So when we knew we would be presiding in the great northwest this year we decided we really should run some of the local races. We looked around and found that the Rock N Roll Race Series does a few races that are in easy driving distance so we signed up for Rock n Roll Portland and then joined a Team in Training group to run the Rock n Roll Seattle.
A few weekends ago the Rock n Roll Portland was held and so Saturday morning we drove down to Portland to pick up our packets and bibs. We got to the Expo about 2pm and grabbed a few items and then headed off to dinner with some of our new northwest running buddies. I had not had a chance to pick up the makeup I needed for my costume so we made a quick stop by Sephora, which was conveniently located within walking distance of the restaurant where we had dinner. Then it was off to bed for a somewhat early morning.
I woke up an hour before my alarm. I had a costume that required some makeup to be applied and since I am not a makeup person I knew I needed to give myself ample time to apply it in case I needed to reapply it if I did it wrong. So I rolled out of bed since I wasn’t sleeping anyway and started getting ready.
Once we were both ready we drove over to the starting line. The race started at 8am which is just lovely compared to the Disney 5:30am start. We rolled in about 7:20 and explored the area around the finish line while we waited for the race to start. It was misting a little but the weather did not call for rain until later in the morning so we stood under a tree to keep as dry as possible.
The time came to move into the corrals. Bill was in 18 and I was in 23 the last corral. The cutoff time for the race was 4 hours and I know I can beat that so there was no stress but there was the ever present pre-race jitters. As we stood in the corrals it took about 45 minutes for everyone to get started and as we stood there it started coming down buckets. Luckily for me I had a ponch in my Camelbak pack so I pulled it out and put it on until the rain lessened right before my turn to start. I got the poncho stuffed back in the pack a few minutes before it was time to take off.
Now I have only run Disney half marathons and I was very excited to see how the RnR events compared. Many of my friends have enjoyed them. We started off and the first 5 miles are an out and back through some Portland industrial area that was not very impressive. About mile 2 there was a DJ playing music and trying to get everyone into a party mood. He was in a location where you would see him at mile 2 and 3.5 so it covered a nice portion of the course. We ran through the city and then across the bridge and around northeast Portland which is an area I am fairly familiar with having visited my step-daughter when she went to Reed which is in southeast Portland. While I ran I made friends with other people going about my pace. I had a great time meeting new Running Ohana (family). Every few miles there were cheerleader groups or dance groups dancing and cheering and bands playing and drummers drumming.
It was so fun seeing so many people out. Once we got into the neighborhood areas in NE Portland there were people sitting on their porches cheering and parents and kids standing on the sidelines. I knew there were only about 20 people behind me so my guess is they just came out to support everyone, which is totally amazing.
Portland is it’s best self in spring. The flowers are all in bloom and scent the air. Portland in Spring is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever experienced. Portland is called Rose City and it is very aptly named. That being said I had to stop on the course and smell the roses.
Towards the end of the neighborhood areas there was a group of young ladies out dancing on the corner. I am fairly certain they were not officially part of the race but just out showing off their stuff.
My race went very well. Lately I have been training my long runs with Team in Training which means I have been walking with some of the lovely ladies in my group but I haven’t really done a long run at my pace so I had no idea what to expect. I haven’t seemed to become particularly faster over the last many months but in reality I have. Jeff Galloway, a trainer I follow, says that your training runs don’t need to be particularly fast in order to be effective and as usual he is right. I ran 6 minutes faster then my best time from January and that was with having to stop for a couple minutes for traffic a few times. All in all I loved the race and would absolutely recommend it to friends and family.
Then of course since we were in Portland we had to stop by and grab a couple donuts.