Race Preview: The Bald Peak Half (Hillsboro)

The 2016 Bald Peak Half will take place on Saturday, June 18, 2016. The race starts and ends at Hagg's Tree farm in Hillsboro, and will include some of the toughest, but most scenic miles you have run. The event benefits Hillsboro Area High Schools. The course will have you cover the biggest elevation gain of 800ft in the first two miles. After that, it is a rolling, net downhill course on country roads, half of which are unpaved. There are five aid stations on the course, serving water, electrolytes and snacks every 2-3 miles. At the very end, there's another 300ft elevation gain for about half a mile, but by that time the pancakes and bacon will be so close that you can smell them! Here is some words from our 2015 running:

How high is 800 feet? Imagine running up the 42 stories of the US Bancorp (aka Big Pink)  building downtown, which is 535 feet tall, you would still have 270 feet to climb just to reach the two mile mark.

So you are probably thinking by now, why would you want to run this race? That is actually what I thought after I drove the course the night before the first year I ran it.  The short answer, the challenge.

Like a roller coaster,  after you ascend slowly to the highest point of 1,365 feet at mile two, there after it’s a series of quad-crushing descents and steep ascents that will continual challenge your muscles and cardio endurance. In total the course has over 1700 feet of elevation gain and loss. The course has a combination of asphalt and compact gravel roads.

While the course is hilly, it comes with benefit of some great vistas. Around mile 3 and mile 7.5 of the race runners get a spectacular view of Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams. From mile 9.5 to 10.5, there is a great view of Mount Hood. These views are one of the reasons I love this race.

From mile 9.3 to mile 11.6 you have a gradual descent and until 12.5 it is “relatively” flat. I usually never walk during a half marathon, but Bald Peak Half Marathon is where I make an exception. At mile 12.5, the hardest part of the course is a 300 foot climb to mile 13. Even cars groan and chug up this hill on the way up to the start line.  The first two years I ran this race, I literally walked this section. Running it is not impossible, but it requires some serious hill training. I have seen plenty of runners make it all the way up the hill without walking. This year I alternated between walking and running up this hill. The first female runner passed me just before this hill and she just hopped her way up the hill like it was nothing.  If you do run this race, I would highly recommend saving some energy in the tank to tackle this last taunting hill keeping you from your medal, pancake and bacon.

Awards are be given to overall and age group winners. Breakfast will be served to all participants!

Bald Peak Half details:
When: Saturday, June 18th, 8am
Where: Haggs Tree Farm (Map)
What: Half Marathon
Registration: Online here
Registration cost: $65 until June 15th; $70 DOR
Registration includes: race entry, tech event shirt, pancake and bacon breakfast.
Packet Pickup: Friday June 17th from 4:00 – 7:30 pm, Foot Traffic, 13306 NW Cornell Road, Portland; DOR starting at 7am.



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