Race and Course Preview: 2016 Bridge to Brews 8k/10k (Portland)


The last time I participated in Terrapin’s Bridge to Brews 8k was two years ago, before the start line was moved to Waterfront Park. Each time I ran this race, I found it well organized and the course interesting and fun. Traversing bridges during the run will always draw me in, and with this being the ONLY race across the Fremont Bridge (I-405), I am excited to sign up again and again. 

The start/finish area of the race (and the post race beer/wine/spirit tasting festival) is located on Naito Parkway just south of the Burnside Bridge. Runners for the 8k and 10k cover mostly the same course; the 10k participants add their 1.25 miles just after the 3.5 mile mark. The course starts runners out north on Naito and soon a left turn onto Couch St, north on 8th and west on Flanders. At the 1 mile mark there is a water station, and shortly after that runners take a right turn onto the on-ramp to I-405.

The next two miles are the reason I run this race: On Interstate 405 we run over the Fremont Bridge. The first mile is, of course, a continuous uphill, offering beautiful views of the city, the river, and, if we’re lucky, Mount Hood off in the distance. The second mile of the bridge crossing is the corresponding downhill, and it ends in the hairpin turn at the Kerby Ave exit. We run past Legacy Emmanuel Hospital, and cross I-5.

At this point, 3.5 miles into the race, 10k runners are sent on a little detour in the vicinity of an around Widmer Brewery to add their extra 1.25 miles before rejoining the 8k participants on the same course to finish. We’ll run down Interstate Ave past the Moda Center all the way to the Steel Bridge. We’ll cross the bridge on the top level, and the downhill ramp will allow for a strong, fast final half mile to the finish.

At the finish, there will be music and food, and instead of the (somewhat) customary pint of local brews, race participants will receive a mug and ten tasting tokens to try out several different beers, wines, ciders, and spirits at the tasting festival. Be sure to bring your ID if you want to participate in the tasting! As of 3/15/16, the list of confirmed vendors includes Two Towns Cider, Lagunitas Brewing, Burnside Brewing, East Side Distilling, Thomas and Sons Distillery, Stormbreakers Brewing, Fat Heads Brewing, Bridgeport Brewing, Full Sail Brewing, and Brew Dr. Kombucha.

Bridge to Brews details:
When: Sunday, April 10; 8:40am start
Where: Waterfront Park, Portland
What: 8k, 10k; kids race (8:20am)
Registration: online here
Registration cost: $49 ($64 day of race)
Registration includes: chip timed race, event shirt (if registered by March 22nd), post race food, plastic beer cup, ten (10) tasting tickets for the finish line beer tasting festival. Medals are available for purchase for $10.
Packet Pickup:  Friday, April 8th, 11:00am – 7:00pm and Saturday, April 9th, 10:00am – 3:00pm at Road Runner Sports, 29 NW 23rd Place, Portland

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