Shamrock Portland: A weekend, 2 races and a bunch of Bibrave Pros!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Shamrock Portland as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone and I got to spend it with some awesome Bibrave Pros in Portland! For the first time in awhile, I got to race on St. Patrick’s Day and I had kind of forgotten how fun it is to do a race around a fun holiday. I flew out to Portland on Friday. It’s a short flight for me and I was able to leave in the afternoon so I had the morning to get some errands done. After getting in, I took an Lyft to my hotel downtown and got checked in. I ended up walking to the Oregon Convention Center to get my bibs and look around (and be jealous of the Leprechaun capes for one of the other races)

Saturday rolled around and I got a solid 10 hours of sleep (always so needed after coming off a few night shifts at work). Since it’s finally deciding to thaw out on the West Coast, I went for a run outside along downtown Portland. The ability to run without a bunch of layers on and gloves was a treat! Running through downtown, I could see the post race Shamrock Portland party being set up and you got the feel it was going to be epic!

I finished up at the hotel and showered before heading back to the Expo. I got to meet up with fellow Bibrave Pros Bridget, Jessica ad Tim. The expo actually has a good deal of vendors set up and a whole bunch of swag to get your hands on. Bibs are assigned to you at the expo, so you bring in your QR code, it gets scanned depending on your race distance and there you go. I was signed up for the 5K and the half marathon, so it was quick and painless. You then got sent to pick up your shirts (long sleeved!) and is actually one I’d wear out and about. Lots of free food samples, Great Clips doing green hair for kids (and adults!), the Children’s Hospital was there as were some of the running shops. After catching up and getting some pictures, I headed off to get some lunch and then watch some basketball at the hotel. I ended up going to church and finding dinner before calling it a night

Sunday came around and I was up bright and early. I changed and my plan for 16.2 miles and a long run kind of got nixed. I stopped by the front desk at the hotel and asked for a late check out and couldn’t due to a large group coming in and any check outs after noon were charged a fee. Sigh. I walked to the start line and lined up for the 5K that started at 8 AM. The course itself was out and back through downtown, though it had a short little out pouch off some of the side streets in order to get the .1 miles. Before the turn around, I ended up seeing Jessica on her way back of the 5K! We turned around after going up part of the main hill of Portland. We ended up coming back into down and crossing the finish and being led into the main post race party. Since my hotel was close, I walked about 1/3 mile back and switched bibs and ended up also changing into a tank top from my long sleeves.

Instead of coming back and lining up for the half marathon at 9:20, I lined up for the 15K at 8:55 AM. Prior to the 15K, they played the Irish National Anthem, which was pretty cool. We started right on time and went the same way as the 5K. The race takes you along SW Naito Parkway and to SW Barbur Blvd and it’s pretty much all uphill the first 5 miles or so. From SW Barbur, you head into George Himes Park and get some good views of the city from up above once you hit the highest point of the run before you head down hill and along some of the winding road ways of Portland. On your way back, be prepared to see the half marathoners coming up the hills you’re already done with, though their a few miles further along due to them adding some miles before joining up with you. The last few miles of the race are downhill, so overall your quads, hamstrings and hip flexors are put the ringer. Every mile and change, there were aid stations with water and Nuun. Plenty of volunteers and a well marked course.

By the time I finished, the post race party was picking up. The half marathon was starting to finish and the 8K was finishing up just down the road. I found Jessica and we watched Tim finish the half marathon. Plenty of music, food trucks and free food and post race beer for beer drinkers present. I ended up getting another 2 miles or so in, so I’ll take a 14 mile run over nothing. When I checked my results, initially they had me as a DNF for the half. Word of waring, if you switch distances, try and get your changes done at the expo or the week prior to the race. I was able to email Shamrock Portland and within a day or 2, it was switched and I came up under the 15K.

Overall, I thought it was a great race, lots of energy and a good course, though be ready for some hills. The big thing I’d work on is the time of the races (they have a 5K, 8K, 15K and half marathon). I was actually signed up for the half marathon, but it didn’t start until 9:20 (25 min after the 15K). I was set to run the half up until about 740 AM race morning and ended up not being able to get a late check out at the hotel (partly my fault for not checking on check in) and I wouldn’t have had enough time, especially with the hills, to finish and get back to the hotel, shower and check out without being charged. For us out of towners, I think an earlier half marathon time would be better, especially since we have more distance to cover. I also think it’d be awesome if they could come up with a challenge with some of the distances or even come up with a two day event! If you’re in the area, definitely look this race up!

Shamrock Portland and an Irish Jig

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Shamrock Run Portland as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Nothing says happy Thursday morning like finishing up an 8 day stretch at work and happy weekend like getting ready for a race weekend on St. Patrick’s Day Weekend! Shamrock Run Portland is almost here and I’m excited to get out to downtown Portland, OR this weekend for some running! Yesterday, I successfully got a fellow BRP, Jessica, to do a double race day with me and do both the 5K and the Half Marathon on Sunday. Let’s face it, more is better right?? Don’t forget, all races get medals!

Looking for some fun around Portland? Here’s some fun stuff to take a look at!

Some important things for race weekend:

  • Expo is Friday, March 15 from 9-7 pm and Saturday, March 16 from 9-3 PM. Be sure to get your bib!
  • Race times are staggered on Sunday, so be sure to know when you’re racing!
  • Know where to park and how to get to downtown Portland if you’re driving in

Get ready to get your run on this weekend and have some fun! Still time to register online and save 15% with SHAMROCKBR10!

 

Bibrave Race Review: Napa Valley Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Napa Valley Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews

Race weekend has come and gone and this was probably one of my favorite California races to do! If you’re looking for something with great scenery and downhill, definitely look into the Napa Valley Half Marathon and Marathon. This year was the 41st running of the full marathon, but the debut of the half marathon, which made the trip worth it.

I flew out Thursday afternoon and ended up delayed an hour and change out of Seattle due to maintenance issues. I made it to Sacramento in one piece, picked up my rental care and drove just over an hour to Napa. If you have a choice between SMF and SFO, flow into/out of Sacramento over San Francisco. Less of a head ache, same amount of time to get where you’re going. I got to the hotel somewhere after 9 pm and got checked in before finding some food. After getting some sleep, I spent Friday getting a much needed run outside, as I’ve been cooped up on the treadmill much of February due to snow and ice in Spokane. I’ll take a cloudy, nearly raining run any day! Got to run on the Vine trail, which started just outside of my hotel and have some fun with it.

After getting a shower in and some shopping, I went into downtown Napa for some lunch and spent most of the day hanging before heading down to happy hour at the hotel and then on to dinner.

Saturday morning, the marathon had a shake out run that started at 830 AM. It started with a raffle, in which I won a hat! You could also win wine and KT Tape, which was fun. We had the option of 3-4 miles on the Vine Trail and after finishing up, could head to the expo. I met up with fellow Bibrave Pro Brenda, who flew in from Massachusetts for the full (it’s always fun meeting up with other pros!). I picked up my bib, shirt and bag, walked around the expo a little bit before heading back to the hotel for a shower. I found some lunch and then went off the Hendry Winery for a tour and wine tasting (do it if you can, ended up getting to taste quite a few different wines!). After getting to church, I went to the Pasta dinner where we had some pretty fun speakers. At that point, I called it a night and changed into my sweats at the hotel.

Race morning started early. I was up around 430 to change and make the shuttles to the start. The half started at 7 am and the shuttles left at 5:10/5:15 in the morning. The start was at the Coon Creek Winery and having VIP access was helpful. Had some breakfast to munch on and indoor bathrooms to boot. Weather was overcast, but in the 50s, which I’ll take any day. If you checked bags, there were busses to take them to the finish. We started right at 7 am and were at the half way point of the marathon (they started further up and at 730 AM). The course was pretty much all downhill. One kind of hill close to the start, but really nothing after. Nice change for me after the amount of California races I’ve run with hills all over the place. The first 10 miles or so were on the Silverado trail before we turned off a few times to some other roads and finishing at Vintage HS. One thing that needs looked at is the amount of water stops. I think there were only 15 total between the half and full and the first one on the half didn’t come until 3-4 miles in. They were pretty spread out and I don’t know if it was planned like that or something happened with volunteers. I feel like they could have had some more, especially towards the middle/end.

The race finished at Vintage HS. You were greeted with medals and water, led to some food and then could go find some soup (which was much appreciated!). At the finish, you could search results, listen to some live music and hang out. There were shuttles back to the hotels and another area HS if you parked there or were staying at the Marriott/Hilton/Embassy Suites. The one thing that needs looked at is the post race shuttles. There was at least a 30-40 min span with no hotel shuttle. I ended up getting an Uber back to my hotel because I was getting cold, and it showed up as one of the shuttles was showing up. I think there was a communication issue or something, but people going back to the hotels were getting frustrated for sure.

Overall, a great race. I’m glad there’s now a half marathon option to go with the full. Fun race and definitely a must do. The few things to work on is making the half/full marathon shuttle buses pre race more spaced out to account for anyone who might miss the first string buses. Also, more aid stations and fixing the post race shuttle bus situation back to the hotels. If you’re looking for an excuse to get to Napa, here you go!

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