Participants were able to pick up their race packet, bib, and event shirt on Friday at Sweet Spot Skirts, and same day packet pick up was also available. I opted for the same day pick up as I drove up from Eugene to participate. It’s always very much appreciated when races offer same day packet pick up, especially for those of us who travel to awesome events like Cosmo 7k!
My mom tagged along with me this year, which was awesome. We arrived at 5 p.m., and parking was a very easy. We walked a very short distance to the start/finish line at the Artillery Barracks. As this is a 21+ event, before you could enter the pre- and post-race festivity area, you had to go through a security line to obtain a pink wrist band, which indicted you were 21+. This lined moved very quickly this year (thank you! last year it was a sluggish).
Past security, I was able to quickly locate the packet pick up area and obtain my race bib, goody bag, and event tech shirt. Similar to last year, this year’s event shirt was awesome – love it!
My mom and I used the extra time before the race started to check out the vendors. There was a wide array of vendors, with some of my favorite ones being Luna Bars (handing out samples), Alex’s Lemonade Stand (free pink lemonade), and Sweet Spot Skirts (lots of ladies were checking out and purchasing new skirts!).
After wandering around and checking all the vendors out, we snuck into the porta potty line before it got long. When we were finished, the line was very long – I hope everyone made it through in time for the start of the race.
Approximately 5-ish minutes before the 6 p.m. start, an announcement came for participants to start lining up. Getting through the small entry/exit to the festival grounds proved a bit challenging just due to the numbers of participants. Two exit points to line up would have been awesome to keep the flow moving.
Just a tad after 6 p.m., the race started. It was a mass start, with three indicators of which ‘corral’ you should line up in depending on your per-mile time. This is also where two exit points to line up would have proved their usefulness fully; the single exit point put participants right into the ‘middle-to-fast’ participant line up area. If you wanted to line up in the slower pace or as a walker, you would have had to battle the crowds to get into the back, so a lot of walkers were up front right out of the gate, causing significant jostling for the first half to three-quarters of a mile.
After weaving through the beautiful grounds of Fort Vancouver, we exited onto the streets of downtown Vancouver. Flaggers were at every corner directing traffic, and keeping participants safe. Passing Esther Short Park, where there was a big brewfest occurring (which meant a lot of spectators cheering us on), we could see the first aid station was in sight just past the Hilton.
Once past the aid station, we ran under the Interstate Bridge and began the journey along the Columbia River on the multi-use paths. Again, wonderful flaggers were helping participants get down the pathway and keep patrons entering/exiting restaurants moving. Running along the Columbia River is always a joy, and with the heat and sun shining brightly down on us, the cool marine air felt fantastic.
During the stretch, I was pleased to see that it was going to be an out-and-back style along the river, which is the same as last year. This course is simply fantastic. As I was headed on the ‘out’ portion of the course, the super-fast women, vying for first place, were running back towards the finish. It’s inspiring uplifting to see so many women running so very fast! Wow!
When it was my turn to be on the ‘back’ portion of the course, again, it was wonderful seeing all the participants heading the other direction. Women of all shapes, sizes, costumes, etc. were out there pounding the pavement and having a ball! It was so joyful to watch everyone completing their own journey to the finish line.
Once the out-and-back portion was complete, we ran under the railroad bridge, where there was another aid station. Perfect placement, by the way! Then, we headed along the pedestrian pathway over the freeway, to connect back to the Fort Vancouver area. Passing the historical relics still located at the Fort is a delightful sight.
The last push was up a moderate hill to get to the finish line. You could hear the cheer and energy emanating from the finish line for the last approximately one-third of a mile. It sure made the feet turn over easier to give a little extra kick across the line.
Once I finished, I headed for the Cosmo line (yes, believe it or not I didn’t first stop at the post-race food area … I just had to get my hands on that finisher glass!). The Cosmo’s were lined up beautifully, and you collected your beverage in a custom martini glass. These martini glasses are legit – very unique, and they have the race name on it, so you can always remember where you earned it! I love this! Also, a huge kudos to event organizers, as this year, they had ice available to put in your Cosmo to make it chilled again. Last year, the drinks were warm.
After meeting back up with my Mom, and enjoying “drink #1”, I located the “drink #2” staging area. These were mixed in your original glass, so they were freshly made. I have no idea what exactly this drink was – except it had Three Olives Vodka in it, the same as the Cosmo, but it did taste good! Again, ice was added to chill the beverage.
After enjoying my beverages and cheering on finishers, it was time to head out, as I had to get back to Eugene at a somewhat decent hour. Exiting the race area was a piece of cake, too, as cars were not parked on the course area, so participants could leave easily when they needed to.
Another great race by Energy Events! I am already penciling in the 2016 edition of the Cosmo 7k on next year’s race calendar. It’s a wonderful evening event, with a fabulous event tech shirt, custom martini glass to commemorate your finish, a beautiful course, and a unique distance – 7k! And – Cosmo 7k is coming to Bend on September 19, 2015 – so get registered if you can attend!