Guest Review: 2016 Hop Hop Half

Run_Oregon_LogoThis post was written by Run Oregon reader Lara Rix. Feel free to Submit a Guest Post in the “Contact Us” tab if you are wanting to write a preview or recap your running experiences as well! The views in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Run Oregon. Hundreds of runners flocked this year to the Hop Hop Half Marathon, the day before Easter, to celebrate the holiday with a 5k, 10k, or Half Marathon along the Columbia River. The Hop Hop Half promised to be a fast and flat course with sweeping views along Marine Drive and Peninsula Canal, and did not disappoint.

I decided to enter the half marathon race fairly last minute, only a week before, and would use it as a long run for my training. I was excited to try out this fairly new race to see what it would offer.

I arrived around 45 minutes before the race and found parking readily without having to walk far to the start line. There were great pre-race festivities, including snacks, and a great atmosphere with plenty of bathrooms available for use. After warming up, I situated myself at the start line, and was extremely pleased with the organization and professionalism of the directors and volunteers. As the race progressed, I was treated to a well-marked course, enthusiastic volunteers, and easily visible mile markers. The course was extremely flat, the only inclines being minimal and short.

The views did not disappoint, either. From mile four to mile 12, runners were treated to beautiful views of the Columbia Gorge, Mt. Hood, and forestry. Aid stations were once every two or so miles, and were well stocked with Gatorade and water.

Post-race, I was awarded a finisher’s medal and a free mimosa which I was unable to consume because of my age, but noticed other finishers were content with this aspect of the race. A large variety of food was offered (baked goods, eggs, and bacon, to name a few), as well as free massages and music.

My only suggestion with this race was that it was not clear where/when the awards would be given. After winning my age group, I was unable to find out where to retrieve my prize and left. I ended up missing the awards ceremony, but the race director was extremely accommodating and arranged for me to pick up my prize (a champagne flute, a box of kind bars, and a water bottle) at a convenient Foot Traffic location.

If you’re around the day before Easter, definitely check out this race. Well organized with beautiful scenery, it promises to be a fast and fun course with something for everyone.

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