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Disclosure: I am proud to help Race to Remember with their social media outreach efforts. In trade they offer me free race entries for my time. All opinions shared in this piece are my own.

Memorial Day is the kick off to summer. For some it means BBQ’s, vacations and the start of the warm weather season. But for others Memorial Day is a chance to remember the sacrifice of our military heroes.

Race to Remember is seeking to give people a chance to honor these brave men and women with our miles as they present their Memorial Day Run. They will offer a community one mile event, a 5K, a 10k and a half-marathon event that will take to the waterfront of the Columbia River. Personally this is one of my favorite places to run locally. The half course takes you through some of the most scenic parts of Vancouver. The 5K and 10K take you to the Columbia River waterfront.

I have ran races by the team at Race to Remember. They work hard for a family friendly, all ages and abilities friendly race.

These races will benefit Race to Remember which works in the community for projects that remember the sacrifice that our veterans have made. I have had the pleasure of working with them on welcoming the Honor Flights home and I truly love what they do.

The races also benefit PureKraze a military non profit based in Vancouver WA. who’s mission is to build homes for homeless veterans in our community. Veterans face many challenges after serving our country and fighting for OUR FREEDOM a safe place to live should not be one of the things they have to worry about. PureKraze is paving the way for providing homes for our veterans not just in our community but our nation.
Below are some statics on Homeless Veterans.
Homeless U.S. veterans (2012)
Estimated homeless veterans: 131,000
Estimated homeless women veterans: 13,100
Estimated post-9/11 veterans: 7,400
Estimated number of women post-9/11 veterans: 740
12 percent of homeless veterans younger than 34 are women
Jobless rate for post-9/11 veterans: 11.3 percent
Sources: Department of Veterans Affairs, Bureau of Labor Statistics

From their website:
Our “Race to Remember” Memorial Day Run is a timed event, which is open to the public on Memorial Day (Monday 5.29.17).  We want to honor all military fallen heroes, which is why the start/finish is at the Memorial Wall on Phil Arnold Way on the corner of Columbia Way in Vancouver, Washington. The Half marathon, 10K and 5K Route is an out and back course on the Columbia River trail. The first Half Mile is our Honor Mile, where we will line the pathway with the American Flags and pictures of military fallen heroes. The Honor Mile is a community walk and meant for us to slow down as a community and remember the sacrifice of our military heroes.  After the run enjoy Vendors & Meet Vancouver Veterans.

You can find out more details on their Facebook page Race to Remember: Memorial Day Run And you can register Register

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Race Recap: Race to Remember Presents Veterans Day Race: A new MUST DO in my calendar.

Disclaimer: I was given the honor of a free entry in trade for social media promotion of this race. My opinions as always are my own.

I have had the pleasure of working with Race to Remember and get to know their founder Claudia through some of the work I have been doing through Honor Flight. When she asked me to take part in the Race to Remember event for veterans day I was excited.

The Race to Remember Veterans Day Race serves as the kickoff to the Fort Vancouver Veterans Day Parade.

A little back story on the parade:
The Veterans Parade at Fort Vancouver was started in 1986 by a group of volunteers led by Mike Harding, who recognized a need in our community for a way to honor Clark County veterans and knew that a Veterans Parade would fulfill that need. With assistance and support from then Vancouver Barracks Commander Royce Pollard and City of Vancouver Mayor Bruce Hagensen, the first Veterans Parade at Fort Vancouver took place in 1986. Jerry Bloss and Fred Robertson took over as co-chairs of the planning committee and led the production of the parade for nearly two decades. Through rain, sun and even snow, dedicated volunteers have been instrumental in ensuring the annual Veterans Parade.

img_7331Race to Remember: Race to Remember is a non-profit organizations formed to honor our past and present military heroes. Our main mission is to NEVER FORGET their sacrifice and with every race or event we participate in we honor all those that have so bravely fought for our freedom. Outside of racing we organize military care packages, “Thank you Cards”, “Books for Soldiers” and help coordinate “soldiers in the classrooms”. Our ultimate goal is to develop a college scholarship for those that have lost a parent during their military service.”

The race itself started at the Fort Vancouver Visitors Center. The weather was less then steller for the event but more then 100 people showed up sporting the Red, White and Blue. Several people brought their flags.

Packet pick up was quick and efficient. Due to the fact this is a complete non-profit race and all proceeds for this race went back to the cause, the shirts had been optional (I bought one because they had been amazing) but the race had all the must haves a racer would like. Bag check was easy and they brought your bag to the finish line (which was about half a mile away.

The race started with a spectacular shot of a historical cannon. The race which offered a 5K and 11K options tookimg_7334 you down through Fort Vancouver. And up through the spectacular Lands End Bridge (even though I really do not like this hill whatsoever) and down to the waterfront in Vancouver.

This race was was well organized and the water stop was at the turn around for the 5K.

The course was challenging but yet gorgeous. Getting the energy off the parade set off the mood the weather set in. I was not planning for anything particular on this race as this was a tune up for my Seattle trip over thanksgiving. I was able to settle into my usual run walk and it gave me a chance to reflect on how lucky I am to have so many people who are veterans in my life who have made such a positive difference.

This course was not quite an out and back, and you finished just as the Fort Vancouver Veterans Day Parade started to make it’s first turn. It was amazing to be running by some of the bands.

You received a finishers medal, great food and beer at the finish line.

This is small race ran by a group of people who truly care for service members and want to raise awareness through running events. This will be back on my calendar for 2017.

All Aboard The Rescue Train.. Join us at Race For the Rescues

This is George your heavenly canine reporter encouraging all of my four footed earthly friends to get their owners to board the “The Rescue Train”. I was rescued after my first two years of living chained to a wall wondering if the big guy next to me might regard me as his lunch.

The “Rescue Train” will be arriving at the Portland International Raceway on Sunday October 11th bringing a fun Copy of PDX Logofilled morning of running or walking for you and your entire family. The Race for the Rescues offers a Kids race, 5K, 10K and a special 1 mile Dog Walk. You can also get your morning exercise in and run with your owners in the 5 and 10K. A beautiful finishers medal will be awarded to all those who complete the kids and 10K distances and a specially designed Tech race shirt will be given to all adult participants.

Some of your favorite vendors will be there which means lots of treats, water bowls and special attention. You will need to be on your best behavior even around those pesky cats that may be looking for a home as well as some of your brothers and sisters in fur who are currently up for adoption.

Food carts, a beer garden and special quests including the Timbers Street Team with some special prizes, and live music by Bridgeless and Summer will be on hand for your family. The entire event and festivities will be hosted by Claire Coffee, star of NBC’s Grimm.

This is the second annual event and 100% of the profits will benefit local rescue groups including “Lovers
Not Fighters” Pit Bull Rescue, “Must Love Dogs NW”, “Pacific Pug Rescue” and “Project POOCH”. High paws to all of you and others to that help to find us loving homes.

Going to grandmas or have other plans for that day, don’t feel like you lost your last bone, you and your
owner can help out the cause by registering for the virtual “Couch Potato” race. Entrants will receive
their shirt by mail shortly after the race.

To register simply paw your way to Race For the Rescues

Enjoy your day and keep in mind all of your fellow tail waggers you will be helping.

Editor Note: My mom; Kathryn Wilson wrote this blog in honor of our late rescue George. We will both be there in hise38077e83bdda17a9c04f52076c8159a honor and to help other rescues.

Ruby the RuniCorn takes on @Thecolorrun #shineon

My name is Ruby; and I am a Runicorn.

I am not just any unicorn; I am one of the many runicorns that you might see riding along with walkers and runners at your local Color Run event.

I got my name and my new home on Friday during packet pick up at Kohls here in Portland. Packet pick up is great.

Thats me! Ruby when I came home Friday night.
Thats me! Ruby when I came home Friday night.
You bring your confirmation, they scan it and assign you a bib. You pick up your shirt, headband, samples, and temporary tattoos.
They also have a small merchandise store set up so you can get your t-shirts, souvenirs and you can bring home your own runicorn.

Saturday morning arrived bright and early when I got shoved into my travel bag and took the long journey to Portland International Raceway.

Once you arrived and made it to the race area, you had a lot of booths with great vendors who wanted to give you free stuff, but we had been running a tad bit behind schedule so we headed straight for the start line.

The start line was well organized, they let groups of Color Run faithful out in intervals so the course would not get crowded. They even had bubbles! I went with my owner and her friends for the adventure. One of the neatest things about The Color Run is you see people of all sorts of ages, sizes, abilities, shapes and colors. This is truly the race for everyone and its the race where everyone supports one another and really does cheer each other on.

Our new owner tells me that the course changed this year, and it was closer to a 5K distance. It also did not have any gravel which made last years fun course even better.

Me, my owner and my pals at the Yellow!
Me, my owner and my pals at the Yellow!

You started with a cloud of glitter. For some reason I didn’t get hit with the glitter (and I am a Unicorn I LIKE GLITTER.) But the rest of the color stations all made up for it. The color volunteers are top notch and so energetic that this unicorn might of been caught dancing a few times. I think my faviorte was the Blue.
Once of the things my owner loves about The Color Run is how much they try and improve things every year. This year there had been two opportunities to get water, which was great because the course was hot.
When you finished you got your medal, and your color packets. This year it included one packet of glitter. The medals are new this year and they are quite awesome.

The post race party at The Color Run is epic and is something you have to witness. We got in on one of the last color throws, which was the most epic one I have ever seen. I got colorful.

I know my owner loves The Color Run; it truly a fun way to get out there, get active and truly celebrate (even if you don’t have a reason to celebrate) and it’s an event that gets better and better every year.
Make sure you check out The Color Run if it comes to town. Check out the schedule by clicking the banner below.

And if you use the code MLC768541

You save $5.00

And by the way…. I looked awesome

IMG_7772

Note: I have had the pleasure of being a Color Run blogger for the past two years and I am now a Color Run afiliate. By my opnions are truly my own. I love this race.)

$5 5k- Laurelhurst Edition: Not my prettiest 5K, but the prettiest 5K

If you have been with my blog or any length of time you know I am a HUGE fan of the $5 5k Series that is put on by the Portland Parks and Recreation Team. It is meant to be a family friendly, all abilities friendly and more important budget friendly series of races that feature Portland’s pretty amazing parks system.

Laurelhurst was one of my favorites last year. This year I had every intent on running most of them but my schedule has been nuts. But I was not going to miss this one.

The 5K here actually is challenging. The course takes you from the cottages (and bathrooms) and you head up and around the lake. Going up and down some little climbers before you take a straight uphill jaunt by the street before coming back towards the cottages. And you complete the course 3 times. It is truly beautiful, but just be aware when you sign up for this one that it does have some challenging hills that some kids did not like.

The nice thing. Is this race offers a pretty flat kids dash which is completely free. And no matter what race you IMG_7644finish; you get a finisher ribbon.

I have not been focusing on my 5K time for awhile and I honestly have not ran since SF. I really just flat out have not felt like running all that much. So I went into this with zero expectations. I started off really solid but the hills got the better of me and I felt the fact I have not ran as much as I should be doing. I ran decent, but no where close to a PR, or where I could be if I had been focusing on a 5K speed run.

This event is so fun. After the event people stay and root for each other, adults without kids cheer on each other. There is indeed some competitiveness, but its a supported environment.

The thing to know about $5 5K’s is they are no frills, but fun races. You will get little treats from the vendors to keep you fed, but you will get a number, a finisher ribbon, a well organized family-friendly and well supported event.

#WeShine with The Color Run Giveaway

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.

You can read my recap of last years event here.

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

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One Free Entry to Any Color Run Event

Celebrate Silas 2015: A Special Must Run #runchat #runpdx

Sometimes the smallest of events can bring the most meaning to you. The Celebrate Silas run which takes place this year on March 29th is one of those events.

I learned about this event last year through one of my dad’s nurses. I went into this one not know what to expect and now its quickly becoming one of my must run events every year.

The Celebrate Silas 5K is in honor of Silas who passed away of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This year he would of

We run and walk to celebrate and honor this little boys memory.
We run and walk to celebrate and honor this little boys memory.
turned 5 years old. After his passing his family received help from the Dougy Center. The ability to reach out to other grieving families helped them so much through their loss. The Dougy Center,provides support in a safe place where children, teens, young adults, and their families grieving a death can share their experiences.

They provide support and training locally, nationally and internationally to individuals and organizations seeking to assist children in grief. They are supported solely through private support from individuals, foundations and companies. The Dougy Center does not charge a fee for its services.

Every year since his passing have gotten together every year to celebrate Silas, and others who have passed to not only honor memories but raise awareness and funds for the Dougy Center. The group has grown in the past couple years as friends and family have passed the word on. Last year they raised 6,000 dollars for the center.

This is an un-timed event that just stays on the sidewalks of SE Portland. A lot people will take a side trip to the Crystal Gardens in the middle and leave flowers on a bench that was placed in Silas’s memory.

This year their goal is to raise 10,000 dollars for the Dougy Center. I would really like to see them do it. Your 25.00 includes a t-shirt and a great memorable event.

The start line will be at Duinway School in Portland. After the event you can stop back there for water, last year they had cake. Also, last year the Portland Fire Department brought out one of their fire trucks.

More Details
Celebrate Silas 2015
Duniway Elementary School
7700 SE Reed College Way
Portland, OR

March 29th 2015 9:00 AM

You can find more information and register here:
Celebrate Silas

Trio Fitness 5K Mutt Strut Run and Walk: A Virtual Best

A few years ago, when I had the pleasure to get involved with the FitBloggin conference; I met two very amazing and special people. Sue O’Lear and Samantha Collins. They inspired me to not give up on my Zumba dreams, and what little I knew at the time; these two where about to become gym owners.

They own Trio Fitness out in Wilson N.C. They will be hosting their first ever 5K on February 14th 2015 with a 5K training club this10891755_271011299689555_7423831144278480669_n spring to help raise funds for The Maggie Society Canine Rescue and Rehabilitation.

The Maggie Society rescues dogs from high-kill shelters and works with a network of volunteers and other rescue groups to provide medical care, fostering, and eventually loving fur-ever homes. Come meet available dogs, learn about fostering, and raise money for their cause.

Not only will they be holding an event in NC, they are also offering a virtual option. You hear me talk in some previous blogs about how much love I have had for the virtual race movement.

And it would not take too long of reading my blog to know my love for rescue and animal organizations. My little angel George was a rescue. (I just spent the last year fundraising for him).

I love these girls like family, and the atmosphere that they inspire is legendary. I know this is going to be a success for them.

If you are in the NC area, please consider participating. If you are not, please consider the virtual option. It is 25.00 and you get a shirt Trio Fitness 5K Fun Run and Mutt Strut

Oktoberfest Virtual 5K- AKA- Where did all that speed come from?

Note: Jost Running has been kind enough to invite me to participate in their fall series of events in trade for blogging about my experience. No other compensation was provided.

Just ever have one of those days?

You know you have.

When you are getting pulled in ten thousand directions, you have a plate full of things that have to get done, you are just not getting anywhere.

And it all feels like chaos?

That was one of those days for me today. I was a WRECK.

I was unfocused and a tad bit frazzled when my mail showed up. In the mail was the yet to be earned Oktoberfest medal from Jost Running. If you did not read my last blog. Jost Racing hosts a monthly virtual racing series that always benefits a charity. This months medal was for the Midwest Food Bank.

Because things have been far from normal for me, this virtual racing thing has been the perfect. It gives me motivation to challenge myself when racing may not be in the cards. Or it gives me a chance to challenge myself in my training without having to stress about the confines the race.

Today was just one of those days that I needed to have something to focus on. I went out to take a 5K on Willamette. I started out really fast, and I think it was just the frantic energy hitting me, but it felt really really good so I decided to go with it.

I knew the second my first mile was a 9:09, my fastest mile in at least a couple years (since I started to focus on the half marathons and full marathons) that I probably went out way too fast. But I made the decision instead of going back to my regular interval running I was just going to throw it all out there and see what was going to happen.

And it completely paid off.

I was completely spent after. But I pulled off the fastest 5K I have in a long time. It was nice to know that I could still pull that speed off when I was determined to do it.

For being a virtual racing skeptic, I am starting to see that virtual racing has an all upside. Its a great way to keep challenging yourself in between races or give you something to focus on when the world seems to be dragging you out of focus and you need to be centered. I have one more challenge to work on for them until next month.

You can check out Jost Running at https://www.jostrunning.com/ or click on the photo above.

My medal and the time that even shocked me.
My medal and the time that even shocked me.

All of the colors of the Rainbow- 2014 The Color Run

Portland International Raceway went from fast track to a festival of color when The Color Run made their mark in Portland on September 6th.

The first year that I ran this, I was a skeptic. It was not timed, it was not really a run, it was more of a social event. But when I ran it for the first time last year I was proven wrong, and this year they truly took the experience to the next level.

Now let me be blunt for a second. This is not a race for the serious hardcore racer. It is not timed, it is more of a party then a serious race. But this is what makes it a favorite for people who are accomplishing their first 5K as my friend Dana set out to do.

Packet pick up was at the Sports Authority at Jantzen Beach and it was flawless. I was in an out in less then 5 mins. And this year packets are head and shoulders above the year before including a sling bag for all your stuff, a headband, a rubber bracelet and your white shirt. I was also one of the earliest people to register which got me a very nice pair of knee socks (and we all know I am obsessed with knee socks) .

We left the North Portland area about 45 mins before race time which was perfect. Unlike last year, it looks like parking was considerably smoother then last year. We got to park close to the raceway entrance and walk into the starting line festival.

Right before Yellow
Right before Yellow
The race started promptly at 9:00 and groups had been released on the course in waves. Dana and I hung to the left as she was walking this for her first 5K. Unlike the experience I had last year, that actually worked really well and flowed.

Each color station is a true party. There are funny signs about the colors before each stop. There is always music blasting and the volunteers this year had a really good high energy. We started with pink, went through blue, yellow and ended with purple.

PIR is a pretty flat course though there is a small stretch of off road time because PIR is not a full 5K track itself. This does make it ideal and I know Dana was enjoying the ease of the track. Water was placed at the half way point and those volunteers seemed to have had as much fun as the color throwers.

I was really proud of Dana. She had been told several times that she was not going to finish it and she went out there and pushed herself. She was shocked with the amount of runners. But I think this is what makes this race special, the fact that people who would not normally be seen at a 5K are out there doing it.

Dana and I post Race
Dana and I post Race
The post race mayhem is always fun. You get the color throws every few mins at the stage. Tons of music, and tons of chances to take photos including the Shout 360 camera experience. (I still cant figure it how to get mine off my phone).

The bottom line with this race, is its a fun family friendly party. Its a event that all ages can come to, all abilities can come to and have a really good time and accomplish a 5K. The Color Run is staying true to its original purpose, to encourage families to get out, get active and have a great time.