In the weeks leading up to the Oregon Brewery Running Series event at Portland Brewing, we were greeted with cold temperatures and seemingly constant rain. While I can appreciate and navigate these things in small doses (like I did at the recent Corvallis Half Marathon), I’d much prefer to have better weather – especially when running with children. Luckily, things took an amazingly positive turn weather-wise on race weekend and me and my daughter tackled the course in beautiful sunny at 64 degree skies! You couldn’t have asked for a better day for a race and brewfest.
This was my third OBS event of the year, the first being at Portland Cider with my 18 month old, followed by the Hopworks Vancouver event with my 6-year-old. This time, I completed the circle by running with my 8-year-old. I find that these events are absolutely perfect for those of us who run with kids. Everything is super chill, there are no official timing clocks to “worry” about, and there is lots of fun swag, snacks and things to do (like decorating your own race bib) that make it a great time.
In looking at the course map, I could tell this one was going to be a little more challenging than some of the other courses. We were going to have to head into Willamette Heights and up near Forest Park before circling back to the brewery. This would mean a pretty continual uphill for the first half of the race (gain of 300+ feet). And the course map didn’t like.
We started off with a quarter-mile flat stretch before the hills began. We started some climbing on NW 29th, before heading a little east and heading up some actual stairs that connected the very western section of Vaughan. Then we hit some continual climbing up Thurman St and then MORE up Aspen Avenue. My daughter did a very admirable job with all of this. We stopped and walked a handful of times, but it was a necessary option considering some of the climbs. Our walking (and running) sections allowed us to marvel at the awesomeness of the neighborhood. From houses that looked like “princess castles” to new super-modern extravaganzas, it was an impressive area for sure. Right around halfway began our descent back to the finish. After a super steep section down Savier St, the rest of the way was quite nice and gradual for the most part. Unsurprisingly we went from a 15 min/mile pace at mile one, before closing out at 12:29 and finally 11.26. We even had a little left for a sprint to the finish!
After the race was the Hoppy Earth Day Brewfest, which consisted of beers from some of the best local breweries (including samples from the newly rebranded Portland Brewing – which we wrote about here). All runners received VIP entry, 10 samples, a commemorative taster glass, as well as $5 voucher for food or beverages at the taproom (DOR only). This ended up being perfect for me and my daughter, as I sampled all the beer I wanted (and still ended up giving away the vast majority of my accumulated samples to other runners), and my daughter used the vouchers for a special meal and drink. It was a win-win all the way around. Much like other OBS races, we ended up leaving with loaves of Franz bread, KIND bars, and smiles on our faces. These are always such a great time.