Alyssa at the finish line with her dog Coho, who braved the chilly temperatures to watch her run the Race for Warmth 10K.
This post was written by Alyssa Carey. 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!
Sunday could not have been a more fitting day for the Race for Warmth 5K and 10K races. The temperature was a frigid 34 degrees, but that did not keep 950+ runners, countless volunteers, friends, and families from supporting such a worthy cause. When I arrived at the starting line, volunteers were stationed at booths, ready to greet and encourage race participants with good luck wishes, snacks and even cups of hot cocoa! My favorite moment before the race came 20 minutes before kickoff; we were all led in a 10 minute warm up session (pun fully intended, I hope!), by Northwest Personal Training. Thanks to the trainers, my chilly muscles began to finally warm-up, and I was ready to hit the pavement.
Five minutes before we started, the 10K runners were invited to the starting corral, and together we celebrated all of the race participants, countless volunteers, coordinators and sponsors who made this race possible. Wiggling to keep the blood flowing and our bodies warmed, runners watched as the official race clock ticked down to just seconds before 9 am, and then, off we went! We began our journey by heading towards the waterfront. Unlike many other races, it was refreshing to notice, from the starting gates, the race course never seemed to be crowded, even with the impressive number of runners who made it out to the race that morning. Volunteers and supporters were placed perfectly along the course so as not to let anyone stray from the measured course.
As we approached the halfway mark, I started to see the lead runners heading back towards the rest of the pack. Personally, this is my favorite type of course, it is inspiring to see the smiling and determined faces of those running with you, not just their backsides. As we started doubling back on the course, I heard runners cheering for one another and even received a few high-fives! The sense of camaraderie was inspiring, and perfectly paired with the gorgeous Columbia River waterfront view that the race course highlighted. I couldn’t have wished for a better setting for a race that morning! Nearing the last quarter of a mile, we were reunited with our fellow 5K runners to dash through the finish line together. The building sense of community that began at the start line was even greater now as we all ran together toward the finish line. Upon finishing, we were met with the same smiling volunteers that sent us off, hot chocolate, grilled cheese and hugs from family and friends. The Race for Warmth 5K and 10K was a wonderful success!
This post was written by Run Oregon blogger Robin York.
The irony of the race title was not lost on me, as I stood in line for the porta potty with numb feet and cold hands. While the temps may have been frigid, the important work the race does will warm your heart. The Race for Warmth is put on to support Operation Warm Heart, which is a Clark county utilities customer-funded program to help limited income families in a crisis situations that require help to pay their electricity bill.
The start of the Kids Dash before the race.
The pre-race environment, as Alyssa mentioned above, is incredibly (warm and) friendly. My kiddos love to go to races with me, with or without a kids dash, and had a blast with some of the booths available with crafts and snacks. There was a penguin mascot available for high-fives and photo opportunities. My youngest was determined to “learn the real name” of the person inside. I don’t think I did find that information out for her, but the penguin costume-wearer did a great job leading the kids in warm up exercises and keeping up with the pack as they did their kids dash.
The race itself was beautiful and chilly with a few gusts of wind (especially along the Columbia). There were volunteers throughout the course with noise makers to offer cheers and support. The course is well marked with volunteers, but as a back-of-the-pack runner who was walking, I always had someone to follow.
When crossing the finish line, I attempted to jump in the air as the announcer said my name. I love that extra touch when an enthusiastic announcer is happy to see you cross the finish! I then found my adorable personal cheerleaders and headed off to the tent to share my reward of hot soup with them. It’s super tough work to stand around and wait for your runner/walker to come in! Once they were settled with their soup, I proceeded to sneak off to the beer tent and enjoyed my pint in it’s complementary glass.
The event is very well put together and organized with friendly and outgoing volunteers. I felt the race offered a lot of support with pre race warm ups, plenty of porta potties, fun booths for family type fun and a great “after party”. It’s certainly one I’ll revisit (and work on improving my race time) and hope to see some more friendly faces in our running community there. If you were out there January 29th, race results are up and comment below to tell us your favorite moments in the race.