RACE RECAP: 2014 Old Port Half Marathon

FUN RUN with the BFF = 2014 Old Port Half Marathon

Buoys as division prizes ... so cool!

I was pumped when my BFF Sarah's dad bought her an entry into the Old Port Half for her bday present. Since Sarah and her family live in Portland, we would be making it a little weekend trip.

First stop on Saturday, June 12 was the Expo. The Expo may've been small, but it would outside on a pier with beer for purchase and live music. Hey-o!

I want to thank Old Port Half Race Director Erik Boucher for having me at the race. I do want to share that I was given complimentary race entry and swag, but all of my thoughts are honest and 100% mine!

After a quick Expo trip, we had a lovely afternoon birthday BBQ for my niece Joanna's 2nd birthday.

Since we had a 5am wake-up call, we all turned in early.

After some grumbling after the early wake-up call, I dragged myself off the guest futon and happily got ready for the race. I brought some instant oatmeal to have prior to the race. It is nice to have a kitchen at your disposal when prepping for a race while on the road. Plus, Sarah lives pretty close to downtown so we didn't have to leave the house until just after 6am.

There was ample parking available around the city. Okay, we just parked in any lot we found and hoped for the best. ;) We asked a cop to double check that we were okay and he basically said we are parking at our own risk. Eh, we took the chance.

We immediately headed to the lengthy port-o-potty lines. While in line, I brought up the article from the Boston Globe where Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray shared his race pet peeves. One included folks forming one line to cover multiple port-o-potties rather than one line per port-o-potty. Shortly after I brought this up in a line that seemed to be growing rather than moving, someone made an announcement over the loudspeaker to form one line per port-o-potty. Hallelujah! The lines immediately started moving more.

Wife & I proud to #SportTheFort for Slumbrew!

But we were already cutting it close to the race start. We had about 15 minutes before the Start and still had to drop my bag at the Blue Trailer Mobile Lockers. Thankfully Molly was running a smooth ship and the line moved swiftly. I got my key, locked up my gear and Sarah and I headed to the Start corral.

I sent Tori ahead so she could be in place and get settled before the race started. Since Sarah and I were doing it for fun, I wasn't worried about getting to the right corral.

I will commend Old Port for trying to keep a lane free to the right side of the Start Corral for folks to shimmy up to their correct pace group.

Oh when we came to the back of the Corral, we spotted additional port-o-potties. Would've been helpful to know about those earlier. :P

We did our best to sashay our way up to the 8:30-ish corral, but we got stopped around the 9 min/mile pace corral.

While in line, we went over our game plan again of having fun, taking pictures and keeping the run around a 9 min/mile pace. Our only time goal was to finish in sub-2. The rest of the goals were for fun. ;)

The Start corral was full of spectators and the folks running the 5k option which would be kicking off at 7:30. They were actually taking a shuttle to their Start Line. Cool idea.

The race started out on the main street of Commercial Street. With parts of the street still open to traffic, we were actually running in a roped off area in the middle of the street. It was a narrow shoot so there wasn't a whole lot of bobbing/weaving we could do without possibly rolling an ankle on the old streets. We did the best we could, but again didn't want to waste energy as there was a large hill happening around Mile 3.

Mile 1: 8:52 Mile 2: 8:05

Can you tell we got into a better groove around Mile 2? ;)

After Mile 2, the ever-loving hill began. It weaved, it climbed and it just kept going.

Mile 3: 9:05

I know the hill takes a little more toll on the injured left hammy so I made sure to stay smart and strong. I slowed it down and didn't get antsy when folks passed me. I had to run my own race.

Just after hitting the 5k mark, we saw race volunteers waving frantically and yelling "You are going the wrong way!"

Ummm what? Apparently the folks in front of us were being led in the wrong direction.

We were among the first 15 people to be directed the correct way on the course. As we turned right and had the cool feeling of being in the "front of the pack" on the race, we grumbled that those folks probably wouldn't have to run all 13.1 miles. In reality, I would've been angry if my race wasn't accurately 13.1.


Before I continue with the race recap, I want to share what race director Erik posted on the mix-up.

Thank you Erik for being honest and owning up to the mistake.


We celebrated being on the correct course with a downhill. :)

During the downhill, I was trying to fix my bun when I lost the hair elastic. Ahhh! Sparkly Soul headband to the rescue. Phew. I was about to start asking surrounding runners for help.

Mile 4: 8:47

Once the hill ended, we took a sharp left and returned to Commercial St. We were heading back towards the Start Area before heading out on the second loop of the race.

I was getting a ton of cheers for my gun metal Sparkle Athletic skirt. The girls around me were jealous of my cheers. I explained to them how awesome the Sparkle Athletic skirts are. It is an instant crowd pleaser.

Mile 5: 8:33

As we passed the Start area, we waved to the car that was still there (woo!) and headed up yet another hill. Sarah had told me that the hill at Mile 3 and an incline at Mile 11 would be it.

Well apparently she thought the course would be down by the water during Mile 6 rather than taking the hill side. Oh joy! ;) I tried to just put my head down and barrel up the hill.

Luckily the hill began by passing the Shipyard Brewery so I just kept thinking about the Shipyard beer we would enjoy at the end of the race.

Mile 6: 8:57

Best friends can be in sync about many things including bathroom breaks. Since we weren't trying to PR, we took a much-needed port-o-potty break during Mile 6. One great way to celebrate climbing to the top of the hill. ;)

Everything was better after the bathroom break.

Beautiful, right?

My Garmin was pretty spot on the whole race so I made sure we took a mid-run selfie at the halfway mark.

We didn't even plan to have such similar outfits, but it worked for us. ;)

My left hamstring was feeling a little tight, but nothing that I haven't gotten used to since the pain started in May. (Yes I am working on the problem ;))

Mile 7: 9:40 (bathroom break can really slow the pace :P)

During Mile 7, we took a left turn onto the running/bike trail that surrounds Back Cove. We would be spending the next 3-ish miles running along this lovely spot of Portland.

Somehow turned on the black-white filter on my phone

This is definitely the top running in Portland as we had a ton of folks out for a fun Saturday morning run pass us while we were running.

Mile 8: 8:42

I want to commend the race for having 10 water stops throughout the course, including a handful of misting tents.

While out on the trail along the Cove, the sun really starting beat down on us. There wasn't a ton of shade available so we made sure to take in water and gatorade whenever available.

Mile 9: 9:03

I've been focusing on walking through the water stops during my races. I've heard taking that 10-15 seconds is wicked helpful for the legs during a race.

Sarah and I were having a good time catching up and planning for her and her daughter to come see my Half Ironman in September. :)

Mile 10: 9:20

During the Mile 10 water stop, I had to peel off my KT Tape as it was rolling off. I rarely have that happen, but I guess I was sweating that much?

Mile 11 took place over Tukey's Bridge. It was an incline, but not nearly as steep as the previous two hills.

Mile 11: 9:20

Once over the bridge, we took a right on Sewage Plant Rd. You can only imagine what kind of facility is on that street and the smell that it let out. Gross! If nothing else, that smell made us run faster.

After a quick turn around point, we headed straight down Eastern Prom trail to the Finish.

We just kept saying "Beer! Beer! Beer!"

Not sure the people around us were as excited as we were. ;)

Mile 12: 8:55

The final mile offered a beatiful view of a dog park as well as some little up and down inclines. Thanks Portland. How sweet of you!

Mile 13: 8:28

The last mile gave us time to decide what we would do when we hit the Finish Line - holding hands and doing the SNL Superstar move it is!

Finish Time: 1:57:44 (8:58 min/mile pace)

Success! Half Marathon #19 was in the books!

We had a great time and felt awesome at the Finish.

We scooped up our medals and headed for the food. I got a nice bottle of free water, a KIND bar and a hot piece of pizza from Portland Pie Company. I applaud Portland Pie for offering a Gluten-Free option for Finishers. They also had cookies and swedish fish for refuel.

We recovered our stuff from Blue Trailer lockers before stalking the Shipyard Beer Garden.

Each Finisher was given two complimentary Shipyard beers. Since the line was ridiculously long that wrapped around the Beer Garden, we grabbed both of our beers at once to be safe.

I felt bad that they ran out of Blueberry beer before my wife finished. :/ It is her favorite.

Sarah and I settled in to stretch and enjoy our beverages, while we waited for Tori to finish and her husband to meet up with us.

The weather was great to sit out and enjoy the 90s cover band. I'm not sure if the band was amazing or if they were just playing every song we love. I think a little of both. :)

We finally met up with Sarah's husband Brandon and Joanna when we found out that babies weren't allowed in the Beer Garden ... but dogs were. Didn't make sense to us. But we found a barricade so we could still hang out with them while we enjoyed our beer.

Joanna was rocking Sarah's medal. While chatting, Joanna decided to break into the beer garden - a gutsy 2 year old - to start double fisting.

Down that water baby!

She is a rebel with a cause. To distract her from the doggies in the beer garden, Brandon and Joanna went to cheer Tori into the Finish! She did awesome finishing in 3:00:11. Amazing job. I was so proud of her especially since I know she hadn't been training for the hills.

We enjoyed some more pizza, while Tori had her celebratory beer.

It is hilarious that we were calling it a day shortly after 11am. We needed some low-fat chocolate milk and Dunkin Donuts coffee.

BYOCM - Bring Your Own Chocolate Milk

Overall, the race was amazing. I had a blast with my BFF and fellow very supported throughout the race. Besides the snafu with misdirection and not alerting folks earlier about the additional port-o-potties, Erik and crew did a great job.

Special thanks to all the volunteers and police officers out on the course.

Plus, it was one sweet sweet medal.


Did you run the Old Port Half or 5k?