The weather held out on the morning of April 19th, for the runners participating in the Hop Hop Half and 5k race. My daughter and I have been excited for an Easter themed race we could both participate in for a while and although she didn’t run in the race the after party activities were very appealing to her.
We showed up at 7:10am, 20 minutes before the start of the 5k race, and were directed to park in a big empty dirt lot on the side of the road with the rest of the runners. I was a little worried about being short on time but we were able to park, get our bibs and still have plenty of time for pictures before the race. There were plenty of port-a-potties and I didn’t notice any lines. Included in our race packets were long sleeve tech shirts in a dark grey color which I really enjoyed.
At 7:25am the 5k runners and walkers were directed by the race volunteers to line up and cross the street towards the start chute. I entered the chute approximately two-thirds of the way back from the start. Once the horn blew we started running north along the road towards Marine Drive and the Columbia River. The path was narrow, allowing only 3 or 4 people to run side-by-side at a time. This made it very difficult to run with a stroller. I was weaving in and out trying to pass all of the walkers and the runners who had a slower pace than mine. It took almost a mile to get out of the pack and have some room to run. At approximately ½ mile into the course we turned onto a bike/walking path that paralleled Marine Drive and headed East. The view of the mountain was breathtaking.
Volunteers were there to help us cross the road to follow the path to the opposite side of Marine drive. This side of the road had a fantastic view of the Columbia River. It was another quarter mile before we came to a turnaround directing us back along the path we just ran and back to the finish line. I expected a water station to be at the turnaround but there was not. Luckily, I had brought water with me and I didn’t need any additional water along the course.
As I finished the race with my daughter holding my hand from inside the stroller, we heard people cheering and were greeted by volunteers handing out a single tulip to each runner. We headed over to the water station to fill up before going to the after party area.The after party food was provided by spin event catering and included delicious eggs in a croissant, with cinnamon rolls, bananas, and mimosas. We got our food right away before the line formed and spent our time at the after party painting Easter eggs for their Easter egg decorating contest.
Overall I thought this race was great and well organized. My small suggestions would be to provide a water station at the 5k turnaround and stagger the runners at the start into different pace groups to help prevent the bottlenecks that took place during the first mile of the race. Those minimal suggestions aside, I enjoyed the course, the race atmosphere, the egg decorating festivities, the food and the mimosas.