This year I decided to run the Cascadia race series held by the Rock and Roll Marathon. It is a 3 race series that starts in Portland, Oregon, then heads to Seattle, Washington and finishes in Vancouver, British Columbia. I'm pretty excited about this race series because I've never done or a series before, I'm planning on doing Quadzuki in November but that's quite a ways off yet.
When I signed up for the series I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I had to run the Rock and Roll Seattle half marathon a couple of years before but since then I knew they had changed a couple of things and on top of that I had never been to Portland before. So to say the least I was pretty excited to head down to Portland for this race.
Anthony and I headed down Friday evening after he got off work so that we could have all of Saturday to explore Portland. We went all over downtown and went to Voodoo Donuts of course and then Pittock Mansion and even Powell books. After all the major sites hadn't seen we headed back to the hotel to rest up for the early start.
Race morning we got up early and headed down with plenty of time to stop by Starbucks and get breakfast before the race. After Starbucks we headed down to the start line where we got to dance around the rock and pop music that they were playing over the loudspeakers. I was actually pretty surprised to see how small the race was it was fewer than 10,000 runners which is considerably smaller than the 17,000 runners at the Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon. But it was still a good size and a lot of fun waiting for the start.
Anthony saw me off at the start which was delayed almost 25 minutes because of train traffic which was pretty anti-climatic to say the least. But once I got started I felt really good so I started off significantly faster than I usually do. I started at about a 10:15 pace. I kept at this for quite a while until about mile 8 when I started to slow down a little bit and was caught up to by 2:15 Pacers. I stayed with them until mile 12.5 when I lost them. I was pretty excited to run with them considering I had never run half marathon at 2:15 before.
So when I lost them I lost a little speed and got a little sad but was still pushing hard. My finish time was 2:16:59! A personal record for me and I wasn't even trying I just felt like running that day!
So was pretty excited to come across the finish line because I knew I had done pretty well that day. The Rock and Roll finish lines are always quite fun live music lots of free food and of course pretty awesome medals.
All in all the race was a good experience. Even though there were not very many bands on the course mostly cheer leading squads which ended up being kind of annoying because they weren't doing cheers they were just screaming excessively loud. But the fact that they are out there and cheering us on was still really nice and encouraging. So as far as the music experience on this race goes, I would say it was a letdown but if you like cheerleaders in this race is definitely for you. The course was pretty well supported but a little more hilly than I was expecting and went through a lot of residential neighborhoods instead of the highlights of Portland. So its not a good sight seeing run. If you are looking for a well supported race with lots of cheering and encouragement then this is the race for you.
Keep on Running!