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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).

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.

Five on Friday: 5 Races to Run on 2015 (And Discounts!!!)

The Friday 5 Link Up that has been hot on running social media has really got my attention and has me dreaming right now. It has me dreaming of all the races that I want to run in the future. This is the first time I ever did the link up because I wanted to throw my 5 in.

1- The San Fransisco Marathon: (July 26th) I have made no secret that after I ran it in 2014, that I have a lot of love for this race. photo34 Last year I had the honor of being an ambassador for them and I am proud they asked me back for a second year. You can read my recap . I will be honest, this is a tough course. It tested me and kicked my @@# hard. But it I can not explain how flat out beautiful being able to run The Golden Gate Bridge, being able to over look the ocean and all the time you spend in Golden Gate Park is. It really did teach me a lot about how tough I could be when the chips had been down. I mean, this race got so crazy for me, my water bottles started to leak for the first time in five years. But I met some of the most amazing people during the course of the race weekend, got to see things I never imagined I would see (someone ran a half marathon in bondage gear), I got hugs from random strangers, met the best #hostelrunners, and just in general had such an amazing experience. I am anxious, excited and just flat out ready to be able to try this again. I am putting everything I have towards making this my marathon PR time.

And I have a discount on this one.
You can use TSFM2015Bonnie to save 25.00 on the any of the events.

2- The Seattle Marathon (November 29th): I am not an ambassador for them. (But I wish I was) And honestly, this is the race I love to grumble about. Some of this course is really tough and the two years I have ran this it has been so cold. But it holds a special place in my heart as this is where my marathon PR is. This is a stunning course to run as it takes you through Lake Washington, you get to run on the floating bridge, and you really get to see some of Seattle’s best scenery. One of my faviorte parts other then Lake Washington is getting to go in the Freeway Tunnel. You get some of the best echo’s as people love to scream. What I have always loved about this race as it has always stayed affordable, I would really put near or the top of the list when it comes to being a well supported course. Every where you turn you have people cheering for you, people wanting to see you do good. On top of this, the Seattle Marathon staff is super when it comes to communication and customer service to their runners. This course is also one of the best when it comes to being slower runner/walker friendly and they even allow walkers to start together earlier to ease a bit of the congestion.

3- The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon (April 26th): Three of my 5 marathons are from this event. And being it is my first marathon it will always hold a special place in my heart. I have said this before, I can’t explain this marathon until you are there and you run it. This supports the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum and is the biggest fundraiser that the memorial has every year. This is a race you are truly running for a reason. This race starts with 168 seconds of silence to commemorate the victims of the bombing (which leaves runners in tears) , and as you go through out what is a surprisingly scenic, beautiful course you see names of all of the victims. This one also BY FAR has the best water stops. (Gorilla Hill?). The only draw back on this one is the corrals get congested. But I think a lot of this comes from everyone wanting to be so close to the action at the start. The course is beautiful, and not as challenging in comparison to Seattle and San Fransisco, but the weather can push you hard. I can never recommend this race enough to all abilities, all ages and someone who really wants to run for a reason. I promise you OKC, I will be back.

4- Vancouver USA Marathon (June 21st) : The last two years the universe has thrown me curve balls that have kept me from running this one. But I have ran the half twice, and it is always one of my favorite events. And if you ask any of my local running friends, its near the top of their must do list. The half course is scenic (other then a small trek through Vancouver industrial district) as it takes you on the Columbia River and through Fort Vancouver. I also like how the community comes out to support the event, and if you can’t tell this is a common thread in races I have listed. The course has a couple rather challenging spots, but this is a good race for anyone just starting our on the half marathon trail because so many people will be out there doing this for their first one. One of the major post race benefits of this race is you also get the chance to attend the Summer Brew Fest that share the space with the finish line area that weekend for free. I mean FREE BEER? What is better then that? This one is brought to you by Energy Events, and it is a company that really does a lot to help in their local running community. In terms of local Portland races, I can’t put anyone at the list higher then Energy Events.

5- Run to Stay Warm (November 22nd) : : When I am talking to friends in Eugene, this one is my favorite to talk about. Run to Stay Warm is a very small race that takes place in the heart of University of Oregon territory.

2013 EWEB Start
2013 EWEB Start
This is a half-marathon/10K/5K option that takes you through Eugene’s big trail system. You spend time on the water, you go by Autzen Stadium, in some of the best parts of Eugene. The thing that always gets me about this race is every penny out of this races goes to raise funds to help people pay their heating bills in Eugene who might have challenges paying the bill. I run this race every other year (this is one weekend away from Seattle). This is another race that is very all abilities, all ages friendly. This is also a great way to break into the half marathon scene without breaking the budget as the half marathon is 35.00. This is another one where the volunteers are part of what makes it special.

Those are my five. I know I can’t make running all five work this year because of the wierd financial things going on, but they are five that are special to me for all different reasons and the five I will always talk about and recommend.

And one special bonus code. How would you like to run the
SJRAMB15296 saves you 25 percent on entry fees? Look for something more on this race later on.