If you’re looking for a winter half marathon in the Portland area, the Holiday Half (and 5k) by Foot Traffic is the BIG one. The one that everyone goes to. It’s like the Shamrock of this season. Winter races tend to be pretty sparse, and half marathon distance races are even more infrequent this time of year. So if you want to do a half marathon in Portland in the winter, WITH a medal, this is pretty much the one that you’ll run. This year’s event will feature a “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” (claymation version) theme, a long sleeved, v-neck tech shirt, and an ADORABLE abominable snowman medal (it may seriously be in the running for the cutest medal ever).
Last year I PR’d at this race–it’s definitely flat and fast, and there are plenty of aid stations. However, the bag check/claim is a little on the slow side, so be prepared to either stand around in the cold, or bring a disposable piece of clothing.
After the race, there’s hot soup, hot oatmeal, cold craft beer, and other treats. There are some heat lamps under a tent in the finish area, but it gets pretty chilly. I loved that there were tons of photo ops before and after the race, both inside and outside–including some backdrops that had snow machines. While it was a bummer you couldn’t be inside if you had food, it was still nice to have a warm place to be inside for a bit.
This race is capped at 4,500, and as of November 12th, they were 90% full and will probably reach capacity by Nobember 24th. Register now to make sure you get one of these adorable medals.