Registration was easy and packet pick up was fast. The longest line was for the bathroom, but that can be said about most races. Flushing toilets inside and port-a-potties outside, I opted to wait inside and stay warm and loved having that option. Honestly, I didn’t leave the warm school until pretty much start time. Volunteers always make runs happen, including this one. They helped with traffic and parking, passing out water, keeping runners on the right course and everything else a race requires. I’d say they had the perfect amount of restrooms and perfect number of volunteers, which is absolutely necessary for a successful event.
The first several miles of the half marathon were flat. This, in ways, was my favorite section. The 10k and half marathon both started at 9:30 AM, so it was fun to have plenty of company as we weaved through sections of Forest Grove. While I loved this flat section with some speedy runners, it also set me up for a somewhat disappointing finish. I started out too fast, but felt good and figured I could keep it up. That enthusiasm ended around mile 4, where there was a huge hill. Fortunately, I could see a water station at the top, which helped motivate me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
A steep uphill followed with a long downhill stretch and then it felt like solid rollers for the remainder of the half marathon. Mile markers kept me going and aid stations were every couple of miles. We joined back up with the 10k runners for a stretch, until they turned off just after our mile 7 marker. The half marathon continued out for a couple of miles and then looped back to the turn off. I loved this stretch, getting to see the people in front of me as I headed out and the people behind me as I headed back in – everyone supporting each other with cheers and high fives.
I wasn’t prepared for the climb at mile 4, but I knew we finished with one last hill. I ran the 10k last year and remembered there was a short, but decent hill at the very end. Once you hit the top you’re pretty much back at Tom McCall Upper Elementary School and the finish line. Water, Y2K medals and hot pancakes were waiting for us at the school.
It was a great no-frills run, a later start time allowing me to sleep in and a perfect excuse to get out and see some familiar faces. The new Y2K Half Marathon had a gorgeous course, rolling hills and all, plus all sorts of wildlife I don’t usually get to see running in the suburbs. This is the first event I’ve done where I was sharing the road with horses and I loved it. Pretty scenery helps make a run, but it’s the volunteers and race organizers that actually make a run. The ORRC and their volunteers made the inaugural Y2K Half Marathon a success. Fun course, friendly faces and the weather even cooperated, I’ll be back to run it again, a little more prepared for those hills.