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Race Review: Race to Remember Veterans Day: 11K might be fun?

I hate 10K’s.

I have been pretty clear before, its my least favorite distance on the planet.

So I have to admit, the idea of a 11K was not totally exciting to me. But I do love Race to Remember and I love what they do to support our local veterans so when the opportunity came up to join them I was not going to turn it down.

Race to Remembers mission: (From their website)
The purpose of our “Race to Remember” is to make sure that our communities Never Forget the sacrifice(s) that our brave men and women of the military make to protect our Freedom. We currently organize three races, Race to Remember for Veterans Day, Race to Remember for Memorial Day and United We Stand for 9/11. In addition to racing we organize and participate in other events that honor and support our Veterans like Military care package drives, Honor Flight flag escorts, Honor the Fallen Events, Veteran moving assistance, as well as providing opportunities for our local youth to better understand the true meaning behind the Veteran and Memorial Day Holidays. Our ultimate goal is to build partnerships with other organizations in our communities and throughout the nation to help us honor and support our past and present Veterans. As a long term goal we are also working towards establishing a scholarship for the children and spouses of fallen veterans.

Part of this is their two major races along with a few smaller community runs through out the year including the Veterans Day Run.

The event was the kick off to the annual Veterans Day Parade at Fort Vancouver. It featured an early half-marathon and a 11K and 5K that started closer to the kickoff.

All three courses took you through the best parts of Vancouver, Washington going down through the historical Fort

The course was peaceful and amazing.
and down on the Columbia River (other then the climb exiting the Fort which zero people really enjoy especially in the rain as it gets slick and the combination of slick and climb. Yeah not really). Its scenic and shows off some of the best parts of the Pacific NW.

Now something to be aware of. This race is super small, super well supported and improves every year. (Its actually quickly becoming one of my highlights of the year.) But that being said, there had been some little glitches but its stuff every race faces (Note to self: Bring safety pins for bib next year). But one thing I love about Claudia as a race director is she wants to know how to get better and does every year.

I went out too fast at the start and I knew it later, but I was feeling strong. My first three miles had been well above my averages but it was raining and I was cold and I wanted to get going.

And I paid for it right at about mile 3.5 I was just dead and slowed down. The turn around could not come soon enough. Despite the rain they had a great group running the water stations and just enough to make the distance berable without having to bring my own.

I picked it back up in the last mile and a half and pull an 11:45 mile off for that race which is great for me and

Finish Line
faster then the 10K from a few weeks ago.

The post race was small but had everything you needed to replenish and get your energy back (including beer).

Race to Remember is defiantly a smaller race that has the potential to continue to grow and get better every year. I am excited to see where the next few years take them and I will be supporting their next steps.

Note: I receive a free entry to the race in trade for some extra social media love. These opnions are that of my own (I would be running it anyhow).

Preview: AFSP Out of the Darkness Walk

On October 7, walkers will take to the streets of Portland for the Out of the Darkness 5K Walk. This walk is a special event of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide.

This is the largest fundraiser for AFSP every year. To quote them because they can explain it better then I ever can.

“The Out of the Darkness Walks are proof that when people work together they can make big changes in the world. They are AFSP’s largest fundraiser – they produce millions for suicide prevention programs, unite those who have been affected by suicide, and create communities that are smart about mental health”

There has been a lot of talk about suicide in the last few months and a lot of mis-conceptions about it. There are many faces, many stories behind suicide.

The walk will start at Veterans Memorial Colosseum and take the waterfront loop from the Eastbank Esplanade, out to the Hawthorne Bridge and then across the river to the west side, through Waterfront Park and back to the Steel Bridge and across.

You can find out here more: AFSP Portland

Why I Run? We Race to Remember

Why do we race?

We Race to Remember.

On November 11, 2017 Race to Remember will be hosting their annual 11K/5K/1K in Vancouver Washington as the kick off the the annual Ft Vancouver Veterans Day Parade. If you are not in Vancouver you can join them honor your veterans virtually. Instead of giving you a traditional preview you can read last years recap Race to Remember: Veterans Day here. The specifics of this years race can be found here: Race to Remember

As I have been more involved in these groups, I have heard more stories then I have space to recount. I have found my why.

I have been lucky.

I have a few close friends that I consider brothers that have served our country. I have seen these brothers share their stories, share the trials and tribulations of being in a war zone, they bring the same strength to their civilian life that they had in the service. They battle demons with a smile and an inspirational outlook. They have also watched helplessly as friends that they served with lose those battles.

I Race to Remember them on this Veterans Day.

Through my work, I have witnessed first hands as service members who have lost limbs in the service found the

The shirt says it all
strength in themselves to be adaptive athletes taking on races some of us only imagine and turn around and serve as an inspiration to other athletes to show what is possible. I also witnessed first hand as that same inspiration helped me face fears I never thought possible to conquer.

I Race to Remember them on this Veterans Day.

I Race to Remember my grandfather who served with the Army in WWII. He never shared many stories of his time, as he helped at interment camps. But he was always fiercely proud of being veteran. My uncle carried on this tradition with his service in the Navy.

I Race to Remember them on this Veterans Day.

Even if you can’t join us, I encourage you to run for the veterans in your life this Veterans Day.

I race to help Race to Remember push their mission forward.

“Race to Remember” is a nonprofit organization “Race to Remember” is the name of our nonprofit, formed in Vancouver Washington 2009 after our founder Claudia Cardenas lost her fiancé Jason Vinyard a 20yr Army Veteran serving at Ft. Vancouver at the time of his passing. “Race to Remember” mission is to support and honor our past and present military heroes. We host several events throughout the year including three races. During every event we host or participate in we remember and honor those who fought for our freedom. Outside of racing we organize military care packages; and engage with the community by coordinating such projects as “Soldier in the Classroom”, “Thank You Cards” and “Books for Soldiers”. Our immediate goal is to form partnerships with local business and other veteran organizations to help us best serve veterans in our communities. Our long term goal is to establish a college scholarship for the Fallen Heroes children and spouses.

Disclaimer: Race to Remember comps my registration in trade for my social media outreach. My opinions are that of my own

Race Recap: Dreaming in Rainbow: Why you should do The Color Run every year?

How do you take Portland’s iconic Portland International Raceway and turn it into a dreamland?

Ask the folks behind the scenes at the Color Run. They have that magic. And that magic gets better every year.

Ill say it early this year. This is not the run for you if you want to be fast and serious. But you need to do one once in your life time. You will understand it. This is the time for you to be a kid and just have fun. It is best said on their website.

Less about your 10-minute-mile and more about having the time of your life, The Color Run is a five-kilometer, un-timed event in which thousands of participants, or “Color Runners”, are doused from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer. With only two rules, the idea is easy to follow:

1 Wear white at the starting line!
2 Finish plastered in color!

Before I go any further, I need to give The Color Run a lot of kudos. There have been huge issues with races and communication in the local area and a week before is when the Eagle Creek fire hit the Pacific NW and Portland was a mess of smoke, haze, soot ect. They stayed in constant communication with participants about their plans.

I was a little worried this year as I was not able to do an early packet pick-up. But we got to packet pick up on Saturday morning and it was super easy and manned by some of the happiest volunteers I have seen at races. Our group changed into our white shirts and headed straight for the start line.

I have said this several times before in talking about The Color Run. They have the start line down to a science.

How many times can you be proud of being a unicorn?
They let groups of runners out ever 5 or so mins. You are never feeling crowded, rushed or clogged. The DJ knows how to keep your energy up and entertained. The weather unlike last year was amazing.

This years first color was not a color at all. It was foam! Two blue unicorns greeted you and Foam machines turning the road way into a pile of fun suds. Seriously you felt like you had been walking on clouds, and the foam was everywhere.

I might of been acting like a kid here.

The common theme with the Color Run is they get better EVERY year. This year was the first year they actually had mile markers out on the course. Also music was spaced at random places where you could get your groove on. Also water station was placed right at the half way point. The only issue I had and I think I say this every year.

More porta-johns.

We continued on through the color stations. Every station was a mini party that this year had its fair share of dancing color throwers. This year they introduced a new color, purple. Also they introduced with Cricket a Cricket color zone which would dump green on you from above.

Its a medal… and its a Unicorn WIN WIN!!
The finish line you got your UNICORN MEDAL (you heard me, I said UNICORN) your color packet and post run water. Lays had their new popables for your post race snack.

Then you could enjoy your post race party with limbo lines, dancing and of course the famous color throw.

I will do this EVERY year. It is fun to see families out together enjoying getting active, its fun to go dancing through the color zones. It is seriously the most fun I have being active all year.

You can find out more about The Color Run: It is an affiliate link, be warned

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