On Sunday, October 26th, I eagerly jumped out of bed and applied costume makeup as part of my "race gear" for Terrapin Event's Run Like Hell half marathon. The theme was "Under The Sea" and with the ominous, large octopus (or is it a kraken?) on the medal, I decided to dress as something a little ominous and possibly a little malevolent. After weeks of putting together (and test running) my costume, I was ready to go! I decided to dress as a ghost/victim from the Titanic for the theme.
When my friend and I arrived at the race, we quickly made a stop for pre race business (which translates to short lines at the porta potties.) and jumped into the end of the crowd for the half marathon to begin. We were running a bit late so we missed queuing up and the pre race jitters and excitement as racers wait for the bull horn to sound. As we joined the back of the pack for the race, the count down was underway and we were off and running through the damp and cold streets of Portland.
It wasn’t long before I was feeling some of the hills our fair city has to offer, but my friend Dayna wasn’t winded at all and encouraging me to not give up so easily. She dressed as “shark bait” with her life guard gear on over her running clothes. We had a strong wind storm a couple of nights before the race, and there was still evidence of the damage done with some branches and debris on the ground, but nothing too out of the ordinary for fall running with rain and wind. The weather even held out for us, for the most part. We did get some intermittent rain which would give me a chill if I didn’t keep moving. The wind wanted to help propel us forward or push against us and make us work for each step. Weather can certainly make any run an adventure!
On my adventures through the course, we came up on the 5K and 10K runners about 6 1/2 miles into the race. That was fun, motivating and lifted my spirits to see the other, energetic runners starting their race. There were some very creative costumes and I enjoyed all the cheers and waves I was getting for my costume. As I approached aid stations, I would exclaim in a dejected voice “Where are the life boats?” And when I got to the aid stations with cups of water or electrolytes I would explain, “I need champagne. I’m in first class.” I worry now that I may have been taken seriously and my costume and character were not matching up. Hopefully the joke was obvious, otherwise I am mistaken for being a big jerk!
Just before mile marker 8, we came to the “Musical Mile” which was billed as 12 blocks of 12 unique local musicians to play for participants. I didn’t count how many bands were there or were playing, but it seemed to go by too quickly. I really enjoyed the bands that did play and wished there were more! (I did not bring headphones/music with me.) Not long after “The Musical Mile” I ran near the train tracks and a train on the line was coming to a stop. I smiled to myself as I recalled the delay last year and how frustrating that had been. It was a feeling of triumph to be able to skirt the train this year and not have to worry about it or any delay it might cause.
There were no delays at all for me, as far as traffic was concerned. The police officers stopped traffic when runners were nearing the intersection and when it was clear, directed cars to proceed. The TriMet MAX did stop on the course, but as I approached, it moved on again and my way was clear. That may not have been the luck of all the participants, but I had no issues whatsoever with any of the locomotives or automobiles in our fair city.
As we reached the 11 mile marker, Dayna finished the race at her pace (which was much quicker than I was able to maintain). As I completed the last few miles of my race, I kept seeing this creative couple. He carried the large net the entire half marathon and would sometimes swing it above his head as if he were trying to capture that butterfly a few steps ahead of him. It was fun to watch and I was impressed that such a prop did not mess up his gait, though he did say it was light.
As I came near the finish, the runner who had been just behind me said something about “Here it is! Here’s our finish!” and I hoped to sound encouraging and exclaim “We’ve got this!!” but as I tried to muster the last bit of steam to hurry through the finish line with a “strong finish”, my legs just didn’t have it in me. I did finish though with my head held high and Dayna exclaiming that the life boats were here at last! I was awarded my finisher’s medal and so happy. We hobbled over together to the festivities to see if the costume contest had happened or we still had a shot at it… but I missed it by approximately 10 minutes. Bummer.
I did, however, capture a photo of one of the winning costumes! This seahorse was one of the costume winners.
I suppose that the next time I put a lot of thought and work into a costume in the hopes to participate in the costume contest, I am going to have to run a shorter distance or be a lot faster with my pace. I’m just not fast enough! The party was still going on when I did get to the finish and I enjoyed the live music, conversation with other runners, free beer and vegetarian chili. Yum. There was also soda (root beer) available as an alternative to beer.
We had some speedy runners on the course and you can check out the results HERE. One of our speedy runners was Julia Webb who set the Stroller Running World Record 10K with a 38:15 finish time.
There was a miscommunication and a box of medals did not make their destination to the finish line, which resulted in some participants not receiving their finisher’s medal at the race. If you did not receive your medal, contact Terrapin Events (if you did not do so at the event) to coordinate your medal being mailed to you.
As the party started to thin out and I snapped some pictures of the costumes around me, someone asked if I was with “the boat.”
“What boat?” I wasn’t sure what we were talking about…
“The Titanic costume.”
“Where!? I must find them!” I frantically scanned the crowd just as my friend Dayna saw them cresting the top of the stairs at the Pioneer Courthouse Square. I hobbled through the crowd as fast as I could move and screamed, “Someone stop that boat!” When I got to the top of the stairs, they were nowhere in sight. I started screaming “Titanic! Where is The Titanic?” and saw them enter a crosswalk to go on their merry way toward their next destination. Luckily they heard my pleas and willingly posed for a photo with me. My ship had come in (before it sank).
I had a lot of fun and look forward to next year’s race and to start planning a costume for the next theme. Next year, I won’t miss that costume contest…