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Foot Traffic Flat 2012 Race Review

July 7, 2012

A day off, sunshine, strawberry shortcake and a new 13.1 half marathon (Foot Traffic Flat, Portland OR) PR sure makes for a great Independence Day!  I set out on Wednesday to reach one of my 2012 goals (13.2 in a 1:45 race time) and I ended up beating that by 2 minutes. Yippee!

Bridge to Sauvie Island. Please note that this was not taken on race day. If it was, you would see a long line of cars.

There is a reason for “flat” in the name of this race. Flat means fast, and apparently this course was ranked 12th in the nation (2010) in percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers. Sauvie Island is beautiful. I have spent many days out there mostly riding the 12 mile loop that winds through farms, pastures and wildlife reserves. On clear days you can see Mt Hood and Mt. St Helens. The course was clockwise around the island starting at the Pumpkin Patch farm. Elevation gain on the whole course was a whopping 51 feet. Marathon runners went off 15 min prior to the start of the half marathon. Instead of having to run the loop twice, the course took them down an out and back on Sauvie Island Rd and then connected back in a few miles into the half.

There were several aid stations along the course, though I can’t recall 7 of them that the website claims. The aid stations were fairly basic: water, “electrolytes” and Ignite (which sound great, but I have yet to even seen them in stores!). I have no idea what the “electrolyte” drink was (it was never called out by the volunteers) and I was a little skeptical to drink it remembering not to try anything new on race day. The Ignite gels I heard were going to be out there, but I never actually saw them on the course (I didn’t hear volunteers calling these out either.) Good thing I packed 3 Honey Stinger gels in my shorts prior to the race. This is a good reminder not to rely on nutrition from races, especially at the small local events.

Medals given out were fun- giant strawberries! This paired well with the strawberry shortcake given to all athletes at the end of the race. Although it wasn’t exactly what I was craving after a race and at 8:30 in the morning, I couldn’t pass it up! There was also free hotdogs for athletes.

Strawberry medal and strawberry shortcake!

T-shirts were not given out to all entries to the race and were an extra $13 purchased at registration or on race day. The design for the t-shirt was simple and from what I heard from other runners, not worth the money. I already wasn’t too thrilled for the high price of the race (of course I registered late too, and paid for the shuttle.) Then again, when it is small local events like this you know the money is going straight to a good cause. In this case it was for the Sauvie Island Fire Department.

So, about transportation to the race: The first “traffic flat” occurs prior to race start in getting onto Sauvie Island. There is only one way on to the island by a single lane road. Prior to the race, traffic was backed up at least a mile and half even before the bridge to get on the island. I wasn’t worried for myself, since I was sitting on the shuttle bus. Here is the tip: take the shuttle if you can! It was an additional $6 RT for the shuttle, but worth the convenience. As we bypassed the traffic, we started seeing runners exit their ride’s car and start their run early to get to the starting line in time. Who wants to run a couple extra miles when you are already going to do 13.2 or 26.2?

This guy just skipped the whole 13.1!

The most interesting thing that happened at the race was that representation from the Guiness Book of World Records was there.  I remember seeing a man in a suit riding a bike among the runners early on the race and it wasn’t till the end that I realized what was going on: a man set the world record for fastest time skipping an entire half marathon. His final time: 2:20:01, earning him not only the record, but a plaque, and apparently was his 150th world record set. So congrats to him! Ok Dan, I think we can beat this….you in?

Overall, this was a really fun race to do and a great little event for July 4th. Sign up early though, and sign up for the shuttle. Then run, or skip fast!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2012 8:14 pm

    Nice medal!

  2. gralover1 permalink
    July 7, 2012 9:01 pm

    Awesome run, Julie!!! so proud of you!!! sounds like a really beautiful place for a run, too!!!

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