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Race Recap: 2015 Blooms To Brews…a Flat, Fast, and Memorable Race!

Pacers lined up and ready to go! Photo taken from Beast Pacing

Normally when I write a recap of a race, it generally consists of the same type of information such as: course difficulty, scenery, how well staffed the event was, etc - things we are all pretty interested in knowing, which will help us decide whether to attend the event the following year. This recap will still cover all of those topics, but not from me. My contribution to this recap will cover something that I've taken for granted in past races, but never will again. We all run races with the assumption that the race will go smoothly, and if there's any emergencies, the race staff has a plan of action and qualified staff to handle them. Some of you may have spent more than one race in the Medic Tent with a sprained ankle or post-race dehydration, but what if it were more than that? Do you have the confidence in the Race Director that you'll be safe? If you had such an emergency at this year's Bloom to Brews Marathon, the unequivocal answer would be a boisterous roar, YES!!!!! How do I know? Simple.......I had one.

I won’t be spending the recap talking about the play-by-play of what happened, but in short, starting at mile 3 and ending at mile 4, I developed a potentially life-threatening severe allergic reaction. This not only caused my body to be covered in hives and severe swelling, but my tongue was severely swollen and my throat was closing off. I stopped at the mile 4 water station, where they immediately radioed in to the race medics for assistance. In no time, the medics were at my side and whisking me away to their base camp, throwing an IV in, filling my veins with medication, attempting to get my blood pressure, pulse, and details of the what just occurred. I didn’t even realize they had already called for an ambulance, when my health took a turn for the worse.

My blood pressure was near non-existent, and I nearly passed out while vomiting with the wave of nausea that erupted out of no where. The next thing I know I’m at the Legacy Salmon Creek hospital ER feeling much, much better! As I reach into my handbag to find my phone to alert my husband of my whereabouts, I notice something that wasn’t in there when I started the day. Inside, was a beautiful medal covered in bright flowers. Elba, the Blooms to Brooms race director, had passed along a medal for me in hopes of brightening my day once I recovered…

Now that I was feeling better, I wanted to go back and earn my medal! 🙂

I’ve been in the healthcare field, including emergency medicine for almost 15 years now, so I’ve seen a lot of good emergency communication and bad…good EMT’s and bad…I think it goes without saying that THESE people were the good. Thanks to the quick thinking of the volunteers at the water station, the swift action of the medics on scene, and the foresight from the race director to have a plan of action prepared and vocalized prior to the race, I’m alive to write another race recap. There is no higher praise that I can give to everyone involved with this years Blooms to Brews Marathon, than to let fellow racers know that your race experience AND health are in good hands during this event.

Now, since I didn’t get to experience the REST of the race (and I DID promise you that it would be covered in this recap!), I took some time this week to interview two fellow Blooms to Brews participants who DID get to finish the entire course.  One person was Elaine Knipe and Summer Carter, who both participated in this years’ inaugural full marathon distance.

#1:  What did you think of the course in respects to difficulty, scenery, course volunteers, etc?

Summer: “The flat marathon course had enough turns/loops to keep it interesting, and running through the farmlands was peaceful. We ran along the river for a while, but there weren’t many views of the river…a little bit of a disappointment, as I imagined running right along the river, but it was a nice day and I enjoyed the views of the vineyards, open fields and farms. Running on the gravel dike at mile 22 was tough on tired legs (and I had to really watch my footing so I didn’t trip over rocks ), but we weren’t on gravel too long. The “blooms” were only at the end and were quite beautiful, but they were gone quickly. The volunteers were aplenty at the water stops and did a GREAT job at handing out water/Gatorade. They could have done a bit better at directing runners at turns/splits, but they really did a good job manning the water stations. My overall impression was that it was a really nice course to run on for 26.2 miles!”

Elaine: “I thought the course was pretty good and I only remembering two little inclines nothing big. The rocky trail was a bit of a challenge on my tired legs, however, it didn’t feel that it was a damper. Very scenic and loved the field of tulips it was a nice treat. Volunteers were awesome and attentive to directing me at needed times and had water ready.”

#2:   What did you think of the post race activities?

Summer: “It was great to hear my name announced at finish and what an awesome medal! It would have been nice to have volunteers passing out water/Gatorade at the finish (there were only tiny Dixie cups of water and my husband had to go track down Gatorade). Timely awards ceremony, a great variety of good beer and music. The only complimentary food for runners was a plate of BBQ beeff either on bread or not, which I personally did not find the most appetizing after running for almost 4 hours. Others obviously enjoyed this and it is what they advertised, so I didn’t expect anything more. There was post-race massage available, and a good variety of vendors.”

Elaine: “Post race was definitely a plus, I was able to be in the VIP tent and it was a treat with the great beer and wine, a buffet of yummies, and the two comfy sofas available, as well as the 2 massage tables and foam rollers available to start the recovery.”

#3: What was your overall take on your experience at B2B and would you recommend the race to others in the future?

Summer: “This was a well-run marathon for an inaugural event. Packet pickup on race day would be a HUGE help to those of us driving from an hour or more away. I would definitely recommend this small marathon to those runners who want a flat, fast course with beautiful scenery and plenty of elbow room, but I would warn runners to know the course so they don’t miss a turn, and to temper expectations of solely running alongside fields of blooms or solely running alongside “breathtaking” views of the rivers. The country landscape is still nice however.”

Elaine: “I found the event to be organized and safety for the runners was definitely of concern with plenty of the medical and police on site (which is a plus!). It was a very festive event with all the cute girlies with dressed in flowers from head to toe, the flower walking around the event. These touches made the event very enjoyable. I would recommend this race in 2016, for I have already been encouraging to register for the fun, by posting on my Personal Facebook page”.

Registration is already open for the 2016 event, so take advantage of the VERY early-bird pricing, and come look for me on next years course…..because next year, I WILL finish the course hives free!

One of the several relay teams at the finish line! Photo taken from B2B FB page.

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About Chere' Nicholas (35 Articles)
I'm an active person who loves the outdoors! Im married with two daughters, and have worked in healthcare for nearly 15 years.

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