Guest race recap: Klickitat Half Marathon

This recap was submitted by Run Oregon reader Mike Grimshaw. Feel free to Submit a Guest Post in the “Contact Us” tab if you want to get involved.

The CCRC crew have been doing a road trip out to the Klickitat Half Marathon since its inception, so I’d heard it was good but being a slow learner I’d always managed to come up with an excuse not to make the drive. This year though we decided to make it a family affair. My son Daniel had been training hard this season with his High School Cross Country team so moving up to a half marathon wouldn’t be too big a jump. My wife Helen and two younger kids were pumped about entering the 5K. The drive wasn’t so bad, the scenery was spectacular, which is one of the reasons I love living here in the Columbia Gorge. The run was based at the local school so packet pick-up was in the warm. We hung out with friends and made sure to enter the raffle.

The half course is a linear trail following the river valley from Lyle back up to Klickitat. Don’t be put off by the “up” bit as the incline is very gradual; it was an old rail line. We all boarded school buses to get to the half marathon start, leaving our warm stuff on the bus to pick up at the end. The marathon runners had already started from Klickitat an hour earlier and were on their way down to Lyle. After a few photos and quick speech from the CGRC people (these peeps really know how to put on a race by the way) we were on our way. I decided to tag along with my son and we settled into a comfortable pace watching the speedy people disappear into the distance. We spent the first few miles chatting, trying to keep the pace easy & checking out the wild turkeys and dramatic views of the river.

Although you had to be quick when looking around as the footing needed a reasonable amount of attention; I have an allergy to falling over. Daniel started to slow down in the middle part of the race, it’s a kid thing, we all did it and for most of us it takes a few decades to learn to pace judgment. He was stronger than he realized and managed to pick up the pace through some of the wooded areas. It was fun congratulating the marathoners as they came past in the other direction. The 5k start was a welcome sight as I could tell Daniel was digging deep. He did brilliantly though pushing to the line and we crossed hand in hand, that was a father son moment I will never forget.

The food at the end was amazing with various soups, potato and leak was my favorite, chili, nuts, pie and cake, cookies (hey I had just run a half marathon!) and some very tasty apples too. We hung out enjoying putting a few calories back and listening to a very talented young lady singing, before venturing out to cheer a few marathon runner friends in. Heading home we were already making plans for next year’s race.

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