I am a convert.
I used to think the Rock’N Roll Marathon series was just the big Walmart of races.
No more. I get it. They are the standard of runner friendly races.
I got the chance due to good friends to run Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon in Portland. (Thank you Steve and Gregg) I went into this race with some trepidation as I ran a half two weeks before. But I was excited to finally see why those who really love the event series see in it.
The weekend in Portland started at the expo. The expo takes place at the Oregon Convention Center and the one thing I really like it the flow of the expo. You pick up your number, walk through and pick up your shirt and then continue through the shopping areas. It flowed and you never had to wait for anything.
I visited with my friends at Nunn and picked up a new bottle for my ever growing collection of bottles and enjoyed chatting with a lot of vendors.
The shirt was a topic of a lot of conversation. Some loved the design, some didn’t quite get it. It was a dark blue Brooks shirt with the saw cutting (like you would see at The Timbers game) runners and trees. I get it, and I get its relationship to Portland, though it didn’t really have a relationship to Rock N’ Roll or any music whatsoeverI figured going into race morning it was going to be chaos, but it was not really. I got to the race about an hour before the start and had zero line for my bag check and I found my corral quite quickly. Because I was back in 15, and that was one of the biggest openings for people to get to the start at times it got really crowded around me. The race itself was delayed due to mass transit (Okay, is there a race that is not delayed in downtown Portland thanks to Tri-Met?) But they kept people entertained and honestly it was a great time to take selfies.
The course is beautiful but the first part is pretty challenging. You head through downtown and across the Broadway bridge and into the Irvington area, the tricky part of this course is right after the 3 mile mark when you start climbing, according to the Runstastic you literally climb upwards 100 feet in elevation in a little less then a mile.
I really wish I would of gotten more photos of the course, as it is really an amazing course and one of the few races that run the east side. Its challenging and scenic all at the same time as you are going into one of the older parts of Portland.
The course is also well supported, I have never seen water stations so well manned and so spirited other then maybe OKC. You had gel at 7.8 which was a perfect point to have one.
The course has a great downhill stretch going down the crazy Hawthorne district, I really felt like I was hitting my stride on those downhills. And it makes for a great view of Portland.
The finish took you across the Hawthorne Bridge with a quick around the block before you finish. Now I have to admit,the finish line is awesome. They had laid out the infamous PDX Airport Carpet to greet you. Then you collected your finisher medal and flowed through the finishers area which had plenty of post race goodies.
And then so you didn’t have to cause a bottle neck at the finisher line you had the option to stop by the informationbooth which had another swatch of the PDX carpet to get photos.
The post race expo area had no log jams, and you got your beer and a chance to enjoy the post race concert. Though this is the one thing I wish they would change, with the late start, those of us who are towards the back of the pack did not get to partake in the headliner. But I love Hit Machine and have seen them several times at races, so I was happy.
The race itself was not my best or my worst. To me it was a measuring stick as to where I was for my future goals. I for one enjoyed how into the race everyone was and how runner friendly the entire event is. I get it, and I will be back to RnR next year.
I knew a couple weekends ago when I ran the Pacific Northwest Marathon that it was a different and very special event. The event director defiantly has an enthusiasm and looked at the event differently then a lot of event directors I have met along my journey.
They announced a new event that will take place on May 30th 2015. This is a Community Service Day. The race directors, volunteers and race participants will meet up near where the race started and take to the neighborhood to help clean up neighborhoods and parks that helped host the race. This is the races way of saying thank you to all those who helped out during the race.
Those who participate will be given a 30 percent discount on next years race.
The only thing I can say is this is awesome. I wish I could justify the cost of making another trip down there because I would do it in a heartbeat.
If you havent figured it out.
I am obssesed with Skirt Sports. Always have been since day one of my journey.
I have had the pleasure of running a couple of their events virtually, and I will probably be doing this one as well. (I just want another skirt, there is no shame in this) but this will be a great event if you are in the Colorado area.
I am proud to be a Skirts Sports Ambassador. It is a company that has not only supported me as I started on my journey. Even now, the truly believe in my story, but they even through the fact running has been less about racing and more about staying connected to the fit, strong capable me had meant the world to me.
Which is why the #RealWomenMove campaign has me so excited.
Skirt Sports defined #RealWomenMove
“We’re on a mission to empower unmotivated or intimidated women and young girls. Let’s show them what it looks like to make health and fitness a priority, despite the daily obstacles that get thrown in our paths. It’s that simple
“Who is a REAL woman? She is proud of who she is. She is confident. She does not judge, but rather encourages other women. She is comfortable in her own body. She accepts and loves herself as she is. She prioritizes health and fitness.”
I honestly think Skirt Sports nails it with their definition. But let add to the definition with some real life definitions in my own life. These women should know who they are.
To the woman who fought through depression, self doubt and pain to compete in her first fitness competition this weekend and has found her true confident self again. You never gave up on yourself even when the clouds had been darkest.
To the woman who is refusing to let oral cancer bring her down and define her. You fight with a smile and a laugh and continue to do everything you can to inspire others.
To the woman who knows she is still in a process of learning all about fitness herself and is still fighting challenges, but she refuses to let those challenges stop her, and decided to start a group to help others learn from each other.
To the woman who makes it a point between raising a son as a single mom, working and going to school to make her health an priority. Your gym posts always inspire me to get moving.
The the women (I know, but its a group) who don’t care that they will always be towards the back of a race, but they are out there giving it their all, and to the women who might be at the front of the pack, but cheer for the back of the packers and encourage their fellow runners everywhere.
It is not about size, it is not about weight. We as a society get so focused on being skinny, eating right all the time, the scale, not liking your body because your weight isn’t down. Its about accepting the challenges that life throws at you, realizing no one is perfect but doing everything you can to be the best you.
So here is the challenge for you.
Post your own #RealWomenMove stories, photos ect to social media using the hashtag #RealWomenMove and #SkirtSports. For every 5,000 hashtags, Skirt Sports will donate a “Get Started Scholarship” that includes a Skirt Sports top, bra, bottom, hat, socks, and a free entry to your first 5K (or comparable race). Submit your story or nominate a friend today #RealWomenMove
I will be attending this event (as long as the bus works)
Contact: Crystal Mai Purdy
Team Red, White and Blue : Portland Chapter – Athletic Director
Memorial Day WOD With Warriors : 21 Guns
WHAT: WOD with Warriors is a functional fitness tribute workout held twice a year on/around Veterans and Memorial Day at gyms all throughout the country/world. WOD with Warriors supports Team Red, White and Blue, whose mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their communities through physical and social activity.
SIGNIFICANCE: A 21 Gun Salute is the Nation’s highest display of honor, appropriately reserved for our Fallen troops on Memorial Day. Our WOD intends to replicate this, to honor our Nation’s Warriors, past, present, and future. The 21-minute workout and 21 repetitions signify a 21-gun salute, and the 5 exercises are one for each Branch of the Military.
WHO: ANYBODY/EVERYBODY is welcome to join! Registration is FREE.
(You can also make a $10 donation to Team RWB if you wish.)
Visit- www.WODwithWarriors.com to register.
WHEN: 24 MAY 2015, Sunday @ 2:00pm
WHERE: Inner Beast Crossfit :
1703 Beavercreek Rd., Oregon City, OR 97045
Instructor: Cameron Kerns
WHY: Our goals are to help people remember and observe Memorial Day in a respectful, reflecting, meaningful way and to provide an opportunity for veterans to connect to members of their community through functional fitness.
Sorry for the play on words, it just rolled out there.
When the opportunity came from Beast Pacing to jump into the water for the first time as a pacer, I was nervous but I decided it would be a good new half marathon challenge for me. The Pacific NW Marathon is a brand new event for the Eugene area. It would be a smaller event that advertised itself as an all abilities friendly event. So I had figured that it would be a good one to see if pacing was something I could actually do. (I freely admit, I have had a track record of having miserable pacing instincts) I was put at the 2:55 pace, which I knew was totally doable so I did a lot of work to try and make sure doing.
Packet pick up for this event was at Valley River Center at the Sport Authority. It was well organized and I was in and out very quickly. The team at packet pickup was very friendly and very excited that I had made the trip from Portland.
Now, let me emphasize something. The Pacific NW Marathon is a no frills event,which is not a bad thing, I think it leads to the fact its more of affordable race. The packet consisted of your number, your really pretty event shirt, and a few coupons from local sponsors. The race was to raise funds for Girls on the Run of Lane County.
Race morning was Saturday morning which was a first for me in Eugene. The race started at 7, and I managed to get to the race early for the first time in a long.
They had a vacant shop opened up for day of race packet pick up. Which allowed everyone to stay warm and cozy inside until the race started. They also allowed you to leave your warm up clothes inside.
The start of the race was well organized. Beast Pacing only had three pacers for the half, myself, someone at 2:25 and someone at 3:25 who took an early start. So we made sure to spread ourselves out with me being parked at the back.
I met three ladies as we had prepped for the start who all had goals of running sub 3’s on their half. One of the ladies had been running with her son who was a first timer out to support his mom and two girls who are best of friends one running her first.
We took off at an agreed upon 4 min running, 2 min walking cadence which banked us enough time for walking the water stations.
The course was a different course then I have done in Eugene, it was closer to running Springfield. Each turn was marked with chalk, even when they did not have the volunteers to man the station (I think with this being such a small event and being the weekend before the Eugene Marathon made it harder to get volunteers) it was easy for us to figure out where we had been going though we literally had been running as a group by ourselves. The course itself was quite beautiful with some scenic views of the rivers, some of the farm land that I had never seen.
The water stations had been small and manned by one or two people. The first one was near mile 3, which is probably my only real complaint about this race. Also, I think the GPS was way off, but I had this measured at 13.3 miles. It happens a lot so its not a big thing for me, but I know for some it is.Our group was AMAZING. We spent a lot of time talking about our individual running journeys and we also may of may of not been the Proclaimers a few time on the course, which caused the marshals to start dancing with us.
Our group got separated around mile 7 as the mom had been having blister issues and the girls ran ahead a bit. I caught up to the girls, one of which was running her first half. And we ran together, I tried to do everything I could to motivate and encourage the girls because at this point we had all been feeling it.
As we came back around, I encouraged the girls to get ahead of me, because I had a few seconds to burn on my pace.
We got our finishers medals, and fluids and enjoyed a really well organized stretching area from Oakway Fitness. Again the post race was no frills, but I am okay with that if it makes for a more affordable event. The mom and son finished just a few mins behind us.
All four people told me that they might not of been able to do it without me, which was very humbling. And for thefact that I was freaking out about the pace, my official time was 2:54:47, which was almost perfect.
The race director found me, and asked me what I thought about the race. The one thing that kept getting to me with this race was how inclusive it was. I have never seen a race where the elite runners actually took a couple seconds of energy to tell the BOP (back of packers) that we had been doing a nice job. And the volunteers had been so energetic and on top of their game. This race defiantly had its growing pains, but for the first year it defiantly found a way to differentiate itself from the rest.
I want to defaintly thank Vanessa at Beast Pacing for giving this first timer a shot. And the race director for taking the time to come talk to me just to see what I thought. I will be back.
Disclaimer: The Color Run has offered up the free entry for readers of The Zombie Running Princess. No other compensation is provided.
I have had the pleasure of being part of The Color Run’s blogging team for the past couple years. It is the truly the definition of a family, all ages friendly event, and is more like you party when you run.
And this year they are turning up the shine factor, as they present the Shine Tour.
They describe the tune up.
“Everyone in 2015 will receive a limited edition Shine Tour Participant Kit, including: custom race tee, gold finisher’s medal, tricolor headband w/ silver stitching, brand-new shine packet, and shiny tattoos. Talk about “bling” with benefits!
We’re pumping up the 5k course and finish festival too! Look for a unique Sparkle Zone and killer photo ops on course. At the finish festival, get ready for confetti cannons, shimmering clouds of color, and more!”
Yes, BLING!! I have to admit, my love of bling makes me look foward to doing this even more.
If you don’t know what to expect, watch the new video
Last year, I ran at PIR (Portland International Raceway) and it was really amazing to see so many people of so many ages, and so many abilities out there, moving and having fun. And of course getting messy.
It is always well organized and a different energy then you find in most running events. It is not the event to go to if you want to run a PR, you are not going to do it. This is not about taking running seriously, this is about getting out and really celebrating. It is about celebrating being able to move, celebrating families, celebrating color, celebrating good health, just honestly it is about celebrating. I was able to join a friend of our family as she walked in her first 5K, and for us it was celebrating her accomplishment.
The Color Run is giving me a chance to give away an entry for any city in the 2015 tour, plus they are offering a discount code. Check out the Gleam giveaway at the bottom
When my whole journey started. I said it was never going to go further then loosing the weight and maybe running a 5k.
Excuse me while I laugh loudly.
Four years ago this weekend, I did the one thing I never thought I would do.
After visiting the OKC Memorial Museum the year before and hearing from one of the ladies there about how truly special the marathon was and how it brings their community together; I made the decision that if I was going to try to run one, this was going to have to be the one. I had no clue what I was walking into, and I honestly had no clue what kind of challenge it was going to be.
Anyone who has ran OKC will tell you that this is truly a special event. It is the key fundraiser for the memorial that commemorates the events of April 19th 1995. It’s focused on remembering those impacted, those lost and remembering the impact of violence, and remembering that we are stronger then that violence.
They call it the Run to Remember.
I admit, I did not know what I was walking into when I decided on that race. I never realized how much harder training would be on that race compared to the halfs (which I was starting to feel comfortable on).
I have to admit it, ever since I went nuts and jumped into the world of the full’s I realized how much stronger I really was. Marathons are tough work.
But the people in OKC are amazing. I have yet to run an event that has such a special feel. Everything is out there for one reason, to remember and to tell the world that we will not be defined by the violence. The water stops are small parties. There is always an encouraging group of runners to help you through the tough stuff.
I never thought I would do more then the one. I have been back to OKC three times (I really wish I could be there this year) battled in Seattle, ran and been an ambassador twice for SF.
OKC will always have a very special place in my heart. As I said when I was there last time, I am not done with you. I don’t think I ever will be.
I was bad.
I never posted the April challenge.
Anyhow. I remember this from last year. It is one of my faviorte challenges, and the most doable if you dont let that 20 miler get to you. (Advice: take the 20 miler at your pace, dont let anything push you into a pace you dont want).
Click on the poster for more detail:
I have had the pleasure of doing a lot of volunteer work in the past year with the team at Good Sports Events, so when they told me about the entire idea of a Twilight Half Marathon, I have to admit, I was really really curious. This would be the first event of it’s type.
The event will be on July 11th, 2015 at Vancouver Lake Park. The race will feature a 5K, 10K and a half marathon distance. The course looks amazing, it would give scenic views of Vancouver Lake, as the sun sets on the Columbia River. The course elevation is flat, there will be a hearty meal afterwards.
And lets talk about bling.
The race benefits Childrens Cancer Assoication.
And we all know how I like race affodablity. The 5K is 39.00 and the 10K is 49.00 and the Half is 69.00. This makes this race one of the more affordable on the spectrum.
I asked the event director to explain the event for readers.
Nobody likes alarm clocks.
That’s why the Twilight Half Marathon (July 11th, Vancouver Lake Park) starts at 6pm. Get a good night’s sleep, spend the day however you want, and run when it’s cool.
The course is pancake flat, making for a fast, easy run…and maybe even a PR!
The scenery is spectacular, and so are the goodies: an adorable owl medal, matching owl flashlight, and a one-of-a-kind, glow-in-the-dark owl shirt.
The after-party includes music, free beer and wine, a hearty meal, and maybe even a dip in Vancouver Lake.
This unique, evening event benefits the Children’s Cancer Association, which brings joy to children fighting devastating illnesses.
Complete details available at www.TwilightHalf.com