I find first year events quite awesome – they generally bring an energy and passion to showcase what a race can become. And when you add in great race directors to an inaugural event, it can push things over the top. That’s how I felt with the Beaverton Half Marathon, put on by Run With Paula Events on June 3, 2018. It ended up being one of those events that was so well put together, that it seemed like it was a well-oiled machine that had been years in the making. But what do you expect from the recent director of the new Portlandathon (the new Portland Marathon)?!
The day started off pretty perfect, with cool temperatures and blue skies greeting me as I arrived at Portland Running Company for packet pick-up. It was a breeze to get through the line (and they generously offered 2 other days for pick-up leading up to race day). The start and finish were just up the road a bit from PRC – which was nice as it didn’t condense all runners and spectators into one small location. There were plenty of space on closed roads, sidewalks, parking lots, and grass to get a pre-race stretch and run in.
I have personally not run in Beaverton all that often, much less in the neighborhoods. So, essentially, the course was almost completely new to me (aside from Fanno Creek and Greenway Park). There was quite a bit of running on residential streets, which isn’t really a bad thing. It provided a lot of shade (on what ended up turning into quite a warm morning) and there were a few residents out and cheering runners on. A few even created their own aid and cooling (i.e. hose) stations. It was quite nice to have lots of turns and not really know what was coming up next.
It was quite amazing how well supported the race was, with both aid stations and volunteers/police. Residential neighborhood running means lots of streets to block off / guide traffic. There were great volunteers at seriously almost every street (if not all) and Beaverton PD did a crazy good job at blocking off the main intersections. It shouldn’t have gone as seamless as it did – but it actually did. Each of the 7 aid stations was manned by different groups – from Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, to ADAPT Training, to even us here at Run Oregon at station 6. Hope you saw some of our smiling faces around mile 10. There seemed to be water and Gatorade at each stop, and energy gel at a handful as well.
As far as my own personal race went, the expectations were a little tempered. I had run 14+ super hot miles at the Bend Beer Chase less than 21 hours prior, so my legs and feet were tired. I had a relatively steady and casual pace for me (845-9 min/mi) and walked through, and a little beyond, each aid station just to keep things in check. As a result, my body ended up feeling quite manageable post-race, even after a 27 mile weekend.
For those who are interested, the shirt was a nicely cut and simple tech shirt, and the flip medal was unique. Speaking of post-race, things seemed to be working quite well. Even with a sold out race and some limited staging areas in the PRC parking lot, things seemed to be flowing pretty well. The beer tent from Rogue was operating efficiently when I was there and the hamburger line was pumping out food without delay. I was impressed. There was some seating near the live band playing and near the other vendors, but I opted for a quiet shady spot on the nearby hill to enjoy my veggie burger and IPA, and just had feelings of satisfaction – both my hunger and my overall experience. Well done!