Back in September I ran the inaugural Appletree half marathon and the day was my perfect combination for running – gray and cool, sometimes rainy; perfect PR conditions!
For an inaugural event, there was a sizable crowd but the course started with a cruise-y downhill, so finding a place in the pack was quite easy. The course had an incredible amount of water stations, cheer squads, and motivational signs along the route, it was easy to keep spirits up! We ran past the garden, past Pearson Air Museum, along the stockade, past the Old Apple Tree Park, then along the Greenway Trail with a beautiful view of the Columbia, and eventually through Marine and Wintler Parks before turning around and going back, crossing under I-5 and running along the Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Plaza, through downtown, then back to the finish….WHEW!
Around mile 9 the weather turned from slightly damp to full-on downpour. Given our lengthy dry summer, I was stoked to be running in the rain; the soaked-to-the-bone type where there’s no avoiding it. It’s just the best.
The after party at this event was easily one of the best I’ve ever been to. I crossed the finish line and was given my medal, walked about 15 feet and had a chair to sit in. There were dozens of chairs available (which never happens)! If I had an energy gel for every race finish where I had to sit on the ground, I could fuel my next 50 miler. There was also an incredible amount of food; whatever you fancied. Pulled pork sandwiches, bagels, fruit, cookies, paired with your beverage of choice: bottled water, Deschutes Brewery beer, cider, kombucha, or wander a bit and find coolers full of Red Bull, vendors with other energy drinks, and I’m quite certain a full on Farmer’s Market booth. There were massage tables, and more swag to fill your bag! I embarrassingly had so many goodies in my arms that I dropped a drink can on the ground and sprayed myself. No bother – I just wandered back and grabbed another one.
After hanging out for a bit, it was time to meet my friend for brunch so I enjoyed the walk along Officer’s Row back to my car. Another 13.1 was done and I was pleased to have been part of Appletree’s inaugural day!