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Race Recap: 2015 Fort Vancouver Run 5k

What a gorgeous morning for a run! The Fort Vancouver Run took place on Sunday, March 1st. It was 32* when I left my house at dawn. I’m pretty sure the temperature dropped a bit as the first sunrays appeared, but it was all good: I was running my first run of the year after taking a few months off from races because of injury.

I arrived at the race about an hour before my start time, which is how I like it. I still had to pick up my race packet and definitely appreciate the time cushion. Parking was not a big issue for me since I spotted some street parking right away, but I saw several runners arriving after me having to circle a bit before finding a spot. Energy Events had sent an email with a map designating approved parking lots, but it appears that something changed last-minute and the closest and biggest lot was not available for runners after all.

Packet pickup was smooth, I took a look at the half-dozen vendor booths, greeted some friends, and then went back to my car to warm up for a bit. I was still able to hear race announcements, and was happy to hear that the bag/clothing check tent would be open until after both races had started to allow for a last-minute jacket drop.

Ft Vancouver Run 5k start

The 12k racers took off on time at 8am. Despite the relatively small field of runners, there were pace signs at the start and runners were released in three waves 30 seconds apart: <8 min pace, 8-10min and 10+ min/walkers, which helped stretch out the field.

After the last of the 12k participants had cleared the start area, EE took some time for minor reconfiguration to set up for the 5k start in the opposite direction. Runners and walkers started to gather and line up by their pace. We were sent off in three waves as well, and for my pace that meant no congestion on the paths.

The 5k course was very nice! We started out on paved paths past Ft Vancouver and the pedestrian bridge across the highway. It was good to take the “slippery when wet” signs seriously, since there was frost on the composite deck boards. I passed the 1 mile marker feeling good, and cheered on fellow blogger Joe Dudman as he was leading the pack on his return towards the finish (spoiler alert: He ended up taking home 1st place overall in the open and masters divisions). We took a minor uphill into Vancouver towards Ester Short park to the water station/turnaround, and headed back the same way we came. I paused to walk up the pedestrian overpass, but was still feeling well enough to pick up the speed again afterwards.  I could see the finish line and time clock, and I picked up the pace to finish with a sub-32 chip time, which was better than I had hoped for, and it gives me hope that I can reach my sub-30 goal later this spring!

The final push towards the finish line

After the race I caught up with some fellow Run Oregon bloggers and enjoyed the Jamba Juice, bananas and Gatorade. I was looking forward to a PB&J that I had watched volunteers prepare, but since it turned out to be just peanut butter (no jelly) on the bread, I changed my  mind. I checked my results and ended up getting 2nd place in my age group! That hasn’t happened in a really long time, so thank you to all you fellow F40-44 age-groupers who stayed home!

Overall a very pleasant morning and a well-organized small-ish run. I can definitely recommend this race for an excellent experience. Complete results can be found here.

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