I’ve always thought if I could run a marathon, I could do anything. Well, I’m halfway there!
I completed my first half-marathon in under two hours at the Run Like Hell race organized by Terrapin Events. I expected to finish in about two and a half hours, so my 8:30 pace surprised me on race day.
I decided to run a half marathon after I ran my first-ever race, the Shamrock Run 15K in March. As soon as I finished it, people started asking me when I was going to run a half-marathon — so I figured I better do it.
I officially decided to find a half-marathon to run after I joined the KOIN 6 Newshounds Hood to Coast team at the last minute. I enjoyed that and felt like it was a good kickstart to training!
I started my training program at the beginning of September. I was already running 3-5 miles several times a week and did a 5-mile leg for HTC, so my first long run was 6 miles and I added a mile each week. My longest training run before the race was 11 miles.
Running a route around the Willamette River was on my list of things I wanted to do while the weather was still nice and it fit perfectly into my training. I ended up doing an 11-mile lap from Sellwood Riverfront Park to the Burnside Bridge, then back along Mcadam and over the Sellwood Bridge. I liked the run, but if I did it again, I’d go back east at Tilikum Crossing and retrace my steps on the Springwater Corridor instead of Mcadam.
The Run Like Hell event itself got off to a bit of disorganized start but ended up fine.
A few weeks before the date, Terrapin Events had a change of plans for the start line. The races were supposed to start and finish at McMenamins Edgefield but organizers couldn’t get permission to run across 257th Ave. Instead, shuttles took runners from Edgefield to the Columbia Gorge Outlet Mall. I think this process took longer than expected, or maybe participants didn’t plan for extra time, because there was still a long line for the buses at 8 a.m., when the 10k and half-marathons were supposed to start.
I found out later they started at 8:10, but I didn’t get to the start line until 8:20. It was confusing because people were just going whenever and the trail was packed with the slower-paced runners and 5k participants.
I had to dodge and weave to try and catch up to my pace ground. I ended up catching the 9:30 pacers around the 3-mile mark. It sucked seeing the 8:30 group run past me near the turnaround, knowing I’d never be able to catch up, even though I was running at that pace.
It turned out to be a good thing I was with the 9:30 pacer because an experienced runner named Greg ran with me for a mile and coached me on how to finish strong and under two hours.
My other heroes were my friends Abby and Kyle, who posted up at Blue Lake Regional Park near the halfway point. Having someone cheer me on along the way really got me through the killer part of the race when I thought I was going to lose steam.
It was really fun to see so many people in costume at this Halloween event. I ran with Mr. Incredible and Dash for a while and saw dozens of runners dressed in their 80s best for the Stranger Things theme.
Overall, I had a great time training and running for this race and I would love to do another half-marathon or even a marathon sometime!