By the time we reached St. Helens, we easily found Columbia Foursquare Church, found parking and went inside for packet pick-up. Since it was cold out, we opted to stay in the lobby until the start of the race. We enjoyed the warmth, the use of real bathrooms and a place to sit and chat. I was to run the 10k and Jason was going to run the 5k. At larger events we plan our meet-ups afterwards, this time, we will meet in the warm lobby! Easy.
At 9:00 am, the half marathon started. I ventured out to take pictures of the start and was blasted with the cold. I quickly took pictures and returned to the warm. About 35 runners were doing the half. The walkers started at 8:00 am and we weren’t there to see the start. This year, the event used staggered starts and Uberthons helped with the timing. Have you been to an Uberthon event? The timing system is awesome. When you cross the finish line, your name appears on the screen and your time.
At 9:15 am, I put on my big girl pants and took off my sweatshirt. I lined up with runners. At exactly 9:15, I took off for a lovely run. We ran through the parking lot to the main road. After that we turned down a side street and quickly approached mile 1. I was surprised how fast the first mile went by. I was passed by a lady who was very polite but spent the rest of the race about 50 yards ahead of me. She was my target. At the middle school was the turn off for the 5k and the 10k’ers continued on to the country. (The 5k started at 9:30). We soon found ourselves climbing a hill that didn’t look so big on the map. At the top was mile 2. We rounded a corner and found ourselves in the country with rolling hills, trees and awesome volunteers.
There was another hill and at the top was the turn around. It was nice to kick the hills butt and go down hill. By this time, the half walkers were meeting up with the 10k and it was nice to see new faces. I could not wait to go down the hill at mile 2 (for me mile 4) and when I got there, it was very anti-climatic. It felt a lot bigger going up. Around the last mile, I passed the lady who stayed 50 yards in front of me and was thrown for a loop: who was I going to chase after? We quickly made it back on the main road and to the church. Jason was there, freezing, but taking pictures. At the finish line, there was my name. I was surprised on my time. I ran hard and had a good race. At the finish, they handed me a reindeer bell.
I finished with water, a banana and a candy cane. I must highly recommend this event! Reindeer Run was awesome. They had awesome volunteers, a great course and very organized. This event was supportive to all types of walkers and runners. It seemed like everyone in St. Helens came out and supported the event. There were aid stations every 2 miles with bathrooms. There were volunteers at every corner directing traffic and cheering on runners and walkers.
We waited around to see our official time and headed home to continue on with our holiday spirit. I am planning on Reindeer Run again next year. Both Jason and I were impressed. Maybe next year, we will see a reindeer?