The Helvetia Half Marathon took place on Saturday, June 10, and is part of the Hood to Coast Race Series. There’s also a 15k, 10k and a 25 mi bike race that was offered. I think the bike race was new for 2017 which is a great option for those that like to bike. I love how this race is so close to home and starts and finishes at Ron Tonkin Field just like the Hippie Chick Half Marathon. But this race is a totally different course and is more hilly and challenging which made for a fun event.
According to my Garmin, the temperature was 50 F, which was nice but rain was in the forecast. That’s Oregon for you. The half marathon was scheduled to start at 8 am. This was my first time running this race so I was excited. I wasn’t running this one for time and knew it was a tough course so I just wanted to enjoy it and have fun. I arrived at the stadium around 7:30 am and took my race fuel, two servings of UCAN and made sure to bring my Simple Hydration bottle filled with nuun before I left the car. It was a little chilly so I wore a jacket and was just going to use gear check. I had to walk a little ways from the stadium parking and then used their indoor restrooms. The line wasn’t too bad and I noticed later there was a bunch of Porta Potties by the start line so they had plenty of bathrooms. Gear check was on the field and there was a long line but it moved rather fast and went smoothly.
The start line was just past the field.Here’s my pre race selfie 🙂 Here’s a look at all the racers behind me, waiting for the race to start.
I didn’t get to see it but the bike race started 15 min before the half, 15k, and 10k racers. Just before 8:00 am, the National Anthem was sung and then we were off.I felt good going into this race and I don’t remember it raining at the beginning. If it was, it was just light rain. The rain did pick up, unfortunately, especially during my last few miles.Just like the Hippie Chick Half, we headed up towards Highway 26 but instead of veering left we continued straight going past the highway.There was good signage for those racing the shorter distances and for everyone actually. Below is where the 10k turnoff was coming up. It was always clear on where to go and there were volunteers telling you as well.I was surprised to see these fire twirlers, I’m not sure what they’re called but it was great to see something fun and interesting along the route. There aren’t many spectators on the course like the big race events and the people cheering you on are usually the volunteers. The volunteers were terrific and I love how our names were on our bib. There were a few times when some of the volunteers would cheer me on saying my name. Always love that!The course is a beautiful scenic course that goes through Helvetia.There were many rolling hills and a really big hill that made it tough. I loved the challenge though.It seemed like the hills just kept coming.
We passed by many farms and it seemed so peaceful.Below is the pic of the major hill. It’s a tough one and I just pushed on.
Going downhill is always fun for me.After the downhill, I still felt surprisingly good and kept a good moderate pace. The scenery is so nice, passing through farmland. But in the last few miles it started pouring. I don’t usually mind running in the rain but when it’s pouring, it pretty much sucks lol. I picked up the pace on the final mile.It’s pretty cool that we finish on the stadium field. There was someone just a little ahead of me, or so I thought, and I had it my mind that I needed to beat that person. So I just had to, and I ended up with that last .05 mi being 5:27/mi according to my Garmin. I did cruise ahead of the person right before the finish line. 🙂
Can you tell it’s pouring rain? Also, it’s cool that on the big screen you could see the finishers cross the finish line. My Official time was 1:51:59. I’m happy with it especially for just having fun. I felt pretty good throughout except on those hills haha. But I liked this challenging course and I’d run it again.
They handed out the usual water bottle at the end. Check out the post race food.Burgers were from the Helvetia Tavern, a local landmark. It was pretty good and they also had veggie burgers as an option. Finishers also got a beer. Here’s the cool medal.There were also many booths that I didn’t get a chance to check out on the field and on the upper level.The Helvetia Half was a well put together race. Loved the burger post race. We also got a nice shirt. It’s a hilly course but who doesn’t like a challenge? I would do this one again.Do you have any races coming up?