Race recap: 2016 Fort Vancouver Run 5K

The 8th annual Fort Vancouver Run took place on Sunday, March 6th. One of Clark County, Washington's premiere races is put on by Energy Events and includes a 12k, a 5k, and a kids' run. When I arrived around 30 minutes before the start of the 12k, there was still ample parking along E. 5th St., and helpful announcements coming over the PA from the start/finish area were clearly audible, but not too loud. It was a little chilly, with occasional wind and drizzle, but not bad conditions for racing. I decided I could get by with a short-sleeved shirt and gloves. There was no pre-race packet pickup this year, but the lines at the tent on race morning moved quickly and efficiently, helped along by a number lookup table and a volunteer assisting those waiting to get their bibs. I dropped my race shirt off at the car, and joined a couple friends for a brief warmup run, returning to the start just in time to watch the 12k runners head out.

The 5k start was scheduled for 20 minutes after the 12k, so it was time to strip down to my race clothes. The bag check was also well-organized and quick, despite one volunteer getting her headband and hair stuck on one of the tent’s velcro straps (I’m adding that scene to the list for my “mockumentary” road racing movie – think “Best In Show” or “Spinal Tap”, but about running!) 😉

Once she was painlessly disentangled from the velcro, and my running jacket and pants were stored away, it was time to check out a few of the sponsors’ tents, including 361 shoes, and get ready for the start of the 5K.

I was coming off a painful showdown with a kidney stone on the previous Monday (sharp side pain and intense nausea), and although I had felt better during the week, I wasn’t sure how I would hold up at 5k race pace. As race time approached, I surveyed the field, and picked out a couple fast friends, one male, one female, and a speedy-looking younger guy.

The countdown came and went, and we were off down 5th St., the four of us forming a nice pack. We stayed together along the fort paths, over the footbridge, through the ceremonial arch (which I always make a point of running through and not around), under I-5, and into downtown Vancouver. I was running comfortably in second place most of the way out, envisioning picking up the pace on the way back, but I never really felt the motivation to push it hard and test my kidney stone, and eventually the other three runners pulled away.

The announcer read our names as we crossed the line, and I congratulated the other finishers. I picked up my warm clothes from bag check, grabbed a Gatorade, and headed to the car, cheering on the 12k leaders and 5k finishers as they kicked it in.

I had to leave right away for Run Oregon’s Kelly Barten’s son’s 1st Birthday party, so I couldn’t stay for the trademark post-race fun that Energy Events is known for, but the 2016 Fort Vancouver Run was another great well-organized and energetic event!

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