Since I was in Portland, I figured I might as well run the Pints to Pasta Half Marathon this weekend.
I probably should have looked at the course map a little more closely, although I suspect I would have signed up anyways.
This race is best described as poorly organized with a hellishly hilly route.
Lots of runners, not enough buses
The poorly organized part: fortunately the 10km was most affected by this while the half marathon suffered only from a delayed start. I seriously beat many of the 10km runners to the start line and I ran the 10km course in reverse as part of the half.
They had 2,000 people to shuttle to the start, and only two buses. It was a mess at the finish. A real shame. Runners were as much as 75 minutes late to the 10km start as a result, and many didn’t get to run at all.
Hills, hills and more hills
The hellish route part: this was the toughest half marathon I’ve ever raced. The first 1.8km were a steep uphill and that was just the first of what seemed like a never-ending series of long grinding climbs.
The worst part? It was an out-and-back so anytime we ran a downhill, it meant that we’d have to run the uphill on the way back.
The last 1.8km was a steep downhill blast that destroyed my legs. I ran a 4:30 and a 4:37 last two kilometres, to give you a sense of the grade. That was on very tired legs.
Here’s the elevation chart for reference. We’re talking 20% grades in two places and long, awful climbs up and over the bridge.
52nd place, and top (also lone) Canadian!
As for the race itself, I was super happy with my run. I ran a 1:41:59 to finish 51st overall (out of 568 runners). I was 7th (out of 41) in my age group and ran my third fastest half ever on a really challenging course. Oh, and top Canadian!
I was hoping to run about a 1:45 given the route and amount of training I’ve done over the summer, and did far better than that.
I’m glad I ran it.