Race Recap: 2016 Lucky Dog 5K, 10K, and 15K (Portland, Oregon)

Lucky Dog 2016 300 x 200 It was wet. It was really, really, wet as March tends to be in the good ol' Pacific North West. I woke up on Sunday morning a bit tired and lazy due to Day Light Saving. However, I was determined to make this 10K my fastest yet so I put on my pot of Folgers and proceeded to make a smoothie and get on with it, feeling lucky that I wouldn't have to drive downtown and join about 33,000 other runners in the freezing cold. It was my first Double Dog Dare U event and I was determined to PR. The event started with everyone huddled under a few tents, jumping and stretching to stay warm and limber. A few volunteers would come by every few minutes to release the rain from the tents, while other volunteers finished setting up the sounds system. Music played and cute puppies showed off their green collars, ribbons and sweaters offering a much-needed distraction from the moisture.

Runners at the start of Lucky Dog.

At two minutes after 8:00, one of the volunteers got on the mic said they were ready to start lining everyone up to start. I’m not exaggerating when I say that no one wanted to be first from out under the tent! It took a little coaxing, but soon we all filed out to the starting line where a very short and quick count down began. We were off! We took a left right out of the Westview High School parking lot, but after about five yards realized we were going the wrong direction when a volunteer yelled from under a tent in the parking lot. After a small bottleneck due to misplaced signage, we headed down a the hill toward the Rock Creek Trail. From there on out there were volunteers at every street crossing and mileage post. Most of the trail was free of traffic other than fellow racers which was nice.

After about three miles and some small hills, we looped back heading toward the high school. I was keeping a good pace and was excited that I was going to beat my previous time. Right as we were about to climb the hill at the end, my knee started give out and I knew that I had to slow down. I walked for about 45 seconds and then proceeded to run up the hill, knowing the end was less than 3/4 of a mile away.

One of the “lucky dogs” that participated in 2016’s Lucky Dog!

At the end of the race, medals, ribbons for qualifying finishers and hot soup was handed out. There was even a small tent where a local chiropractic company was giving away mini-massages. Most people left soon after they collected their hardware and returned to their cars to change and drive home to take a hot shower. I stayed long enough to say hello to a few fellow runners I met just prior to the race and get a warm cup of soup and crackers for my ride home, foregoing the free beverage all participants were promised at The Rock Creek Tavern at the after party.

Despite the rain and the slight confusion at the beginning of the course, the event was fairly well executed and was a lot of fun. About 106 runners participated this year, which was about 46 more than last year which is fantastic since the race is all about benefiting Westview High School. The volunteers were soggy, the participants were soggy and so were the doggies. But oh! Did we all have a great time. I can’t wait until next year – you can be sure that this will become my annual tradition!



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