Run Like Hell - T-Shirt

  • October 26th, 2014
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Run Like Hell
  • Sharon: 2:49:29
  • Tim: 2:49:27


14 down only 38 to go.

You know what is not fun? Running in windy, cold rain for 13.1 miles. My asthma loves damp weather and my arthritis loves cold rain. My 2 baby blisters ate some puddles and were full grown by the end of the race. OK – I get that this is Oregon and we are actually lucky that this is our first race in the rain. I’m assured that it won’t be our last. When I came up with the 52 HM plan I knew there would be some races that were colder than I like but I figured that would be a good excuse to buy some new clothes. Somehow it never even occurred to me that I might have to run in the rain. When you’re from Tucson you don’t think about rain when making outdoor plans. When planning a run in Tucson I ask, “Will it be over 100°?”, not, “Will it rain?”

Run Like Hell - Toes

I should be a foot model

After reading last weeks comments I realized that I didn’t link to the blog I quoted from. I did quote what I thought was his most annoying paragraph and although I don’t think the rest of his post is going to make him any friends, to be fair, we added a link. It’s pretty short, so if you want to read his full post (maybe leave him a comment) the link is now in last weeks post. I still can’t get over the fact that with all the fucked up stuff going on in the world this guy chooses slow runners to berate.

We did find an inexpensive hotel in downtown Portland that we recommend, the AAE Portland Downtown Value Inn. We didn’t realize that the downstairs was a hostel. We got a large room w/ a king bed for under $70. For once, the nonsmoking room didn’t smell like smoke.

Even though it was raining we decided to dress up. I’m glad we did because the costume party was the best part of the race. Most amusing was seeing our new friend dressed as a hot dog.

Run Like Hell - Ms. Kraut

Know what goes great with a hot dog – beers

I had to do some major modifying to make my costume runable. Tim, also, left off some major hardware on his costume. I have a hard enough time breathing when I run so I left off the corset. I also left off the little hat with pipe cleaner antenna. The shoes are my favorite part of my steampunk butterfly but I thought they might be a little uncomfortable to run in.

There was no designated race parking so we found a parking garage 3 blocks from the race. After the race I discovered it is easier to stay hidden and change clothes in a parking garage than in a parking lot – so that was a positive.

Even if it hadn’t been raining this would not have been one of my favorite runs. A major part of the race was run in an industrial area that smelled like piss. It was not a pretty run. There were a few places where the route doubled back. It was a lot of fun seeing people who were ahead of us in costume. I thought Tim would be carrying the heaviest costume accouterment but we saw several women with umbrellas decorated as jellyfish and most impressive – a group of guys running with giant flags. Best of all, I got high-fived by a hot dog.

They advertised music every two miles and a musical mile featuring, “12 blocks where 12 unique Portland musicians play to all three distances”, but because of the weather almost all the musicians bailed. I can’t say I blame them. One marching band put out a tarp and a few others braved the weather. A big thank you to the musicians who did come out and play. Because you were so sparse you were even more appreciated.

I felt awful for the volunteers. Most did their best to be friendly and enthusiastic but it was obvious they were cold and miserable. I saw much shivering and huddling against walls. Oddly enough I also saw a volunteer, asleep, against a wall. I don’t blame them for not being as cheerful as usual (I love and cheer them for showing up) but it is discouraging to see unhappy volunteers. Thanks for standing in the rain for hours. You guys rock.

Tim ran with me the whole way even though I could tell all my walking was making him antsy. Even though we started at the same time and he ran behind me, with his net raised though the finish line, he still managed to come in 2 seconds faster than me. How is that even possible? We got a lot of comments on our costume. My favorite was the guy who said our costume was “fresh”. I also really enjoyed the 3 different people who yelled that we were their favorite costume, because I’m greedy like that. Originally, I was afraid my costume would be too hot to run in but the long sleeve shirt and wig covering my ears helped keep me warm. I’m surprised the wind didn’t tear my wings off but they survived just fine. Sadly, they didn’t help me fly. My favorite costume was the BP oil spill.

One thing I will say for this race – the medals are awesome. I think this is the best medal yet.

Run Like Hell - Medal

It’s a bottle opener

The after race party would have been fun if it hadn’t been raining. There was a good band and 2 free beers for finishers. The race started at 7:45, which I thought was too early for that time of year. Even me and Tim were done before 11am. Tim had his beers but I just can’t drink before lunch. I have tried. The worse thing about running in the wet cold is stopping. Once I stopped running and my sweat started to evaporate I was chilled to the bone. I looked more like a plucked chicken than a butterfly.

Run Like Hell - Costumed

Drowned butterfly and butterfly hunter


  • Weather (and lots of it)
  • Lines and confusion at packet pickup
  • Oddly shaped bibs were awkward
  • Guided static stretching before the race
  • No event parking
  • long line at bag check
  • Nowhere near as much music as advertised
  • Swag was a T-Shirt and a Medal only
  • Run through industrial Portland
  • Much of the run smelled bad
  • Many volunteers looked miserable (I don’t blame them)
  • I though the race started too early for the end of October (7:45am)


  • Great medal
  • 2 free beers (if you want to drink at 10:30am)
  • Good after race band
  • Music along the course
  • Port-o-pots at aid stations
  • The creative costumes

Even if it hadn’t been raining this is not a race I would recommend unless you are a medal junkie. It did have a nice after race band and a couple beers, but nothing about this race justified the $74 – $99 price tag. In fact, the best part of this race was the runners who dressed up. Maybe if the all the musicians had shown up it would have distracted from the ugly, smelly landscape. With all the amazing races to choose from I would skip this one. If you looking for a fun Halloween race in Oregon I recommend last weeks race – The Runaway Pumpkin.

Postscript: I forgot to mention the before race guided static stretching led by a local yoga teacher. What were they thinking? Studies have shown that there is no benefit to static stretching before a run, exactly the opposite. Holding a stretch relaxes and lengthens the muscle. What that means is that static stretching before running will make you slower. If you stretch before a run do some dynamic stretching – i.e. leg swings, butt kicks and save the long slow stretching for after your run, or during, if you get a cramp. As a personal trainer this makes me crazy. It’s not new information but many people don’t know it and followed along. Any personal trainer, coach, or yoga teacher for that matter, will tell you to stretch after cardio, not before. Someone should have known this.


  1. I tried writing awhile ago but it didn’t connect… we’ll see if this goes through.
    I ran in snow knee deep up God forbid hills, in Illinois, but still came in second in my age division for one race, in my early 40’s… that was almost 35 years ago! Whew!
    Thanks for running the next cold race for me. I will watch for your blog! They are a hoot and I love reading them.
    It was in the high 60’s today so you would have loved it.
    Keep running and loving life. I will give John a kiss for you so you give one to Tim for me. So great to connect. You go, girl!!

  2. I will give him a kiss and thanks for running the next cold race for me… I ran in snow knee deep, up God forbid hills in blizzard like conditions and still came in second place for age division… when I was in my very early 40’s. I will look for your next blog… they are a hoot! so glad to connect with you, girl

  3. Hey there! Your blog postings remind me of why I like Tucson so much. I would probably start crying after two or three days of rain or overcast skies. It’s so great that you are doing this effort. I can’t believe you are doing 52 half marathons. I get out of breath just saying the word marathon! We all miss you and Tim here. I hope you will have a chance to come back and visit.

    • Great to hear from you. Thanks for reading my blog. It has been raining for over a week. I’m more than ready to come back to Tucson. We miss all of you. Not sure when I’m visiting.

      • I think I have finally mastered on getting into your blog! Yay for me! Sharon, I had to smile at you having to run in the rain for when I was racing in Illinois my best times were in the the rain and snow! How I remember those days but also wore just a tank top and shorts when it rained but did invest in some gore tex pants/jackets for cold weather.
        I am very proud of you and love reading all this. Please do a race for me and let me know which one it is. I loved half marathons but did get two marathons under my belt before my knees gave out. My best times were the 10K’s. Love to you and Tim.
        Keep running!

        • I’m so glad you left a comment. I got your email and was going to call. Thanks for reading. In honor of your best times being in the cold I will dedicate the next cold run to you. Our next two runs will be in CA because we are going to SanDiego for vacation next week so I hope it will be at least three weeks until we do a cold Jane run. We miss you. Give john a kiss for me.

  4. You guys are so cute (in costumer or not)! Sorry you got drenched, but it still looks like you had a lot of fun. Nice that you finished within 2 seconds of each other! I sent your race finish picture to the yoga group and gave them your blog info again. I hope you hear from some of them.

    It was 91 here yesterday, supposed to drop to low 70s by Friday. Everyone is waiting, because it’s been so hot for so long, we forget it gets cold here, too. Wonder what winter is going to be like this year? (Well, we know it’s gonna rain where you are!!!)

    Love you, and I’m so proud of you!

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