Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Race Preview: The Oregon Marathon and The Oregon Half Marathon

Join me on September 13th as I tackle the beautiful country side in the Willamette Valley for 13.1 miles... or pass me by on your way with 26.2 miles!

Either way, this course sounds like it will be breath taking.  Uberthons does not disappoint with their heavy duty (and heavy) medals, extremely accurate timing and well thought out courses.

Both courses will travel through the Gallon House Bridge.  I'm going to pack my camera just for that and hope to bribe someone to take my photo.  

Both the half and full marathon are described as "mostly flat or downhill" for 9 miles.  And the total elevation from highest point to lowest point (for the full marathon course) is 169.39 feet.

Ice cold watermelon will be available at the aid station at the halfway point (or the finish for the half marathon distance) at the Mt. Angel High School.

The full marathon will then climb about 109 ft over 6 miles and then travel a mile through a local vineyard and a mile of hard packed gravel.  Don't worry, it's described as hard packed and only for one mile.  However, you'll face a hard packed gravel road again from mile 18-19.  This sounds like a good opportunity for tired feet to try out a new terrain.

Total ascent for the full marathon is just short of 600 ft.  (This is the total of all the little inclines, hills, etc. added on top of each other.)   This sounds like a great course and I wish I was a little more prepared for a full.  Maybe next year?  ;)

There will be cold showers available for race finishers at Mt. Angel high school (leave your clothes on!  This is outside in the football field...) and changing rooms inside the school to get into warm, dry clothes before boarding the free shuttle back to the start line and the festivities.

For those wanting a warm shower, that is available for $2 at the local YMCA as well as changing stalls.  

After you are all cleaned up and dry, you are ready to go relax and enjoy some brews and brats at the Mt. Angel Oktoberfest.

Here's the rundown!

When:  Sat. Sept. 13th, 2014.  Start time is 7:30am
Finish by: 10:45am half marathon or half way point for full marathon and 2pm for full marathon distance (14.9mm)

Where:  Mt. Angel, Oregon.  Start line is in front of Glockenspiel Restaurant.

Packet Pickup:  Fri. Sept. 12th, 2014 from 2pm-8pm at The Grand Hotel in Tigard, Oregon.

Cost: Check out the registration page.  If you join a team of 10 or more people, you will save $5.  (Might I tempt you to join my "Moms Run This Town" team?) There are also different fees if you'd like to do a relay team or register for a certain distance as an individual.

Oregon Marathon (and half marathon) website HERE
Oregon Marathon facebook page HERE

Register HERE

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Race Recap: The Joe Dudman 5K

Race Recap:  The Joe Dudman 5k on June 21, 2014 

June 21st fell on a beautiful, sunny Saturday this year and also marked the first day of summer.  As the longest day of the year, several races were going on in my area during the morning and into the evening.  

So many choices.... where should someone kick off the celebration of summer and go run?

Well, the answer was simple for me.

I spent my morning at The Joe Dudman 5K.  This was a small community event (just under 70 participants) and a once in a lifetime race.  After all, how many times do we get together in the racing community to throw a 5.0K race in honor of someone's 50th birthday?   I haven't spent time with Joe outside of saying "Hey, good job." at local races, but it was important to me to be there for such a milestone for such a great guy.  You can catch up on some of his adventures on the Run Oregon blog.

That morning, I hung out at the packet pickup table and helped runners check in before they went out to warm up for the race.  There were athletes of all levels represented in the audience from those who hadn't run much (or at all, like my dear husband) and some who were new to the idea and this was their first race.  However, the great majority were strong athletes vying for the prizes for the top three finishers in the Overall division and the Masters division.  (Don't believe me?  52 of the 67 athletes finished the race in under 30 minutes.  Don't worry.  I wasn't one of them.)  One participant was a 6 year old and I hope that my kiddos will want to run with me (instead of ride in the double wide behemoth stroller).

We started the race by singing "Happy Birthday" to Joe and then counting down until the race began.  And everyone was off on a strong start!

Joe with his prize for a great race, (upper right corner) me with my mug and cupcake and (below) my husband securing the behemoth stroller to the roof of the car.... because my stroller is the size of my car.

The course was laid out in a pretty and quiet business complex in the Beaverton area and then over to the Fanno Creek Trail and back again, starting and ending near the ADAPT Training building.  The course was fairly flat and I enjoyed the foot bridges and trees in the paved trail part.  My kids shouted "YIPPEE!"  everytime we crossed a bridge.  

Before the race, an Adapt trainer lead the group in some dynamic warm up stretches and after the race, participants were invited to checkout the 9am class for free.

Funds from the race were donated to the American Cancer Society, and about $500 was donated.
Participants were given a pretty blue mug donated by Run Oregon blog and I happily filled mine up with half hot chocolate and half black coffee, donated from starbucks.  The race had lots of fantastic donations and raffled off some free race entries to some local races, socks, "Thera pearl" recovery hot and cold packs, tech shirts and much more.

 There was a cupcake bar that participants could pick out a chocolate, vanilla or red velvet cupcake and coat it with chocolate, vanilla or cream cheese frosting and then top with various candy choices.  How cool is that?  If anyone wonders what to get me for my birthday?  Throw me a race party with a cupcake bar.  ;-)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Race Recap: Get A Clue Scavenger Hunt

Race Review:  Get A Clue Scavenger Hunt
Sat. June 14th, 2014

Welcome to Canby, Oregon for the "Get A Clue Scavenger Race"!  I wasn't sure exactly what to anticipate and had some guesses, but I wasn't ready for this....

I am completely hooked.  Do we have to wait a whole year for another one of these?  It was so much fun and less intimidating being in a smaller town while tracking down clues, asking local non racers for assistance and popping in and out of the local businesses for clues and tasks to compete for points. 


We met at the fairgrounds and approximately 27 teams of 2 to 5 people gathered until it was time for the team captains to form a circle.  In the circle we held up our hands in the air holding our envelopes with the list of clues and destinations we each needed to locate.  We all counted down until the appropriate time we could tear them open and dash off to the first location with our teams.

Maybe we dashed off a little too quickly.

The list of destinations was not in a particular order, or maybe they were.  The were certainly NOT listed in order of who was closest and which were near each other.  This takes some strategy and planning to determine which locations would be best to hit first.

I'm not exactly map savvy and I was really grateful to Kelly with Run Oregon to give me the tip about where streets had NW in front of them and where to locate the streets with only N. or S. and where the SE streets could be located.

I certainly didn't plan as well as I should have, and after a really long trek to one of the clue destinations, I begged a passing team for a piggyback ride.  They laughed and said they were going to ask me the same thing (even though they were running faster and passed me).  As he flew by, he commented that they had ran a total of 8 miles!!  Talk about a long run day!  I didn't turn my gps watch on (and meant to) but I'm pretty sure with my lack of planning and backtracking, that I was one of those teams that covered 6+ miles.  I do know that after sitting for awhile, I was bow legged and sore for the rest of the day.

Some destinations would give you another clue as your reward for locating them.  This clue would lead you to yet another destination not on the original list.

Other destinations had fun challenges to do on site, such as maneuvering through a "hot lava" maze or building a certain project out of legos.  

My awesome team mate balancing through the "hot lava" maze.

After completing each task, teams were awarded cards with numbers on them.  These were our "points" which we turned in before the designated ending time.  Teams were also trying to keep an eye out for special "bonus items" hidden throughout town.  Each team could collect up to two items and redeem those for extra points.  Those items can be found here.

All teams needed to check back in at our start point by 11:30am.  Teams that checked in late, were docked one point for each minute or were disqualified if more than 10 minutes late.

Points were tallied up and the top three teams with the most points were awarded the "golden shoe" medals and all teams were given raffle tickets in the number of how many points they had earned.  We could then place our raffle tickets in drawings for various prizes donated by local businesses, many of which were the good sports who hosted clues and challenges for this race.

An event like this is made successful by all the generous support of the local businesses, and I got to know Canby a lot better.  My team mate and I did a lot more walking around town and some window shopping after the race with the various businesses who were open that morning.  I don't think we actually left Canby until 3pm.  I think this is a race that the local businesses will want to support and be a part of!  

Jennifer and I getting to know some of the businesses in Canb while completing challenges.
I know now what I'd do differently next time, and I'm pumped to give this another go!  I might not place in the top three, but I want to finish this with all the challenges complete next time!  In the two hours I had to do this, we didn't quite get through our list.

Next time, Canby.  Next time.

Check out their website here and facebook page here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Race Preview: Get a Clue Scavenger Race on June 14th

Race Preview:
This Saturday, June 14th is the "Get a Clue" Scavenger race.  

I don't know what to expect... but the "racecourse" is described as somewhere between 3 to 6 miles.   That's because it'll be determined by however each team (between two to five people) interpret the clues and which locations they choose to go to first.

So far, the hints and teasers on the facebook page post photos either as a "challenge teaser" or a "clue hint".  I think (and could be wrong) that this means a clue will be able to be located somewhere about town where the item is located and the challenge teaser is an idea of some task we will have to perform before we can move on.

...but the clock is ticking!  Get done as much as you can in the allotted time and maybe your team will get to take home one of these:

Will I see you there?  Here's the challenge teasers and the clue hints I've pulled from their facebook page.  I may be missing some, or their numbering was off... but this was all I could find.  Wish me luck on my adventure this weekend!  I am such a bling obsessed person...  I hope I can win one.   I don't know Canby, Or at all and will have some serious competition.

Get A Clue challenge teaser #1

Get A Clue Challenge teaser #2: Will you be seeing stars?

Get A Clue Challenge teaser #3: Anyone know what this is?

Get A Clue hint #1: Keep your eyes open for this guy!

Get A Clue hint #2: Watch for the pink flamingo on race day!

Don't get caught just hanging around! Get registered for Get A Clue - Scavenger Race! And keep an eye out for this little guy on race day. (Hint #4)
Get A Clue hint #5: Hey, Cupcake! Keep an eye out for this on race day.

Get A Clue hint #6: Don't let the Creepy Bunny hop away!

Get A Clue hint #7: Where will Marni Mannequin be this year? She's waiting to see your team!

Date:  Sat. June 14th, 2014

Time: 9:30am- 11:30am

Location:  Horning Hall at Clackamas County Event Center.  694 NE 4th ave. Canby, Or

Registration Fee:  $30 until June 11th and then $35 at day of registration.  (Subtract $5 for kids 12yrd and under). 

Registration site:  Click Here

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Race Recap: Helvetia Half Marathon, 10K and Kids' Dash

Race Recap:  Helvetia Half Marathon and 10K and kid's dash. June, 7th, 2014.

It's hard not to compare this race to Hippie Chicks Half, because both are put on by Better Series events, they have the same start and finish line and were 26 days apart.

2,055 racers participated in the half or 10k distance for Helvetia (while 2,287 were at Hippie Chick.  It seemed like the Helvetia Half was a lot smaller, but when looking at the numbers, there isn't a big difference.  Maybe there were less people there for support, like family and friends to cheer?).

There were some vendors offering samples before and after the race and allstate was giving out cowbells...  We got our cowbell.

After the extremely quick bagcheck, I met with some friends before the race for some photos and then off to get Bugaboo and Squeakers ready for the kids' dash.  

Hippie Chick's Kids' dash had us run through the finish gate and off the field and down the sidewalk, (watch out for cars turning into the event parking lot!) and around the corner to who knows where for how long.  Bugaboo had started crying because she was clearly one of the youngest and the racers ahead were all gone.  She didn't want to go anymore and I wasn't going to force her.

I didn't know what to expect at Helvetia.... but I was looking at the kids' dash with trepidation.  At least it was Free?  

We queued up at the finish gate again and this time it was a nice lap around the stadium track.

No traffic.
Cheers from all the people finishing their warm up or hanging out for the race to start.
One lap.

 Bugaboo told me her legs were "too short" when we started, but I told her "Mama is gonna run with you.  I'll stay with you."    And she seemed to ease into her race and have fun instead of worry about not finishing it.

Squeakers was the youngest runner there and refused any help with her race.  She is approaching 20 months in age (very independent)  and she ran the 1/4 mile herself hollering "ZOOOOOM!" and carrying her cowbell.

Apparently people on the sideline cheered "We need more cowbell!" and she'd stop to ring it for them.  It goes without saying that the announcer broadcasted that the kids' dash was over and Squeakers was still out on the course.  She rounded the corner and I screamed and cheered like a proud mama and told the announcer "Here comes my baby!" and he got on the PA for everyone to cheer her in.  She got to the end, got some photos with her sister, awarded her medal and took off for a second lap.  Dad had to reel her back in.

The kids' who participated got a meal voucher for The Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant and a medal.  I was so excited for them and thought about the pride on their faces with their medal during my race.   They got the same medal that I would get when I finished.

A friend of mine ran the 10K and was also thrilled and surprised when she was awarded her medal at the finish line.  The website explains that there are medals for all half marathon finishers.  What a nice treat for all the racers.

Ribbons and mugs were given to the top three male and female finishers in each age group.

The webpage explained that pace groups would be provided by Team Athena, but I looked for a pacer and didn't see any.  (At Hippie Chicks, the Team Athena pacers were easily marked with a sign at the start line with their pace and wearing a helium balloon tied to them while running.)  

The course is hilly, and I admit that I have not been doing hill training like I should be... but I found the course extremely beautiful and the hills were a fun challenge.  The race is billed as one where we "leave the city behind" and we really do.  Hippie Chicks had some pretty farm views and fields of clover, but for Helvetia, we travelled North of Highway 26 and passed the Helvetia Tavern and The Roloff Farm along our route.


The half marathoners passed through rolling hills, steep hills, winding roads and back to the Hillsboro Stadium.   We passed by llamas, horses, fields of clover, fields of grass, Christmas tree farms, farms selling produce, a quaint little white church and cemetery, through a shady forest full of ferns and chirping birds...  IT WAS AMAZING!

3rd half and 6th race in 26 days... I finished slow.  But i finished! 

Between the two races, I know where I'd put my money.  Despite there being less pre race vendors and freebies, the race not having pacers or perhaps the post race food being located beyond the gate where alcohol was allowed (thus needing to find a safe place to put my beer to go get my burger)... Better Series went above and beyond to correct the problems that occurred at Hippie Chicks.  They did a great job at more organized and taking care of the issues from Hippie Chicks in the 26 day period.

There was plenty of water and water stations, porta potties were set up prior to the event (instead of during the event), the kids' dash was more realistic and safer (by staying on the stadium track and not crossing the event parking entrance), the post race food was amazing (Helvetia Tavern donated veggie and beef burgers), there was plenty of water after the race and the medals were much better.  I even saw a race photographer at the finish line and a couple out on the course within the first few miles.  

Will you be there next year to "leave the city behind"?  I'm curious, have you ran this event in the past?  How was it different (if at all) from past events?  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Facing reality and emerging from Denial

Facing reality and emerging from denial, I am realizing I am a heel striker.

I was flipping through my race photos, trying to choose which ones I'd put on a motivational board or a "brag wall" to go with my bibs and medals.  Something for me, for fun and to remember the feels of accomplishment when I have a particularly difficult training run.

I kept seeing the same thing over and over again in my pictures...

There is a lot of info out there about heel striking.... Almost everyone does it, or that barefoot running will or will not help...  Most information out there seems to contradict each other, like most things on the internet.  

When seeking advice from my running community today, I received these tidbits:

Get a metronome app and run between 160-180bpm

Run barefoot on grass or a soft surface

Shorten my stride

Try "Chi Running"

Be a "ninja" at home and practice walking ball of foot to heel

Do hill repeats at a steep grade for 30-50 yards at least 5 times twice a week or tackle stadium stairs

Get a running coach

Look for a running form clinic

Pick up my knees

Concentrate more on landing on the ball of my foot

Pay for this program or that...

Whatever the answer is, I know I have some work ahead of me.  I know I need to pick up my knees and drop my arms and put my shoulders back.  I knowI need to shorten my stride.  I know that I monster stomp around my house.  I hear myself "THOMP! THOMP! THOMP!" when I go from one end of the house to the other... 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mind over Matter and National Running Day 2014

It's National Running Day!!
What does that mean exactly?

Well, it can mean some discounts on gear or race entries... It can mean a chance to get together with some running buddies or go out for a run by yourself... but to me, it's always a chance to reflect on why exactly I choose to run.  (Here's my ponderings from last year).

Because, let's face it... if you have been following my journey (or click here for the "before picture" at over 230 lbs), running is pretty crazy and the last thing I ever wanted to do.

Running was the last thing I sorta wanted to do today....

My last "real" run was May 18th (Rock 'n' Roll half marathon) though I had just done a 5k last weekend as a fun run (with a lot of fast walking and a bulky costume)... I feel like a lazy bum and completely not too sure about my half marathon this coming Saturday.  Yeah... my 3rd half marathon since the start of May (Hippie Chicks was on May 10th and started this crazy race schedule I put myself in.)

I finished Rock 'n' Roll and have been tapering ever since.  ;-)  Well, the biggest thing I've learned after all your wonderful advice on my facebook page is that this is the mental part I have to get over.


So back to the pondering and reflecting why I run....

I went to National Running Day's web page and printed off some blank bibs for myself and some of the gals in my Moms RUN This Town club and sat down to write some reasons out.

When I asked Bugaboo what she liked about running, she responded "I run with Mommy until I get bigger!" and when I asked Squeakers, her response was "ZOOOOOOM!"  so there you go.  Their bibs were all filled out.  

I started an essay on mine.  I wrote out "To inspire.  To be a good example.  For good health.  To be a better person (a nod to last year's reason(s)).  To keep the lazy away.  For the accomplishment."

Time to meet my sole sisters, so I loaded the kids in the stroller and set off for the park.

It felt so good.

I was running again.

What the heck is going on with me?!  Mental.  It's all mental.

My husband has started a new job and the hours are going to be a bit crazy for awhile.  9-5 for a couple weeks, then him leaving the house at 3:30am to get to work by 4am and getting home early in the afternoon.  Late night shifts.  Early morning again.  All over the place.  I had been letting that stress me out since there is some unpredictability to it and I have been feeling cooped up with the kids at home.  Then I had been making excuses (some valid, some not) about why I couldn't get a run in that day.

Not today.  I had people waiting for me at the park... so with the car gone with the hubby to his new job, I ran as fast as I could to not be too terribly late while they waited for me.

As I arrived, it occurred to me why I run.  All those things are great on my bib, but the real reason why I run...  it gives me confidence.  Confidence that I can wrestle the kiddos into the stroller and get away, out of he house... I can destress and let go of the excuses and find some freedom out on the run.  I felt happy again.  Happy for the first time since I finished Rock 'n' Roll.

I guess you can call it the "Runner's High".  At any rate, I'm back in the game.

Tell me why you run...

what does your bib say?

Monday, June 2, 2014

"Adventure is out there!" Running in costume at Portland's Starlight Run

Starlight Run 5k on May 31st

The race takes place in the evening on the streets of Portland, OR.  We run the "Starlight Parade" route just before the actual parade begins.

It's a fun and zany parade with some of the Portland Rose Festival floats altered to light up for the night time parade.  The Starlight Run is like the opening act for a big concert... the run is no small fare with over 7,000 registered runners and completely zaney as well.

The Starlight Run is an untimed event... the clock ticking though for runners to finish before the start of the parade.  Most runners run in some form of costume, whether it be a tutu or fun shirt or some other crazy design.  Those hoping to participate in the costume contest need to report to the band stage (at the start expo/party) at 6:30pm and the race starts at 7:45pm.  (The Parade afterwards starts at about 9pm.)
Race registration is $19.00 for 16 years and up with a free meal ticket on each bib for The Old Spaghetti Factory (up to $10.50 in value).   The race beneficiary is Legacy Health Rehabilitation and Therapy Program when participants make a donation during their registration process.

The Rose Festival's theme this year is "Making Memories" and dressing up as the characters from the movie "Up" seemed like a perfect match for the race and festival's theme.

I can't remember whose idea it was... but I was very honored to be invited to be in the gang!  I took on the task of becoming "Carl" and true to my fashion, started scouring the thrift stores for clothes and items to reuse.

Carl's head is made from a styrofoam cooler and other styrofoam pieces from the recycle bin.

After locating some overly warm pants at the thrift store and a brown flannel shirt for a suit jacket, I stole borrowed a white dress shirt from my husband and completed the look with a homemade "Ellie Badge" and bowtie.  Sandy is a very talented woman who designed and completed the "Dug" (dog), "Kevin" (bird) and "Russell" (wilderness explorer scout) costumes.  Check out the detail on "Russell's" backpack:
complete with candybar with a beak shaped bite.

And here is my costume after some paint over the styrofoam and some felt glued on for hair.

However, my completed costume is not complete without the group...

Picture credit to Waz-Mix Pix

So here is my amazing group at the beginning of the race.  Check out the detail on that house!  Complete with a garden hose near the front door and details like sky printed tights.  Way to go Mel!

Despite the warm weather and the bulky get up, I would do it all over again in a heart beat.  It was so fun to see all the different types of costumes and themes.  My favorite with the "making memories" theme was a couple who were dressed as an actual photo album.  Very creative!

We didn't win the costume contest, but enjoyed mingling with the other runners and being asked about 200 times to stop and pose with people to have our picture taken with them.  Clif Bar got a few pictures with us.  I felt like a movie star.... okay, I was dressed up as a movie character.

Some of our fans were the Girls On The Run group

There are an estimated 150,000 spectators for the parade and we ran in front of them.  News stations and parade announcers announced in their microphones for the spectators that the characters from the movie Up were approaching.  Kids screamed for our high fives and adults screamed "SQUIRREL!" for our hyper dog to get excited over.  It was so much fun.  Waluigi  stole my cane mid race and when Mario was unable to peg him with a turtle shell, my faithful dog, Dug, ran ahead and retrieved it.

Before long, I saw the mile 3 mile marker and shouted through my head gear "I have never been so happy to see a mile 3 marker!" to the laughter of my team mates.

We all stayed together and finished together hand in hand.  I hope we can do this all together again next year!!

Photo credit to Waz-Mix Pix

From left to right is me as "Carl", Sandy as "Kevin", Mel as "the House", Rod as "Russell" and Maryalicia as "Dug".  (You can follow some of Maryalicia's adventures on the Run Oregon blog, Sandy at Runsilly.com and Mel at CostumesOnTheRun.Blogspot.com.)

A little extra about race day preparation:
With the costume done and a day to spare, I needed something more to do.  I'm a last minute person... so to keep my hands busy and to drive myself crazy with a big project with a deadline, I decided to make more "Ellie Badges" ...

I made about 15 of them to pass out to my friends and a few extras for some of our biggest fans.  I think after my friends each go one, I had about three left.  I gave them to the parents of some of the youngest kiddos and they were all so thrilled.  Click here for the web page with the best directions and pdf file for the logo.  An extra step that is very helpful is removing the safety pin clasp/head to place the bottle cap on.  By doing that (with the clasp/head secured again) the bottle cap is secured to the pin and not going anywhere when the pin is opened.  That, and, that's how it is in the movie.

Finally, this was a race with no bling and as a bling whore... I couldn't have that.  So I got on the net, looked up a Rose Festival logo and changed it to say "Starlight Run 5k"  "Making Memories" and "2014".

I sewed a ribbon into a loop and laced each "ellie badge" on to the ribbon.  The "grape soda" logo was glued inside with a high gloss coating applied to both sides.

I regret not making some for the two husbands who stayed with our group on the run.  They were vital and just as much part of the group despite not having costumes.  My huge head was not very race friendly and it was impossible to see or hear.  Often a small child would dart out in front of me and I wouldn't know it... potentially tripping over them and taking us both out!  The two guys quickly became my "spotters" checking on me (as it was a hot day made worse my physical exertion under many layers of clothes and a styrofoam head) and helping to direct me so that I didn't trip over anyone and hurt them or myself.  At one point my shoe actually came untied!  I have never had a shoe come untied during a race... and it had to be this one.  I didn't realize it and when a team mate pointed it out, one of the guys came to the rescue and tied it for me.  I actually couldn't see my feet and it was pretty cumbersome to get my head on and off.  So big thanks to Tim and Brian who helped keep the group together and safe and without incident!   

And if you have no idea what the movie "Up" is, here is a short clip from the beginning of the move.  "Up" just celebrated it's 5 year anniversary of being released in theaters.

This is the best four minutes of Pixar's cinema history... Life, love, struggles, happiness every emotion wrapped up in this little clip. The whole movie itself is a fun and heartwarming piece of art.  At least I think so...

The only time I had run with someone for an entire race was a couple weeks ago at the Hippie Chicks Half.  It was so much fun to run with such a large group of people!

Have you ever ran with a large group of people from start to finish?  Ran a parade route?  Ran in a crazy costume?  Tell me about your experiences!

Moms Run This Town Spring Social!

Last weekend was our Moms Run This Town Social event. I am once again overwhelmed by the amount of community support we have for our chapter.

We were lucky to have food donated by two local businesses, Great Harvest BreadCo. and Blue Moon Bakery. Both of these businesses have booths at the Hillsboro Farmers’ market and they happen to be side-by-side. They also both offer gluten-free options, which is very important because our chapter has a lot of gluten-free members and it’s very hard to find food that makes everyone happy. These two both certainly did the trick, though.

Great Harvest Bread Co. donated sandwiches to feed all 25 of us and also some amazing Nutella cookies.

Great Harvest Bread Co. also donated three loaves of their gluten-free bread to be door prizes to the attendees. One of the ladies who won told me that she typically does not eat bread at all, since she lives a gluten-free lifestyle, and she's never found gluten-free bread that she likes. However, after trying her loaf from Great Harvest Bread Co., she's now a convert and has brought bread back into her life again!

Blue Moon Bakery donated some amazing gluten-free goodies. This was a huge relief to many of our members, who often have to (gasp!) forgo dessert as a result of their gluten-free lifestyle. I tried the chocolate chip cookies and they were incredible! I was glad to have done my long run that morning.  Many members tried to split the goodies in half to try just a little and ensure enough for everyone, but I saw several people going back for seconds and thirds in to the goodie box.

Blue Moon Bakery also donated a yummy bunch of treats that one lucky member of our club won at the social!

Here is Blue Moon Bakery's both at the Hillsboro Saturday Market. Check them out there (and stop by Great Harvest Bread Co. while you're at it!) or on their Facebook site.

Finally, we had beverages donated by Onli Beverages. My favorite was the green tea flavor, but both the Hibiscus and Expresso flavors mixed very nicely with rum. :-) Robin couldn't decide if she liked the Lemon mango Passion & Mint more or the Huckleberry Pomegranate.

Sadly, Onli Beverages are not yet available in Oregon but hopefully they will be soon.  You can locate a store near you here.  

We also had product donations for our goodie bags and raffle from Sunbutter, which is a fantastic gluten-free and peanut-free alternative to peanut butter than many of our members really enjoyed. Just take a look at all of that swag that was up for grabs!

We also had a generous donation from Pocket Bands and SunRype Bars for all of our goodie bags. Neocell donated a bottle of their Super Collagen C tablets to help keep our skin looking young and gorgeous! We're very grateful to all of the business who have helped to support us and make Moms Run This Town every more awesome!

Are you a member of a local running club?  Do you have fun (non running) get togethers to get to know each other, hang out and offer support and encouragement?