Race Recap: Hazel Dell Half and 5-Miler (Vancouver, Wash.)

Goodies! Love the shirt!

Goodies! Love the shirt!

I can sum up this post in just a couple words for those who don’t want to read any further: The Hazel Dell Half and 5-Miler was awesome! For those who want to hear all the reasons why it was awesome, keep reading.
Course map for the Hazel Hell Half Marathon and 5-Miler

Course map for the Hazel Hell Half Marathon and 5-Miler

Saturday, February 20 was the Hazel Dell Half Marathon and 5-miler, hosted by Energy Events (and Max Muscle). Packet pickup was located inside the Max Muscle store, and allowed participants to stay warm, check a bag using gear-check, and learn about the Max Muscle products prior to, or after, the race. All the staff was very hospitable and friendly. The shirt for this year’s event was an Asics branded tech tee that looks simply splendid. I especially love the color, and the quality! Excellent work producing an incredible event shirt for participants! The half marathon began promptly at 8:30 a.m. For those participating in the 5-miler, we started at 9 a.m. The energy at the start line, for each distance, was really “electric” - great music and great “MC’ing” by Energy Events.

Exactly at 9 a.m., we took to the 5-mile course. Exciting the start area, we made a jaunt around the commercial buildings, onto the street, and began cruising through quiet, beautiful neighborhood streets. Honestly, I was surprised at the amount of hills on the course; I never knew Hazel Dell had so many! However, surprised or not, I loved every minute of the course route. One moment you were running on flat pavement, the next, screaming down a hill at a fast clip, to then ‘trudging’ up a fairly steep hill. Totally awesome, in my opinion!

For the 5-miler, there was one aid station posted at about the halfway point of the out-and-back route, so we had aid available twice on the course (thank you!). The volunteers at the aid station were very friendly, and offered participants water and gatorade.

A huge shout out to the volunteers who were stationed at points where participants needed to cross a street. It never ceases to amaze me at how rude vehicular traffic is … someone ran the stop sign at a busy intersection when I was getting ready to cross. It was no fault of the volunteers. It was just a rude person who decided stopping at a stop sign didn’t pertain to them. I can only imagine what horrors and lack of decency these volunteers have to go through to keep us safe. For that, I can never thank you – race volunteers – enough!

Overall top finishers! Congratulations Rolf!

Overall top finishers! Congratulations Rolf!

Upon closing into the finish line, you could hear the excitement and energy (!!) at the finish line. Once crossing, a team of enthusiastic volunteers were handing out finisher medals to all participants, regardless of distance. This was a very pleasant surprise! As the actual finisher medals did not arrive in time (due to the Chinese New Year in China and their festivities – seriously!), we were informed in about a week (I would assume March 1) the actual medals would be available for pick-up at the Max Muscle store where the race started/finished. I’m excited to get my hands on it – I am sure it is great!

The post-race food was well put together. We could choose fine cheese, chips, bananas and fruit. This is everything I could ever want after an event – and, the supply kept being replenished, so everyone had plenty of post-race fuel!

The summarize: Great, yet a little challenging, course. Excellent event tech shirt. Fantastic pre- and post- race ‘entertainment’ and ENERGY! Perfect post-race refreshments.

Congratulations on a job very well done, Energy Events!

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