It’s official, I have a new favorite half marathon. The Hero-Up Half Marathon and 5k doesn’t have a spectacular course or fancy expo, but I love the heart behind this run. It’s not just a 13.1 mile run, but an opportunity for a community to come together to remember a very special little boy and help other kids fighting cancer. Last year, the Hero-Up Half Marathon and 5k raised $8,000 for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. ALL net proceeds from this event go directly to fighting childhood cancer, making it especially appealing for me.
This event is just plain fun. Everyone loves Superheroes, adults included. Growing up, we all have had a Superhero we wanted to be, and this run lets you channel that childhood fantasy. Having fun in a cape and mask, while being a hero of sorts, fighting childhood cancer- the fun with this event starts before you even hit the pavement. The course itself is mostly flat, weaving around Cook Park, Tualatin Park and industrial areas of Tigard. It’s well marked and tons of volunteers line the course, making sure participants don’t t miss a turn. Volunteers always help make an event, but the capes and knee highs with Superhero flair were especially fun. Every mile was marked and there were quotes along the route from Nick Fury to Batman, I just wish those were on their website. I’m always looking for good mantras.
Race Directors, Darcee Burnett and Jennifer Nichols definitely pay attention to details. Water and electrolytes were offered every couple of miles, which isn’t that special, but I appreciated that all of the water stations (minus one) were cold. I’m always grateful for anything wet, but they went the extra step and made sure we had refreshing water. The water bottles at the finish line were packed in ice and absolutely amazing after a warm run. I know it sounds ridiculous to get excited about something so minor, but when you usually get lukewarm water and you get spoiled with cold stuff, you can’t help it. Their attention to the little things made a big difference.
I’ve spent the summer nursing an injury and I can’t think of a more perfect run to get back into it with. Registration was easy, packet pick up was fast and they started the half marathon pretty close to on time. A late start is usually a pet peeve for me, but this one is an exception. We took a minute to remember Keith who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at age 3 and taken too soon. He loved Superheroes and running and that love is passed on to so many kids with this event. The smiles, giggles and sheer thrill on their faces make this event. Keith’s family and community are making him proud, I’m sure.
The Hero-Up Half Marathon is my new annual run and not just because there are flushing toilets at the start, although that’s a huge bonus. The course is fun, even if only to just look at the Superheroes around you and cheering you on. The shirts are true to size, another huge thing for me and the medals are fun bling. Truthfully, though, the reason I will do this run every September isn’t because of the course, the shirts or the medal. I love the heart and spirit behind this event, the families having a blast and enjoying time together. For me, that’s what sets this run apart. Families making a difference for kids with cancer and creating memories at the same time, the Hero-Up Half Marathon and 5k is pretty much a perfect run and would make any Superhero proud.