cornhole and beer tastings, even though it wasn't quite 7am. That's a little early for beer normally, but what the heck, it's the BEND BEER CHASE! By the way, our team of 5 only had one beer-drinker on the team--me. But even if you're not a beer drinker, the Bend Beer Chase is still a really fun experience.
Jazi, Kerry and I each ran two legs, while Wendi and Steve each picked up 3. I ended up running a little under 12 miles split between two legs, both labeled "moderate". There weren't breweries at every exchange, but at several of them, and even a distillery at one. I also bumped into the Run Oregon team and leapfrogged with them for most of the rest of the race.
Although some of the legs were really hilly or difficult (my second leg was almost entirely gravel road), the course was beautiful. I haven't spent much time in Bend, and doing the Bend Beer Chase was a great opportunity to really see how gorgeous it is. I had a great time getting to know my teammates and laughing with them. We also really lucked out with the weather--it was perfectly cool and mostly clear skies, with just a little bit of rain. The actual relay itself was fairly well put together, with enough volunteers, porta potties, and organized exchanges, although the finish line area could have been a bit more clear, as we barely arrived in time to park and get to the finish line to meet our runner and run in together to the "finish". But it wasn't actually the finish line... you had to complete the 6keg (or drive to the actual finish line at the end of the 6keg) to receive your medal.
The details and communication regarding the 6keg were somewhat lacking, and many teams were not on schedule to finish in time. It wasn't particularly clear what the 6keg was or what was (it was basically a bar crawl on foot). We only made it to the first stop in time (Silver Moon Brewing), made it to 10 Barrel after the sampling had ended/run out, and then had to rush to the final stop at Crux Fermentation project, which didn't have free samples.
The swag was alright. The shirts were a nice material with a simple but nice design. However, the women's shirts were TINY (almost like juniors sizing). The medals were rubberized bottle openers on paracord--useful, and it fit the theme, but an etched bottle opener would have been really cool.
The Bend Beer Chase was a really cool one-day relay. With a few minor adjustments, it would be excellent.
OHSU Harvest Hustle
Date: Sunday, October 19th, 2014
Events: 5k; 1k; wheelchair race; kids dash
Location: World Trade Center; Portland, OR
Number of runners: 276 for the 5k
Beneficiary: Camp Odakoda, a camp for adolescents with autism
I loved OHSU Institute of Development & Disability's Harvest Hustle 5k. I had been excited about it because it benefits Camp Odakoda. I believe it's really important to provide young people with autism those sorts of opportunities because I have brothers with varying degrees of autism, I had been a camp counselor at a different camp when I was in high school, and I had also been a special ed paraeducator for a few years after college.
It was a well-organized small race. There were really really fast runners, lots of slower walkers as well, and everything in between. My friend Robert had asked me to pace him because he wanted to finish with a sub-30 5k. I was excited and nervous for both him and myself since I had never paced someone before, and I didn't want to let him down, but I wanted to help pace someone like Coach Ron had paced me for part of the Portland Marathon (karma! repay the favor!).
The morning was perfect--slightly cool and sunny. Runners were able to stay under the shelter of the WTC outdoor plaza while we picked up our bibs and timing chips and cotton t-shirt and waited for the race to start. I told Robert what pace we were aiming for, which allowed us a nice buffer just in case we had to slow down or use the bathroom or grab water. My Garmin was having problems right after the start so we ended up going out a bit fast. Eventually we settled into a good pace. The course was nice and flat, a quick out and back along Naito.
After the race, we received our little goodie bags and grabbed some bread and oranges set out for the runners, as well as some water. There was a band playing at the Harvest Festival, and also a few food vendors. I bought a plate of Tofu Mole from Verde Cocina--it was delicious, especially their handmade corn tortillas! We hung out for a bit while I ate my brunch, and enjoyed the atmosphere.
I really liked this small, inexpensive race. For its inaugural year, it seemed like the turnout was pretty good and they did a nice job putting it together. It's a great no-frills, well-executed, flat and fast race that I'd definitely consider running again.
Date and time: Saturday November 15, 2014 @ 10:00 am
Events and price: 5k run/walk; kids race
Location: Big Al's, 14950 SW Barrows Rd, Beaverton, OR
Beneficiary: the Movember Foundation
The 'stache dache is back! The event returning to Big Al's again this year, which was a FABULOUSvenue for post-race festivities--which will be well-earned after the challenging course that featured both significant elevation changes and sharp turns throughout the nearby neighborhoods. I've heard runners say they hated it... and loved it at the same time. It just seems like a mustache-themed race SHOULD be that way, a little rough and rugged! The course is a difficult one for sure--probably the most difficult 5k road race I've done--but I'm looking forward to taking it on again. I'm gotta earn my post-race Cuervo cocktail after all ;)
And the SWAG is FAB. Finishers get a bottle opener medal, and gender specific cotton tee. And kiddos get a Mustache Dache CAPE! (ok, I'll admit that I kind of want a cape). There will be plenty of post-race photo ops, and a COSTUME CONTEST! I need to get something together this weekend... It needs to be mustache-tastic. I don't even know what that would look like, but I'm going to need to find out. And fast. The race is only a week and a half away, so if your'e thinking of signing up, jump on it, get started with your costume planning, and join in on the fun! This event benefits the Movember Foundation, which is committed to changing the face of men's health, with a particular focus on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health.
Who else is getting their STACHE on at the Mustache Dache, or growing a stache for Movember?
1st Annual Veterans Day 5k Run/Walk
Saturday, November 8th @ 9:00 am
Camp Withycombe; Clackamas, OR
$35 Online registration ends tomorrow (Tuesday 11/4) at midnight! Only 100 spots remain.
The first annual Veteran’s Day 5K Run/Walk is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to spend Veteran’s Day at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas, OR. This flat and fast 5K Run/Walk offers participants a unique view of the camp that still serves as a training facility, supply depot, and equipment repair facility for the National Guard. Run or walk amongst the helicopters, tanks, and uniformed personnel of the Oregon National Guard.
I'm really excited for the Veteran's Day 5k because it looks like it will be really unique event--I don't think I've ever run a race on a military base before! The flat and fast course will be two laps around Camp Withycombe, which is a training, repair and supply location for the Oregon National Guard. Supposedly there will be views of tanks and helicopters from the course--great photo ops. All participants will receive a green tshirt with camo details, and a dog tag finisher's medal (shown below). My grandpa, dad, and brother all served in various branches of the military (Air Force and Army), so this is an event that I'm really excited to be a part of, honoring their service, and the service of so many others. The swag is cool, the location is unique, and the cause is meaningful--hope to see you there!
I really fell in love with doing costume makeup last year after deciding to go all out on my zombie costume for Run 2 Survive Zombie Fest. I hadn't actually planned on participating in that race because I'm terrified of zombies. (By the way, I'm pretty convinced that if there is a zombie apocalypse, you don't want to be standing in a mass of people dressed like zombies. It'd be chaos). I was really, REALLY hesitant to do the event, but since I'm the official blogger for Energy Events, I pretty much had to do it. And I'm so glad that I did! It was so much fun transforming myself into a zombie--so well that friends didn't even recognize me! This year I decided to play around some more (what, you don't sit around and drink beer and play with face paint in your free time?). It was soooo much fun. Here's all of the looks I did this year...
I really want to keep practicing more costume makeup and would love inspiration or how-to's or product suggestions or advice! :