**Written by Guest Blogger Molly Hottle**
December weather in Oregon can be unpredictable, so I was nervous about what Sunday, Dec. 15 would bring for the 2013 Foot Traffic Holiday Half 5K. Fortunately, temperatures were in the 40s and the snow at the start line was just artificial. It was truly a wonderful day for a 5K run!
The start line was crowded as half marathon runners and 5K-ers milled around for the start of the events. But once the half marathon began, the crowd thinned out nicely. We began our 3.12 mile journey not long after.The course had just a few slight inclines at the very beginning, but flattened out quickly. The route proved to be a good one for both first-time 5K participants, as well as veterans. I enjoyed foggy views of North Portland, the Willamette River and Forest Park as we ran our way through the Overlook Neighborhood.
Support from spectators was a pleasant surprise. Families living in the area turned out with signs and cheers for all runners. The carolers and volunteers along the route also provided some holiday cheer.
The turnaround point for the 5K route was just after the two-mile marker, which made the dash to the finish seem very quick. The downhill slide into the finish line came at exactly the right time for weary runners. And the warming tent, food and drinks were a welcome sight at the end of it all.