When I looked at the calendar and realized how close the Disneyland Paris Half was to the Portland Half, I knew it was meant to be! Plus this was going to be my PR attempt. However, since I got back from Paris I have been working a lot and there has been little to no training. And by little I mean, a 6 mile run. Good thing I had that surprise PR!
With work still being crazy, I took advantage of the host hotel and stayed in downtown. Not only did that save time on commuting, it let me sleep a bit longer!
The start area was staged with the different waves lining up on different blocks. My block had a parking garage that was open. Standing inside (out of the rain) was very welcome. As it got closer to the start, they walked us from our holding area to the starting line. It was a very smooth process. And the race started the opposite way on Broadway, which meant a slight downhill (instead of an uphill)!
I will say this is not my favorite course if only because the majority of it is an out and back along Naito Parkway and into the more industrial area. But the out and back also means a lot of friendly faces. And a pretty flat course.
The rain never let up the entire race. I mean, its October in the PNW, so the weather is generally a crapshoot. However, it didn’t pour the entire time! It would alternate between sprinkling and heavier rain.
Around mile 3ish, I saw someone in front of me wearing a Run 3rd hat (Sean Astin’s organization). I knew he was running but I thought for sure there was no way he would be back with me. I passed him on his walk break and snuck a glance. Oh no, it was Sean Astin! How cool was that? We leapfrogged for a mile or so (with our alternating walk breaks) before he left me in the dust.
Speaking of intervals, I was keeping strong intervals until about Mile 11.
My energy was waning but there were more and more spectators lining the streets as the full marathoners rejoined and as we got closer to the finish.
I finished with a time of 2:50:03, which I felt really good about. The finishing chute rivaled Vegas RnR in how long it was! And I liked how instead of a heat sheet, they gave you finishing (throwaway) jackets.
Even better was the short walk to the hotel and a nice hot shower!
Even with this not being my favorite course, I’m signed up for next year!