Races can happen in various locales, and my favorites tend to be the ones that resemble my training. I’m always a big fan of running in rural areas, with little vehicular traffic, great views and a little bit of hills. On March 4th, 2018, I made the trip out to Lincoln City for their 10th annual event. Even with temperatures in the low 30s when I left my house, the forecast called for it to be nearly 50 at race start. So I had to scrape ice off the car on the way to a race that I ended up running in shorts and a tank top.
For the second year, the race started at Taft High School, which had the awesome perks of a covered grandstand, dry seating and a finish on the track. Picking up the bib, bright orange shirt and goodie bag was the work of mere seconds which was good because I had arrived a little closer to race time than is habitual. Since a half is a training run for me at the moment, the warm up consisted of a few laps around the track and some stretching. I felt good, but not amazing, and the plan was to just run the event without pushing too hard.
This race is a little on the smaller side, with just over 100 participants, but the crowd is always smiling and friendly. I ran into a running friend I had not seen in a while and met a few new people, as is generally the case at this kind of event. Start time came around quickly and the crowd moved towards the chute. Chip timed by Eclectic Edge, they did a great job of announcing pre race instructions and had a clock set up for the finish.
With the start taking us three quarters of the way around the track and out to the road, two kids in the 10K took the lead. I didn’t catch them until we had almost reached the top of the hill behind the school, the biggest climb on the course and one that had to be conquered again on the way back. After that, the next few miles were quiet, as I journeyed alone along that twisting road that turned to gravel around mile 5. It was packed dirt, and the perfect surface to run on, with the creek on one side and a hillside on the other. There were several aid stations with water and cheering volunteers, a few of which I took advantage of.
The return trip always seems shorter, aided by the gradual downhill and the knowledge after the turnaround that a couple runners weren’t too far behind. The regular cheers and clapping of those still on the way out was also a boost. With about two miles to go and the warm sun on my back I could feel my energy ebbing. With memories of my last half still fresh in my mind, I backed off on pace to ensure I could complete the run. As I walked up the last climb I was passed but after the ascent it was a short downhill and a simple trip three quarters of the way around the track for the finish.
After some cake, oranges, and fresh chowder I felt well enough to get into warmer clothes and mingle with friends before the awards ceremony. Food and water was plentiful and finishers were announced by name as they came through and those in the stands clapped. They gave out glass floats for the overall winners of the 10k and half while dispensing ribbons to the age group winners.
As I have experienced the past 3 years, this is a top notch event in a great area. Friendly, plentiful volunteers made the event fun. Chip timing, a track finish and mile markers made it a great event to race. The trip out to Lincoln City can turn into a day out as there are many things to explore and do at the coast.
Find the full Lincoln City Half Marathon Results here.
- Matt Mallett, 1:19:45
- Brian Bernier, 1:23:04
- Ryan Turner, 1:23:43
- Kirsten Rasmussen, 1:37:17
- Jackie Slinkard, 1:38:39
- Amanda Hammer, 1:47:10