For several years now, every spring a group of women has gathered on Saturday mornings to train for a late May, women-only half marathon, which was organized by the co-founders of the running group. This year, they handed off the race planning and management to an outside organization, who rebranded the run to the Me.She.We women’s half marathon, 10k, and team relay on June 2nd.
I was excited for a run in my home town, and since a half marathon was not in the cards for me this year, I signed up for the 10k. I picked up my race packet at the early pickup option on Friday, and as I was driving towards the start on Saturday morning, I saw many half marathon runners already making their way down Wilsonville Road. The start times for the different events were staggered in a way that all events would finish near the same time: The half marathon walkers started at 7am, half marathon runners at 8am, and 10k runners and walkers at 9am. The four person half marathon relay also started at 8am.
The start area at Memorial Park was beautiful! It offers lots of parking, and if race participants brought their family to the event as well, there were picnic tables, beach volley ball pits (aka sandboxes), a big field, and a playground to pass the time during the run. Vendors had set up tents with information, samples, and freebies. There were porta potties, but also the park’s flush toilets available.
A few minutes before the 9am start, we all gathered near the start line for a group warmup, and the race started promptly at 9am. Due to the relatively small group of participants (around 350 in all distances combined) there was no call to line up by pace, which caused some dodging and weaving in the first quarter mile. Thankfully the paths were wide enough to allow for it. The course was very well marked (with signs and chalk arrows), and volunteers were stationed at intersections. We left the park to run through shaded neighborhoods and took the path along the river to cross underneath I-5. The path leading up from that underpass was the most significant elevation gain on the course, although the entire 1.5 miles north on Boones Ferry Road and then west on Wilsonville Road are every so slightly uphill.
At the 10k turnaround point at the water treatment plant, runners and walkers could replenish with water, nuun, and gel packets. At this point the half marathoners were also joining the 10k-ers again for their final 3.1 miles back to the finish the way we came. It was starting to get pretty warm in the bright sunshine, but the course offered a nice mix of sunny and shaded areas. About a mile from the finish I started hearing the finish line announcements, and after the final loop around the park I crossed the finish line. I was handed my hand crafted wooden finishers medal and pointed to the water and food tent. I browsed the vendors again, ate the hot dog and water. I was planning to stay for the raffle drawing for the On shoes, but unfortunately timing didn’t work out for that. The after-after party was to take place at Therapeutic Associates (about a mile away) starting at 11:30am, but since I had other commitments later in the day, I wasn’t able to attend.
The course is beautiful, and since Wilsonville doesn’t have many races the route is not overused. The race is not timed and the course not closed, and it is open to all paces. I wish that all of the after-party was held at the start/finish area instead of moving off-site, but that may be due to city park and permit rules. Overall it was a very nice, low key, encouraging race.