A review of the 2013 Winter Wonderland of Lights (There’s still time to sign up for this year’s event!)

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One of the Many Scenes that welcomes us on the course of the Winter Wonderland of Lights.

Here are a few highlights of Maryalicia’s experience at the 2013 Winter Wonderland of Lights. There is still time left to register for this year’s event THIS SATURDAY, November 29!

Winter Wonderland of Lights is a classic for the Portland Area. Once a year, Portland International Raceway opens their track to Participants to run/walk 1, 2 or 3 laps on the which equal 2, 4, or 6 miles during the Winter Wonderland of Lights Holiday Light Show. I can’t even tell you how much I enjoy this race. So much so, it is now on my must do race list every year.  There are easily over a 1000 people attending this event, and it is spectacular.

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Race Recap and Results: Mustache Dache Portland

Mustaches for all!

As fall/winter has rolled around I have, like many other runners, went ahead and changed the focus of my training. I want to be faster and stronger and I figured there was no better time to put that to practice than this last weekend at the Portland Mustache Dache. I knew a couple of things, that the race would be a lot of fun, that I was going to somewhere “random” in Beaverton (give me a break, I’m an East-sider), and that this race had a category 4 climb in the first mile and a half. I was right on all accounts, even if I wish I weren’t about that climb.

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Coach Jim’s free marathon training for Saturday, November 29, 2014

Runners on the Fanno Creek Trail, near the underpass below Scholls Ferry Road.

Runners on the Fanno Creek Trail, near the underpass below Scholls Ferry Road.

This weekend’s run is on one of my favorite routes in the Portland Metro area. Westside runners will have a quick drive to the start/finish in SW Portland, very close to Beaverton.

Where: Lamb’s Thriftway at 7410 SW Oleson Road

What time: The run will start at 8a, so be there by 7:45 to use the potty and find your pace group

Distance: 13 miles

Fanno Creek Route: This run starts at the Garden Home Lamb’s Thriftway grocery store shopping center, across Oleson from the Garden Home Rec Center. There is also a Starbucks in this shopping center, with ample parking and bathrooms and a water fountain. This is a nice run on asphalt paths with all major street crossings marked with stoplights.  Continue reading

Light and Easy, Smooth and Breezy: 5 Life Hacks for Running

Last year, I made an expensive running mistake. The darkness and fog promised by my early morning run made me strangely nervous, so I did something I normally don’t – I took my cell phone with me. Just in case, I thought, and stuffed it in the front pocket of my allegedly “waterproof” jacket. I was off in an October-in-Portland morning, so you can probably guess where this is going.

Weatherproof Electronics

Yep.  About 3 miles out, I got caught in an absurd downpour.  The skies opened and it was like running toward a water cannon. Unable to see the sidewalk before my feet, I soggily forged ahead, figuring I was – again- earning my Portland runner stripes.  What I was also doing, unbeknownst to me at the time, was frying the ever-loving circuitry out of my phone.

Save yourself the heartache of lost data and the wallet-ache of replacing it- plastic baggy your electronics – ALWAYS.  Even if it looks dry outside. You know better than to buy that, you savvy Oregonian you.

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Better a “weatherproof phone” than a dead phone.

A Turkey Run to benefit the Oregon Food Bank: Burn it off for Hunger 5k

For anyone still looking for a run on Thanksgiving, check out the 3rd Annual Burn it off for Hunger 5k Walk/Run held in downtown Portland.  All of the proceeds benefit the Oregon Food Bank and you can bring the whole family along. Kids, strollers and even leashed dogs are invited for this one. Registration couldn’t be easier, just bring a $10 cash donation and some non-perishable food and you’re ready to run/walk. Checks should be made out to the Oregon Food Bank and they will, obviously, accept larger donations. Participants should meet at the Salmon Street Fountain (1000 SW Naito Parkway) at 8:30AM. The run/walk will start and 9:00AM. Continue reading

Race Preview: Ho Ho 5K (X-Dog Events)

Ho Ho 5K

As we near the end of 2014, it’s time to think about a jingle bell run, and the Ho Ho 5K in Tigard is one that fits the bill. Traditionally, it’s the last event of the calendar year by race organizer X-Dog Events and also serves as a food donation drive. If you donate canned food, jackets, blankets, or pet food, you get a $5 discount off the registration fee (or the race shirt, which is not included in the fee).

Race finishers get hot drinks, HoHos (or some equivalently unhealthy but tasty treat), and a tree seedling. Rumors are that there will be a special guest appearing in a jolly red suit and a sleigh. Well, maybe more of a Subaru than a sleigh.

I’ve run this race twice before (though not last year when it was 25 F at race time and blustery) and enjoyed it each time. It’s been a well-managed race with a course that’s more challenging than it looks, good snacks, and a fun holiday atmosphere. Donations go to the Union Gospel Mission and the Oregon Humane Society.

Ho Ho 5K Race

When: Sunday, December 7, 2014, at 10 a.m.

Where: Cook Park, Tigard

Register: Online here; 5K run/walk, $20 ($8 for children 6-12; free for children under 6). $5 off registration fee with donation of any of the requested items.