Bridge of the Gods Half Marathon & 10k is one race where you definitely earn your swag. The views are stunning, and being able to cross the Bridge of the Gods on foot is surreal–and the hills seem never ending. It is definitely a unique experience, and a great way to experience the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest–a staycation race! And while this year was second annual Bridge of the Gods race, it’s clear that the race organizers at Breakaway Promotions, clearly applied their extensive experience putting on running, cycling and other sporting events–overall, the race went very smoothly.
I wasn’t excited to wake up at o-dark-thirty to head out to Cascade Locks, but was grateful to meet up with some friends in Washougal to carpool over with. We parked near the finish line, and hopped on a shuttle bus over to the start (friendly note: if you haven’t run this event before, be sure to arrive very early, as finding parking and boarding the shuttles can take a bit of time). At the start, there was bag check, a ton of portapotties, and a plethora of snacks, including bananas, mini pastries, granola bars, strawberries, and other treats. Lots of photos were being taken, since the start was right next to the Bridge of the Gods.
Crossing over this bridge was a crazy experience. Being able to see through a metal grate to the water 140 feet below is a little unnerving, and the low guardrails made me nervous because I’m so clumsy. I tried to look straight ahead as much as possible, but I felt uneasy because the texture of the bridge underneath my feet felt so bizarre–it was rough and I felt like I was going to trip, and being able to see through it made me feel like I was simultaneously falling and flying. I’m not afraid of heights, but this bridge definitely gave me a funny feeling in my stomach!
The rest of the race was paved trail, with views of the river, lots of trees, and a generous amount of hills. My running buddy and I were cussing and swearing a lot as we pushed ourselves over each incline. Thankfully, there were LOTS of aid stations along the course which had an assortment of fruit, gummies, water and electrolyte. Most of the course is an out and back, and it was nice seeing the other runners. The least fun part of the course was the stairs–which you went up and mile 3, and then back down at mile 10.
When we finally approached the finish line on Thunder Island, I was so relieved. I was so glad to be done running those hills, and relieved that I had somehow made it through that half marathon. The half marathon and 10k medals were gorgeous–hand stamped glazed clay, which I love because it’s so unique. The entry fee also included a tech t-shirt, and plenty of REAL FOOD. As in, catered food. By an actual catering company! There was pineapple rice, teriyaki chicken, bread and butter, orzo salad, potato salad, cookies, fruit and more! Beer and cider were not include in the price of the race, but were available for purchase for $5. Plenty of tables and chairs were set out so runners could stay, eat, drink, relax and enjoy the view.
I’m so glad that I did this race–it was a really cool, unique experience. The price does jump up quite a bit, so I would recommend signing up early for this one!