Race Preview: 2021 Holiday Half (Portland)

Planning for a December race means taking a leap of faith about what the weather will be. It could be a soggy downpour. It could be a frosty wonderland. Or it could be bright and in the 60s. And that could all be before the starting horn blows.

But the brave folks at Foot Traffic are ready for the unknown challenges and bring to you the Holiday Half, with multiple race distances and virtual options. Although in-person races are full, there will be 10 additional entries available on each day of packet pick-up with qualifying purchase. Virtual options are still open for all distances.

For those who are signed up (or thinking about trying for a pick-up spot), there’s things you need to know. First off, of course, is where are you headed. All courses begin at Daimler Trucks in NE Portland. While the 5K runners and walkers use a loop course, other distances (10K, 10-mile, half marathon) will be headed for an out and back that includes a tough uphill within the first mile. Thankfully that hill returns as a downhill in your last stretch toward the finish line.

Race directors highlight the need for participants to get to the race early to ensure you are not stuck in traffic when you should be crossing the start line.

Please plan to arrive 45 minutes to an HOUR early to make sure you don’t get caught in traffic arriving before the race start. Remember, there are thousands of others starting the race when you do, so if you try to arrive 15 minutes before your race, you will be stuck in traffic (think trying to park in the garage at a Blazers game 10-15 minutes before a game).

All courses include carolers on the course from volunteer groups. This is one race where you will want to pause your own tunes or conversations to enjoy the music provided. Also on the course will be multiple aid stations, including one “Santa’s Cookie” station with gingerbread cookies.

At the finish line participants earn one of the largest medals in racing; one that also perfectly decks any halls or trees. The after-party will be complete with a DJ, hot chocolate, heated tents, and items for purchase from multiple food trucks and vendors. It will also be the perfect opportunity for individuals or groups to join in the multiple costume contests. Strut down the runway and maybe strut away with some extra swag.

Holiday Half (Portland)
When: Sunday, December 12 with wave starts beginning at 7:40am.
Where: Daimler Trucks (4747 N Channel Avenue)
Register: Online for Virtual Races
Packet Pick-Up: Pick-up times and locations (at various Foot Traffic stores) to be confirmed in December. Also race morning.
• Cost: Half and 10-miler: $85. 10K: $67. 5K: $49. Virtual Race: $42.

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