When Halloween rolls around, it’s time for the Halloweenathon. While other Halloween-themed races like those zombie versus survivor runs have faded away recently, the Halloweenathon has kept going strong. As in years past, the race took place on the Saturday morning before Halloween at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha.
Race time was 9 a.m. I had heard that race registrations were ahead of last year, and recalling that parking was tight last year, I decided to get there with more time to spare than I usually do. I arrived around 8:30 and had no trouble finding parking, thus avoiding offsite parking and shuttle transportation.
The last Saturday of this past October was a typical fall day (minus the drizzle). I dressed lightly – short sleeve tech shirt and shorts. I was a little cold before the race, but the sun was out and I knew it would warm up to comfortable once we started running. I saw a number of the usual Uberthons repeat offenders like Eileen Kuffner and Margo Glass, plus fellow Run Oregon blogger Joe Dudman, who was dressed as his foot.
[SPOILER!] As you can see in the picture, even though he ran in this costume, which must have had some not insignificant amount of drag and air resistance, Joe finished #3 overall.
Anyway, after the kids finished the opening events in the Halloweenathon – the 1 mile race and 1/4 mile dash – it was our turn. All three race distances (5K, 10K, 15K) were starting together, which meant there were just under 400 of us chomping at the bit to get started.
After getting past the initial opening crowd, I found myself following the leader pack. I had no idea how many of them were running the 5K versus the longer distances. (Well, once costumed Joe passed me, I knew at least one person ahead of me was running the 5K.)
About a mile into the race, the air temperature felt comfortable. I couldn’t say the same about me personally. One of these days I’d like to set off at a first mile pace that I end up being able to sustain for the entire race. This wasn’t one of those days. Perhaps this means that running with Pokemon Go is a suboptimal approach for race training (as I’ve been doing that a lot lately)….
Meanwhile, I watched costumed Joe get farther and farther ahead of me. I slogged through mile 2, and then endured mile 3, which was mentally the toughest because at the 2 1/2 mile mark, I was tantalizingly close to the end point, at least as the crow flies. I could hear the music and the announcer. But I knew that if the course went straight to the end from here, the race would be well short of 5K, and if there’s one thing you can expect from Uberthons, it’s that they are pretty tight on measuring race course distances. And so the course made a 180 degree turn and continued winding along the golf course.
Finally, I hit the last stretch of the race, a more or less straightaway to the finish line. I especially enjoyed getting to turn left to finish instead of continuing for a second (or third) loop. Just past the finish line, a volunteer handed me a finisher’s medal.
During past Halloweenathons, I’ve run the 5K as a regular race and then (with permission) gone back and run the 5K with the obstacle stations so that I could write about them in my recap. As a result, I didn’t pay attention to the obstacle stations during the regular 5K. Unfortunately, even though I didn’t think I dawdled very long, by the time I went back on the course, the first station had already been taken down(!). I guess I could have kept going to see if the later obstacle stations were still being manned, but I decided one 5K was enough for the day.
The post-race nourishment consisted of a nachos bar. Now, I am far from a fan of cheese (I’ll eat pizza but prefer to go light on the cheese if possible), but this nachos bar could be completely customized! So I started with the tortilla chips and had the volunteers add pinto beans, ground beef, olives, and salsa. I don’t know what you’d call that, but it was pretty tasty.
I’ve always enjoyed the Halloweenathon. It’s the last race before my birthday, which means twice now it’s been the last race I run before entering a new age group.