The Starlight Run eight years ago was my first 5K ever. It was also my first race ever and the first time I had run in front of other people (those treadmill slogs didn’t count). So I am so excited to be preparing to run it this June with a new running partner for her first 5K ever. I have been hyping it up to her for months and now I get to highlight the magic for you lovely readers.
Running in downtown Portland usually means dodging tourists, bicyclists, and cars between the streetlights and stop signs. But not during Starlight Run. That night (Yes! This is an evening run), the downtown area shuts down for the Starlight Race and then the Starlight Parade. The race and parade use the same course, so there will be literally thousands of cheering fans on the sides of the course. The timing of the race also means lots of bright-eyed kids who are out past their bedtime and would love a high five to celebrate.
This year’s Starlight Run will be an extra special one as the 40th annual event. Runners are encouraged to dress up for this year’s “Play Happy” theme and to enter the costume contest before the race. My partner and I have already decided that sparkly skirts, tiaras, and superhero t-shirts are going to keep us happy all the way through the race.
Now I want to emphasize that this is a fun run more than a competitive one. There is a clock at the finish line, so you can check your time, but no timing chips or official finish times. Runners do need to keep at a 14 minute average pace, for the sake of the parade following behind us. Signing up for the Starlight Run will not earn you a medal or t-shirt (though you can buy one for $15). But it will get you a fantastic experience in the heart of the weird and wonderful city of Portland. And once we are all done running, we get a parade to celebrate. That’s a pretty sweet after-party.
2018 Starlight Run (Portland)
When: Saturday, June 2nd 7:45pm
Where: Lincoln High School (1600 SE Salmon Street)
Register: Online or Race Day
Packet Pick-Up: Race Day starting at 6pm (bring confirmation email and ID)
Cost: $30 ($25 for students 7 to 18, free for kids 6 and under). $15 for t-shirt.
Family rates: Register 2 people, save $5. Register 3 people, save $10. Register 4 people, save $15. Register 5 or more, save $20