The Lincoln City Half has made it’s way onto my ‘must-do’ list a few years ago. Occurring on March 3rd this year, the small but fun race at the coast stood out with the coolest race bibs I have ever seen. With a light blue color featuring an orange octopus peering over the bottom, it will be added to my large collection as a standout piece. After years of enjoying the half marathon course, this year I was relegated to the 10K due to a recent car accident. Both races are an out and back in a quiet valley just west of Lincoln City on a rural road, in a very picturesque and peaceful setting.
With just over 90 participants in the half and 100 in the 10K, the runs are small enough to be friendly and big enough to create a crowd. I arrived with my girlfriend about 45 minutes before race start, and it was a breeze to run over and pick up our bibs and goodie bags under the grandstand. I was coming off a 10K the month prior and hoping to best my time of just over 36 minutes, and coaching my girlfriend Tricia, in her first ever 10K. We knew the basics of the course and how important it was to not get carried away on the initial downhill after the course leaves the school. With a 300 meter start and finish on the track, it would be a comfortable way to get in the right crowd after the gun and put together a solid kick at the finish if we felt good.
I got in a mile or so warm up, with striders and high knees exercises to guard against the tight calves and hamstrings that can be an issue in lower temperatures. After a flag presentation ceremony by the Boy Scouts and a recording of the Star Spangled Banner, it was time to get down to business. Four guys took off at the gun and I settled behind them on the track. After crossing a parking lot and getting to the road, it was a mild uphill and I found myself in front. Following the long drop, we made a left turn onto the road we would be following for the duration of the race. The 10K was all pavement, with the only sidewalk available for about two blocks on that road. The rest was run on the of the street, but it is very low traffic, with courteous drivers and CERT team members at the major intersections.
Eclectic Edge racing was chip timing the event and there were mile marker signs at each mile. Even with not having the course committed to memory, it was easy to have an idea of where I was on the course. Even though it was a sunny day, most of the run was in the shade due to all the trees. The entire course consisted of rolling hills, with about 4 major climbs in the 10K. A strategy that takes advantage of the descents will nullify the slowing for the climbs, so I was a little more aggressive than I was running on flat ground. Still cautious of my healing back, I did not push as hard on the hills as I prefer to.
I cheered on those heading out and exchanged thumbs up, which is the best part about running an out and back course. Of course, I had to veer over and give Tricia a high five as we passed each other. The last hill was as tough as I remembered, and it was a relief to coast down to the track and pick it up a little for the finish. They had Boy Scouts in the finish chute handing out octopus finishers medals, which will also look great in the collection.
After getting my breath back, I returned to the course and got about a mile before I caught Tricia. This worked out perfect as I got to run her up the last hill and help her finish strong. Unfortunately, we were waylaid by a suburban that not only pulled in front of us to get into a parking lot, but then came to a complete stop and blocked us. After a few seconds it finally moved and allowed her to finish the race. I have to confess her kick was much stronger than mine as she solidified her place as the second overall woman.
The post race snacks and water were located at the top of the grandstands, with the highlight being Mo’s clam chowder. It hit the spot after the chilly run and I also enjoyed one of my personal favorites, a peanut butter bagel with honey. The overall winners took home beautiful glass floats (I picked a purple one) and a comfortable blue hoodie. The 10K was definitely fun, but for me the half marathon is the highlight of the event and I hope to return to it next year.
Complete race results here
Lincoln City Half Marathon Winners
- Stacie Truitt 43, 1:48:49
- Jill Aho 49, 1:49:28
- Emily Croft 28, 1:50:30
- Craig Riccardo 27, 1:23:20
- Chase Dillon 22, 1:26:41
- Ryan Turner 25, 1:27:43
Lincoln City 10K Winners
- Bryn Davis 33, 48:25
- Tricia Kennamer 33, 49:28
- Gretchen Ammerman 51, 51:59
- Brian Bernier 36, 35:07
- Clayton Helfrich 17, 40:12
- Joseph Dietrich 42, 40:15