Reviews

Great way to start your Thanksgiving Day!
5.0
  • Melanie reviewed 1 year ago
  • last edited 1 year ago

My friend Sarah told me about the race just a few days before hand, and I decided to join her! I was very pleasently surprised with the price of the race, especially since I was registering so late! The morning was COLD, probably the coldest race for me so far, and I was so thankful for the hot coffee at the start of the race. The 10K was two loops, clearly marked, and separated the 10K and 5K runners so that we could easily keep running. I actually enjoyed the loop so that I could plan and conserve my energy for the hill in the middle of the course. Overall, I was very pleased with the race and definitely want to do it next year! Oh, and I loved the medal!

Excellent course, excellent challenge, just excellent
5.0

This is a race to behold. Words and images won’t do it justice, you just have to experience it for yourself. Breathtaking views of the Central Oregon high desert, ample variety of terrain — paved and trail — and winding courses past rivers, lakes, through parks and forests… I can’t recommend it enough.

It was well supported, with 11 aid stations along the way, and signs, markings, and volunteers at nearly every single turn and shift in the course. Very well organized. I will be back.

I blogged about my experience and hope it helps encourage you to sign up!

http://run.david.run/blog/2016-bend-marathon

Portland Rock 'n Roll Half-Marathon
4.5

Before starting on a review of the race, let’s clear the air about the Rock ‘n Roll (RNR) series. There is a debate amongst many runners of whether or not to support these events. Why the debate? Because Competitor is a “for-profit” group which charges a pretty steep fee to participate in their events. Some find this improper, others, shrug their shoulders. Me? I’m in the “shrug their shoulders” camp. Why? Because almost every race is for-profit. Sure there are a few, Race for the Roses, which are truly a fundraiser for a particular beneficiary, but even a race like Shamrock only delivers a small portion to the charity.

RNR races charge a fee which is slightly above the fee you will normally pay for a half-marathon – $85 (assuming you register through one of the many discount opportunities) as opposed to a typical $70 fee, but they deliver an experience as good as any other race – a quality participant shirt, post-race refreshments and on-course entertainment. They also provide a added benefit – a post-race concert with a name band such as G. Love and Special Sauce (Portland 2014, Portugal the Man (Portland, 2015) and Mudhoney (Seattle 2015). So as I see it, the Competitor Group is not the demon it is made out to be, but for those who oppose their brand, that is understandable.

Now on to the review.

2015 gave us a new course in Portland. Gone was the climb up Hawthorne and the long out-and-back on Naito. Instead we headed north on Naito, did a small loop in the Pearl, climbed up and over the Broadway Bridge and then hit a hill which made Hawthorne look like a bump. Mississippi Avenue is a climb, a steep and hard climb which got your attention. From there the race ran through North Portland to the historic Irvington neighborhood of Northeast Portland before heading south toward Laurelhurst Park and down Hawthorne.

Runners start in assigned corrals based on their predicted finishing time and are released over a period of time so that congestion is minimal. It also prevents faster runners from having to weave through improperly seeded runners and makes for a smooth start.

The course has a lot of turns. It also doesn’t have too many bands, which may seem strange for a race called “rock ‘n roll”, but imagine a quiet neighborhood on a Sunday morning suddenly shaken awake by a band and you can understand. What you get instead are a lot of cheer squads from local high schools, whose energy is eye-popping. They cheer for every single runner in the race with the same enthusiasm and that is a really great because those runners taking over 3 hours to complete the course deserve the same energy as the winner because 13.1 miles is a demanding distance no matter your speed.

The chance to run through NE was a very nice diversion from Naito and the NW Industrial area which seem to be part of every race course in Portland. It also shows that indeed the Portland Marathon likely could, if it desired, change the course from the extreme out-and-back on Naito to a course which incorporated all of Portland’s quadrants (yes, I know there are five distinct areas in Portland, but quadrants rolls of the tongue much easier than Pentagon or Pentarants, if that is even a word). I relished the chance to run within 3 blocks of my house and see my kids standing out on the course with a sign to cheer me on, as well as running through the neighborhood and seeing other families I know. Northeast Portland seemed to embrace the race with multiple families gathering for breakfast on the curb to cheer the runners on.

There were a few porta-potties on the course and there were plenty of course monitors to make sure the course was traffic free. The course was well-marked, and while as I noted it contained a lot of turns, it was understandable. Without the turns the distance would either have to come out on Naito or in the hills around Mt. Tabor and neither of those options were pleasing (just as a 2014 (Naito) or 2012 (Mt. Tabor) participant).

The finish of the race had a unique Portland touch to it – a large swath of the old Portland International Airport carpet was the finish of this years race. A really nice touch. From there runners were handed the very heavy finisher’s medal and then food and drink before being moved to the concert area for the main headlining band, Anchorage-born, Portland-based Portugal the Man.

With a RNR race you get a well-organized event. Having previously done the inagural Seattle RNR half, you get a generic experience with the standard race expo, and event set-up (bags check), post-race refreshments. There is nothing unexpected and for the money you pay you don’t want anything unexpected. If I had a beef it would be this – for bag check have people check their bag by their number and not by their last name. It is pretty easy to locate a bag by number when that is the tag you are given then to place it by your last name where they then use the bag number to store it.

The 2016 RNR date has not been announced, which I will note is unusual. In past years registration has opened at a greatly discounted fee ($55 for the last three years) causing me to wonder if RNR in Portland may not be coming back. I guess in the next few weeks we shall see.

This is a race worth running, not necessarily for time, but for the challenge and the chance to see the entire city.

Wine, running and song. I can't ask for anything more.
5.0

By far, the Destination Race in Santa Ynez/Solvang has been my favorite half. The scenery is beautiful and includes bison, cows, horses, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, longhorn, and my favorite, a turkey at mile one…just right on the street, hanging out. Only in Santa Ynez. The race IS hilly but was fast for me. Last year I PR’d in this race and this year I was right at the same time. I didn’t use the porta potties, but there are TONS. Also, plenty of water stations-every 1.5 miles or so. Last year was hot so they came in handy. The miles are well-marked and the race is easy to follow.

I love this race because it’s small. It doesn’t take long to get started at all. I’ve been in races that took easily 20 minutes for my wave to get started. I didn’t run with a pacer but they have them for just about every 15 minute interval up to 3 hours. The organizers are great and friendly. They remembered my crazy husband from LAST year! We did the finisher’s party at Lavender Oak and it was a lot of fun. Beautiful out there. If there is a wine tour post race, do it! We did it last year and had too much fun.

There is a post race wine and music event, which is great but we did find it too crowded so we didn’t do it this year. Post race, we typically need to rest a bit and we found the area too small for the number of people who were participating but it’s a great deal. I highly recommend it to runners who don’t really need to recover after the race. It’s a good price for all the beer or wine you can drink. I plan to sign up for the one in Oregon when we run that one.

Santa Ynez Valley is great for wine tasting. Even if you don’t tour the area (which you REALLY should), there are tasting rooms in Solvang, SY and Los Olivos every 10 feet. You can’t go wrong.

Also, if you are a single guy, this is YOUR race. Tons of chicks out having a good time and drinking lots of wine. My husband tells every single male runner he knows that he should really be coming out to these races to meet cool chicks who like to run. It’s a great run for groups of girls or couples (like me and my guy). We are trying to talk two friends from Alberta, Canada into joining us next August in Oregon. It makes for a great long weekend.

N2S - Linda's Thoughts
5.0

It just seemed like one of the races one should do – running through wine country that we have visited for over 20 years – what could be better! Getting into the race is quite the adventure! The first year, I tried the lottery with no luck. The next year was even more entertaining. The signup just happened to be on the same day we were driving from Park City Utah (home) to Moab for the Winter Sun 10K. Bruce drove as I tried to enter on my iPad as we drove by the Bookcliffs in Southern Utah – not very good reception through there! Needless to say, I didn’t get in. But, I made it in 2014! I am so glad I did. By then it was my 7th DR race – not bad for a girl from Utah! The weekend started with the Welcome Reception at Cuvaison Winery – the race start! Saw our DR friends and met new ones – the racers you meet are all so inspiring! Then, the big event – meeting Meb att the pre-race dinner! He is a treasure! So humble and so inspiring! The race exceeded my expectations! We ran through beautiful, rural Carneros Valley. It was stunning! Rolling hills (little ones) and beautiful vineyards. It was a perfect, foggy morning to run! I was inspired by all of the Team Challenge runners! And then there was the Guinness stop and the wine stop along the way! But, nothing prepared me for the finish – our flag flying high in front of the Sonoma Plaza!! This has to be on everyone’s bucket list of “Not to Miss” Half Marathons!

Love this race!
4.5
  • Sarah Gamble reviewed 1 year ago
  • last edited 1 year ago

This a great race, it is well organized, inexpensive, and super flat. I got my half marathon PR on this course last year. My only complaint is that you pass the finish area several times before it’s actually over, but as long as you know that ahead of time it won’t throw you off too much. The race started right on time, at 10 am, which is pretty late as far as these things go but I liked the chance to sleep in a little on race day. Can’t wait to do this one again next year!

Luckython
5.0

Luckython has become a St Patrick’s Day tradition for me. The course is scenic and green, with just a few small hills to make it a challenge. The race director, Uberthons, runs a top-notch event. Races start on time, big mile marker banners throughout the course, plenty of aid stations and volunteers and instant results. Special touches include age group recognitions, a generous baked potato bar, and ginormous finshers medals. Luckython is a great way to participate a fun St Patrick’s themed race without battling the big city crowds.

Excellent Series Race!
4.0
  • Amanda S reviewed 1 year ago
  • last edited 1 year ago

What a fantastic race! I strongly recommend this series to all levels of runners and can’t wait to sign up again next year.

PROS:
-Super affordable (3 races for under $50!) and the nature of a series does wonders for my motivation.
-Very well organized! RunwithPaula does a fantastic job organizing races – runners are well taken care of (water, food, sports drinks, coffee and MORE). I’ve been running for a couple years now and have never bothered repeating a race. Her events always leave me ecstatic and grateful to have spent the money.
-Excellent series for hitting your PR! I shaved a ton of time off over the three races.
-Easy course with no delays from traffic. Good views through a grassy area next to a pond and no pavement problems.
-Great energy from all involved. I’ve never enjoyed a post race party so much (great awards and raffle)
-Beginner friendly with lots of speed walkers.
-Starts a bit later in the day than other winter races, making it so much easier to get there.

CONS:
-It’s a bit of a hard run to start. The first 1/4 mile is through a road passing several office buildings. On the flip side, on your way back it certainly makes the finish line look like gold in the distance.
-Due to flooding (a 2″ thick puddle) you are asked to run up a VERY small but VERY muddy hill, which caused one or two people to slip.
-The course is public so there were a couple slow moving older couples and zippy bicycles to circumnavigate.
-I took the no phones/timing devices rule very seriously on the third race and was left a bit sad to not have music to listen to.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Challenging but so worth it!
5.0

I run the half marathon every year, and it’s become one of my very favorites. The expo is great — good selection of vendors, guest speakers, and booths for races that will give you great discounts if you sign up at the expo. The participant shirt is a nice, long-sleeved tech shirt. Packet pickup is organized and painless. You start down by the EMP and the Space Needle and go out by some of Seattle’s most beautiful buildings — architecture buffs will enjoy this race. The course has some climbs, but nothing that will ruin your life if you’ve trained for them. There are plenty of port-o-potties and aid stations along the course, with great traffic control and volunteer support. Last year it was freezing so the spaces around the aid stations were icy — if the weather is cold be prepared. After you leave the city, you’ll go through some beautiful neighborhoods, so you get a nice mix of urban and residential, with some lovely views of the lake. There’s a peaceful climb through the arboretum, and a super cool run through a tunnel. You’ll finish on the turf at the Memorial Stadium, which is always fun. The medal is quality, and in previous years they were being handed out by some most excellent military folks. This race has one of the best post-race situations out there — you’ll go inside and thaw out, get some tasty soup, plenty of hydration, another chance to pick up more swag from vendors, and relax with all the other happy finishers.

Beat half ever
5.0

Loved the inaugural Bend Marathon & Half! The course was gorgeous, the packet pickup times were accommodating, and race day was flawless.
My only suggestion would be to not hand runners crossing the finish line so many things. I was crying as I crossed the line as I typically do (all those weeks of training are exhausting), then I’m handed a medal, medal screws, a beer token and water. Seemed a bit much especially since I dropped half of it (but it’s definitely appreciated). Other than that small complaint I would definitely do it again next year. Who knows maybe I’ll make it my first full 😉
Great job Kerry & Blair!

Flawless inaugural year
5.0
  • Amy reviewed 2 years ago

I ran the High Street Hustle 8k in its inaugural year, 2015. The organizers, Gallagher Fitness, pulled off a well-organized race and fun environment. The course was well-marked and there were plenty of facilities for everyone. I enjoyed running past the Capitol and getting a tour through a pretty Salem neighborhood. The course was somewhat hilly/rolly which I enjoyed. I loved all the 70’s music and seeing people next to me at the start with retro racing outfits – wigs, cut-off jean shorts, fake facial hair, and retro socks. I had to leave before awards to get to my daughter’s soccer game, and one of the organizers gave me my lava lamp (my first!) and a big hug. The only suggestion I would give the race for next year is to direct slower 5k runners and walkers to create a path for the quicker 8k runners on the way back. We had to run past crowds of people. Luckily I was able to tuck behind a guy who cleared a path for me, so it wasn’t too much of a problem. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a fun, well-organized, low-key summer race.

My first marathon!
4.5
  • MJA reviewed 2 years ago

This was my first marathon! I ran it in 2013 and came back to spectate and cheer in 2014. This race is extremely well organized. Parking is crazy so plan on getting over the bridge and onto the island EARLY. The course is flat with a few small rollers. There are several aide stations providing water, nuun and shot bloks. They also have a decent spread at the finish… hot dogs, strawberry shortcake and some kiddie pools filled with ice water to soak your tired legs. :)

The energy at this race is great! So fun running on the 4th of July… gets the holiday off to a great start!

Wonderful marathon
5.0
  • Amy reviewed 2 years ago

I ran the California International Marathon in 2015 and thought it was a great race. CIM is a point-to-point course that starts out in Folsom and ends near the Capitol building in Sacramento. My friend and I stayed in a hotel in Folsom so we could sleep a little later race morning without having to catch ultra-early race shuttles to the start. Folsom was a great place to stay, we were across the street from Whole Foods and nice outdoor mall. The expo was nice, it was super easy to get in and out to pick up our race packets, and there were plenty of vendors if you enjoy browsing and shopping. Race morning, the race started right on time, and I remember it being a slight downhill start. CIM is lauded as a fast course, and it is, but I was surprised with how rolling the course was – more uphill than I anticipated. I just tried to keep my effort consistent whether I was on flat, uphill, or downhill, and my splits stayed fairly consistent. On the course map, you’ll notice a reference to some free-range chickens around mile 10-11. My friend and I literally almost tripped over a chicken, one of the funniest race moments ever, so keep an eye out for those chickens. :) The aid stations were great, and I remember the mile markers being accurate. It was a nice size of marathon, not too big or too small. There were always people around me I could run with, but I never really felt crowded after the first 1/2 mile or so. I thought running into Sacramento the last few miles was really pretty, and there was tons of crowd support down there. Overall, this marathon was very well-done, and people post lots of quick times out there.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
If they work out the kinks this will become a favorite.
3.0

Smooth packet pickup and plenty of porta-potties at start. Nice course, good course support, and you get to run over bridges twice. Not super hilly or challenging. Thought I’d gotten a shiny new PR, but the course had to be shortened at the last minute, and they didn’t tell us until it was over. Hope they work out the kinks with the course, because it was great to get to finish up to the sound of blues. OK shirt, nice medal. Worth sticking with until they get the kinks figured out.

Worth the trip to Eugene
4.5

The organizers put on a pretty organized event, and are very responsive to runner suggestions and issues. The course is nice, but parts of the roads are cambered on a slant that can be tough on tired legs. Giving it 4.5 stars because having to pass the finish line at mile 9 is a mean trick to play on people. Shuttle system worked fine, but one year they were late to pick us up so we got to the start just as the race started. Finishing on the track is a super nice touch! The medals and shirts are always nice and there’s plenty of course support.

Quality event I hope to do again!
5.0

I have been looking forward to doing this run for a few years now, and I’m glad I finally got the chance to. A nagging injury kept me out of the half, but I was able to do the 10k and I’m very glad I did. Packet pickup was smooth, the shirt was decent quality, and there were coupons in the swag bag that I will actually use! Race morning had plenty of parking and people directing so it wasn’t a free-for-all in the Intel parking lot. There were TONS of port-o-potties — I have never had such a short wait in line before a race as big as this one is.

The half and the 10k started together, which I was worried would be a human crush pile but they did have pace markings, and people were in a cheerful mood and were happy to not squash each other. I stayed near the back due to my reduced ability, so I can’t comment if there were people lined up incorrectly, but the pack spread out pretty quickly and I didn’t feel jammed in at any point. The course was well-marked, with plenty of direction. There was Nuun and water — it seemed to me like they had extra stations due to the chance of it getting pretty toasty. I was familiar with part of the course (I think the Heartbreaker Half uses part of it? Maybe?) so it had some hills in the 10k but nothing that will ruin your life and make you curse the day you were born. Overall it was indeed scenic and pretty, with pleasant volunteers helping out at aid stations.

You finish on the sportsfield and that is fun — spectators can watch their favorites cross the finish line on the stadium’s jumbotron. We got an attractive, quality medal upon finishing, and were treated to a vast array of snacks, drinks, and opportunities to score a little more swag from the decent vendors that had set up displays. After cooling off a bit we got our yummy Helvetia Tavern burgers (garden! yay for plant-based athletes! I usually am able to only get a banana after a run) and watched the speedy halfers come in on the jumbotron. There was plenty of seating and shade to relax in after the race, so this is a good event to make into an afternoon of enjoying your friends and your achievement.

I definitely plan on giving the half marathon a shot next year, but the 10k is a great workout and again I am very happy I got to try it out and get hooked!

Fun Half Marathon!
4.0
  • Sarah Gamble reviewed 1 year ago
  • last edited 1 year ago

Yes this last years Pints to Pasta had some huge issues with the shuttle, I was super grateful to have chosen to run the half marathon distance so the shuttle was a non issue for me. I love running downtown & really enjoyed the course! The after party was great with a nice meal, beer & wine. I loved this race and hope people give a little grace for the traffic/construction/shuttle nightmare, I’m sure they will make this race better than ever next year! I can’t wait to do this one again!

Awesome
4.0
  • Greg reviewed 1 year ago

Highly reccommend this race!!!

Crowd support is second to none
4.5

This is a great half marathon that I have done every year since the inaugural year, and plan to do so until my joints are replaced with titanium (and then maybe I’ll get out the walker and still give it a try.) It is very well-organized, starts on time, and has the essentials at the start — easy parking and porta-potties! This year they moved packet pickup into a health and fitness expo that was one of the better expos I’ve seen — great selection of new and interesting vendors. There was less pre-race communication this year than there has been in the past, but the website is easy to navigate and has the essentials. This race is getting bigger every year, so there should be plenty of people in your pace group to keep you company. The course is well-marked, has one moderately long climb and plenty of downhill, and as I stated in the title, is absolutely lined with happy, cheering people (and a rocking ska band!) from start to finish. This year the crowds came in very handy, as it was toasty at the start and downright hot later on, and there were people setting out lawn sprinklers for those of us who were overheating. There was support every two-ish miles, with water and Ultima (I really liked the mix this year!) They had to move the finish line off the football field at Reser stadium, but when the construction work on the stadium is done, it will be back to the thrill of running down a finishing chute and onto the astroturf. The medal was a well-designed reward at the end of a hot run, and there looked to be a pretty good after party going, with brews on tap, and cider for a few $$, as well as a nice table full of post-race staples (and some tasty soup and bread that they have had every year.) It was crowded, though, and I was ready to find some shade and die quietly with my medal gripped tightly into my fist. This was a the first year I overheated, which is why I’m taking off 1/2 a star — I am sure there’s some logistical reason as to why the race starts later, but it gets hotter every year, and I really hope they reconsider and move it back by at least an hour. The convenience of getting to a later start has been replaced by fear of getting heat stroke.

the BEST
5.0

The best series I have ever been a part of! A wonderful price for five well run races. I cannot speak highly enough about the Portland Trail Series. It is a low-key race experience, that is extremely well run. The intimate atmosphere encourages finding new running buddies as well as fostering the competitive spirit! Although every course is tough, it allows anyone from newbie to elite to finish feeling accomplished. An added bonus, if you return your bib number post race, they donate money to the Forest Park Conservancy. Sign up quick, the best kept secret in trail racing fills up FAST.

Beautiful, fun marathon
4.0
  • Amy reviewed 2 years ago
  • last edited 2 years ago

I ran the Portland Marathon for the first time on October 4, 2015 and really enjoyed this well-organized race. Below were some of the pros and cons of the Portland Marathon for me:

Pros:

  1. This is a larger race (roughly 15,000 participants between the marathon and the half), so there are many people to run with and lots of positive energy.
  2. The people of Portland come out in force to cheer and support the race – great crowd support.
  3. There are fun bands throughout the course, especially in the first several miles, which creates a fun, party atmosphere and nice distraction.
  4. Team Red Lizard provides pace groups from 3:00 on up. Very cool to have them out there.
  5. Parts of the course are really beautiful. I loved running over the St. John’s bridge, along Willamette in North Portland, and across the Broadway Bridge as you begin to approach the finish.
  6. The roads were clearly blocked off from traffic, and the course was clearly marked.
  7. There were plenty of aid stations.
  8. At the finish, we were given a light (but disposable) Portland Marathon jacket instead of the standard space blanket, as well as a finisher shirt, pin, medal, rose, and small tree to plant. I think they went above and beyond there. The food was fine, pretty standard – grapes, orange juice, chocolate milk, potato chips, candy.

Cons:

  1. The mile markers were way off for at least the first half of the race. The first mile was off by a good 30 seconds for me, we crossed the “10k” mark just barely after clicking off 6 miles, and the error continued for quite a while. I was so glad I wore my GPS watch. By the end of the race, the distance evened out. My GPS said I ran 26.25 miles total. I just think having accurate mile markers is an essential part of putting on a race, especially for anyone who is trying to go out at a specific pace. It’s a big deal.
  2. They had Ultima as the electrolyte drink? I would really prefer Gatorade, something I’m familiar with and can train with.
  3. They don’t actually give you a shirt unless you finish. Yes, it’s cool to wear a Portland Marathon finisher t-shirt, but I just feel bad for people who go out, maybe have a bad day and have to drop out, and they don’t get the shirt. I think they should get something. I like getting the shirt at the expo before the race. Just take “Finisher” off it in my opinion.
  4. Many marathons I’m familiar with will comp the entry fee for people who have met a certain time standard; however, the Portland marathon doesn’t comp entries for anyone. I would encourage them to offer comped entries to runners who have met a time standard.

Overall, I had a really fun time. I enjoyed the course, the crowd support, and the bands. I think if the race directors tweaked a few things, it would be nearly perfect.

Beautiful, unique, and it really is flat!
4.0

This is a must-do for any half or full marathon addict. It truly is flat, so it attracts some super fast runners, and is great for first-timers. Scenic course through some beautiful countryside. It is usually pretty hot (by Oregon standards) so be prepared for the temps to rise quickly. Course support is adequate. If you take the shuttle, tuck some money into your tights so you can shop at the cute farm store. Slower runners may finish to find the ice baths to be pools of warm water. There are no wave starts or pace markings at the start, so the beginning is always a cluster of people who run varying speeds trying to not mash each other. I don’t know why they won’t do wave starts or have an early start for walkers. I even saw a pregnant walker line up in the very front of the line. The parking is nuts — if you want to drive yourself, get there even earlier than you planned on, or take one of the earliest shuttles if you get stressed easily about arriving on time. There’s always a backup of traffic.

A fun P.M. running party in a gorgeous setting!
4.5

Signing up for this race was an experiment that turned out better than I had anticipated. I was super curious to see if racing in the evening as opposed to the a.m. would have a deleterious effect on performance, so I signed up to find out. And to be completely honest, I signed up because all of the race swag would have owls on it. I love owls. An owl medal? OHMYLORD yes. Gimme one of those! Pre-race instructions were clear and plentiful, and I had originally signed up for the 1/2 marathon but was able to switch to the 10k with ease. Traffic on I-5 getting to Vancouver was as expected — terrible — so if you sign up plan on getting to the race as early as you can. Even if you get there ridiculously early, Vancouver Lake park is just a beautiful place to relax and wait. Parking was easy and well-managed. Race day packet pickup was quick, with one quibble — if you went to the picnic table on the left, you got to pick from this year’s or last year’s shirts, and if you went to the table on the right, you got the current year’s (and a little bit of attitude if you asked for last year’s.) I like to have the dates and places on shirts, and none of the shirts did. At least my tank top has an owl on it, that helps ease the pain. And the owl glows in the dark, which is super nifty. Pre-race instructions were clear and delivered frequently. The supercool Last Rites drum corp was there to get people motivated and ready to run. There was an option for an early start for the half marathoners, which, as a turtle, I always appreciate. The running path was well marked, and the park is absolutely beautiful. There were almost no elevation changes save for one short uphill sprint at mile threeish, and the path was decently maintained. There were plenty of aid stations on the 10 and 5k routes, I suspect that the Half was also well-equipped. Volunteers were cheerful and helpful. The park path was narrow, and after the 10k turnaround it became a bit of a parking lot in spots, with 5k walkers (and 10k walkers who thought the early Half start was also for them) three to five abreast across the path. I felt bad for the speedsters, as they had a lot of zig zagging added to their workout. Names were announced crossing the finish line (Huber Timing always does a great job) and the medals are adorable. Also no date or location on them — another small quibble. After the race things got a little confusing, as you had to go get a cup of water from a small table that was mobbed. I had water in my closely parked car so I skipped standing in line for water and instead got in the superlong burrito and beer line. I guess they ran out of beer early, but I waited patiently and chatted with other runners as the line moved slowly forward. There was a live band playing, and the location was perfect for stretching out on the grass and enjoying a cool Saturday evening. I will do this race again, but will bring friends and plan on running a shorter distance, as I’ve discovered that evening running is not going to produce any PRs for me personally.

Pick Your Poison ROCKS!
5.0
  • Eric reviewed 1 year ago
  • last edited 1 year ago

Go Beyond Racing puts on a variety of races of different distances in Oregon. I’ve participated in too many to get online and rate them all, and they are all top notch. However, PYP is special. You get to camp in a park that is traditionally limited to day use. You get to choose your surface type, your distance, and how many people you want on a team. The trails are beautiful single track, and there is probably only about 5% road if you choose to run the trail option. It’s a beautiful area, and beautiful time of year to be outside racing in Oregon. Did I mention beer, movies, chocolate fountains, an incredible volunteer staff, and well stocked aid stations? If you are coming from out of state and thinking about a destination race, or if you are a local just looking for a great community race, THIS IS IT! I don’t have any photos to share, but I know there is a Facebook site specifically for this race (as well as most if not all the Go Beyond Racing events).

BMO Vancouver Marathon Review
5.0
  • Richard Brittin reviewed 1 year ago
  • last edited 1 year ago

This was my second marathon. Very well organized event. Didn’t plan to, but latched on to the 3:15 pace bunny, who was awesome. Full disclosure: I was a few minutes behind him at the finish! Wonderful volunteers who were really appreciated on a hot day handing out water and UL sports drink at the plentiful aid stations. Gear check was fantastic. Picked up stuff right near the finish. I’m not a veteran of marathoning, but I hope they all are run this well. Course has about 300 m of gain/descent based on my Garmin GPS watch.

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