On Saturday I completed my first postpartum race and The Hippie Chick Quarter Marathon…
The night before my race I set four alarms. Yes four, I didn’t want to wake up late! I woke up at alarm #1 (5:27am) and lingered in bed until after alarm #2 (5:34). I rolled out of bed and headed to the kitchen where I made coffee and bagels <—from my mom in Vermont because you can’t get real bagels in Oregon with Toffutti for Neil and I. I was so anxious all morning that I think I was giving myself and upset stomach but I managed to get through it and we packed up and headed out the door to the race.
After getting a little lost trying to find the parking we finally did and I stretched and we walked over to the starting line. My first impression was that things seemed super unorganized. There were people everywhere and no real orderly set up for the race. On top of that I couldn’t hear what the race coordinator was saying over the speakers so I just made my way to the back knowing that I was going to be on the slower end of things.
All of a sudden I hear the starting gun go off announcing the start of the quarter and half marathons (they started at the same time). Startled I started slowly walking forward with the group and finally started running once I crossed the starting line. My plan was to do 4:1 run/walk intervals throughout the entire race with a goal of finishing in 95 minutes. I ended up running the first 10 minutes because it was so congested and I wanted to get by the slower walkers. It took about a mile for things to loosen up but still had a lot of trouble getting around the walkers, no hate to the walkers just a challenge to get by groups of walkers going slower than I was running.
Around mile one there was a water station that also had a team handing out Luna Bars and a group of teens cheering. I didn’t end up stopping for water although now looking back at things I probably was a little under-hydrated and could have used a few sips.
By mile two the sun overhead was getting hotter and that is when I started to overheat which resulted in chills for the remainder of the race. Just before mile three three there was another water station and I grabbed a cup and had a few sips before heading on. At this point I found myself saying I might not make it back without walking the majority of the way. My legs were feeling a little heavy, the slanted and torn up road was bothering my right IT band, I still had the chills and I was just losing steam. However, I pushed through made it to the turn around and head back stopping at the same water station for another cup of water which I had a few more sips of before heading back towards the finish line.
Shortly after that (around mile four) I had my chews which seemed to help rejuvenate me and reduce the chills. Just before mile 5 the stadium came into site and I knew that I was really almost done and talked to myself pushing myself forward. I kept at my 4:1 pace until around mile 6 when I really just started to hit a wall. I ended up doing a 3:2 for one interval then a 2:1 and then it was time to finish the race and I ran and ran until finally I crossed the finish line where Edith and Neil were waiting for me.
After the race we headed up to the finisher area where I grabbed a plate of orange wedges for Edith and I to share as well as some more water. We found a shaded spot for Edith and I to nurse at and we relaxed for a bit and took a few silly photos before heading over to the awards ceremony. We watched some of the awards before going to check the board for my official time –> 1:32:55 <– that is 2:05 less than my goal!! Also a PR for me because well it was my first quarter!
Overall it was a great race but I really could have prepared a little more and been a little more hydrated but overall I am happy with how things went. I was surprised when I came in under my time goal because I actually thought I was closer to 1:40, so not bad.
Summary of the race:
- Awesome SWAG bag! Shirt, Chinook book, free coffee at Peet’s and a few treats.
- Finishing the race in the stadium. So fun to run into the stadium onto the new turf.
- Water stations were well placed as well as porta potties and the staffing was awesome.
- Loved the cheering squad at the start and end by the first water/snack station.
- Great end experience with fun vendors, lots of food and beverages and massage tables (which I didn’t take advantage of).
- Had a person staffed at the Half/Quarter split and they were great. Loud and very clear on what direction to go.
- Very walker friendly!! For those of you who are not really runners but want to get out this race is super walker friendly. There were tons of groups of women who got out and walked together and seemed to be having a great time.
- The finisher necklace looked like something I could have gotten out of a quarter machine, okay maybe a dollar one, but either way it was terrible. On the website they had a photo of last years race necklace, which was kind of cheesy, but it said Hippie Chick Half and Quarter Marathon 2012 and was on a metal chain. This years race necklace came in a little blue velour bag and the necklace had a peace sign charm that said Hippie Chick 2013 that was on a black plastic necklace. I was going to take a photo of it for you but I have no idea what I did with it after the race. Either way it was super lame and disappointing. I really would rather of had a race medal or at least the race necklace that was advertised on the race website.
- The organization of the race was really lacking. The line-up organization was pretty much non existent and you couldn’t hear a word they were saying over the speakers before the race.
- No free beer or mimosas. You could buy them but no free ones for those of age.
- The race was on a really uneven road both in that it was angled and it was all torn up. If it had been repaved it would have been better. This is more of a minor thing that bothered me and my legs
Overall I really enjoyed the race but it wasn’t a race that at the end of it I was like I can’t wait to sign up next year. There are so many other races around the area that I think I would try a new race.
Disclaimer: I was comped the admission of this race in exchange for a post. As always all opinions are my own.