On Sunday March 2nd, my daughter and I braved the cold and ventured out the Fort Vancouver 10k and kids race. Three years ago, I ran my first organized race at the Fort Vancouver run so this run will always hold a special place in my heart. I was glad to be able to run it again this year, yet this time with my daughter.
We arrived at the race at approximately 7:45 which gave me 35 minutes to pick up my packet, use the restroom and get ready for the race. Parking was relatively painless as the event is held in the Fred Meyer parking lot. We went to pick up our packet and race shirt, however they were out of t-shirts when I arrived. This has been my second experience with Energy Events not getting a shirt because they ran out. I registered my daughter for the kid’s fun run that morning and then we waited inside Fred Meyer to warm up before the race. I enjoy the convenience of having the race start at a grocery store. I forgot my headphones and was able to run in and grab a new pair before the run.
At 8:15am we braved the cold, headed to the back of the corral and waited for the 6k and 10k races to start. The 15k runners started before us at 7:45am. The race began by having us run through the parking lot and along the road that parallels Highway 14. The portion of the run through the parking lot was a bit congested, although I was pushing a stroller while trying to weave past the walkers. Next year I will try to remember to not start in the very back if I plan to run, as this course is open to a combination of walkers and runners.
We ran under the Highway 14 overpass and turned left on Columbia Way and headed to Marine Park. By this time the realization of the weather that morning had hit me. It was freezing, wet, and I became suddenly jealous of my daughter just sitting there relaxing in the sealed up stroller. After grabbing an electrolyte drink and water we turned around and headed back to the intersection at the overpass, but this time we headed towards the Columbia River. It was foggy so the gorgeous river was barely visible behind the fog. We ran along the walking path on the waterfront and headed west towards town.
At mile 4 runners were directed across the road by volunteers (thank you volunteers) and under Highway 14 to the walking bridge that led runners through Fort Vancouver. A water station was positioned at mile 4, again filled with both an electrolyte drink and water. From that point it was a short distance along 5th street and back to the Fred Meyer parking lot. We finished under the race arch and heard my name on the speakers as we passed by. Awaiting our arrival were the friendly volunteers handing out Jamba Juice samples. We took a sample, grabbed a banana from the food table and went back insides to warm up.
We had approximately a half-hour to wait before the kids race started. We stayed inside the entire time due to the cold, wet weather. We were not alone too, as most of the runners were huddled by the door that was nearest the race to keep warm. We heard the announcement that the kids races were starting so we hurried out. One of my favorite parts of the Energy Event races is how family friendly they are. There is almost always an inexpensive kids race, and it comes with a t-shirt and medal. We have participated in many of the kids races but this one had a smaller turnout. I’m assuming the weather had something to do with that. We stood at the starting line and followed the race directors lead and we did our pre-race stretches. At the sound of the horn we were off. We ran in a loop through the race area and back to the start, a very short, yet perfect distance for my 4-year-old. She received her medal and we headed home. We decided it was too cold to hang around and check out what was at all of the tents.
The race bib had a free beer ticket included on it, although you had to reclaim your beer at the Rock Pizza Restaurant across the street, which we did not do. Overall, I enjoyed this race and plan on doing it again in the future.